17 Feb Top 4 Tips For Encouraging A Learning Culture Through Mentoring
Hiring your perfect candidate is only the beginning. For an employee to evolve, however, they need continuous learning. Not only does this benefit new staff; organisations also see the advantage as their employees grow with them and keep their skill set fresh.
Employees now stay in a job for an average of four-and-a-half years, with their skills becoming half out of date within five years. As the retirement age grows, it’s vital for professionals to continue their learning expertise and personal growth.
People are eager to learn new skills and develop, and it’s up to companies to encourage that mentality to get the best out of their employees. According to Gallup, the research-based, global performance-management consulting company, staff are at their most engaged during the first six months of employment.
So how do you get the most out of your employees during those first six months, while setting them on a path to continuous development?
1. Promote continuous learning
Create an environment where your employees want to learn, so it becomes embedded in their personal eco-system. Starting a new role can be daunting for some-one, but it also happens to be when they are most eager to succeed and prove themselves.
Don’t make learning a separate entity. Instead, combine the educational aspects with working to create a seam-less work/learn blend. It’s also important to set the right learning tactics – an organisations’ values in terms of training might not necessarily align with an employee’s.
Managers need to relinquish an element of control to help mould a learner-centric atmosphere. If they provide the right tools and resources for employees to learn as they work, they stand a higher chance of raising staff engagement.
2. Invest in mentoring
86% of businesses get a return on their investment from coaching and mentoring, according to the International Coaching Federation. The numbers backing a mentor-ing programme are already impressive, but why else is mentoring seen as such a necessity?
First off, it engages guidance. In busy organisations, management doesn’t always have time to stop and see how their staff are progressing, however, they can shift some of that responsibility to a dedicated mentor programme.
Mentoring offers a personalised support system for people who have previously been in the same position as mentees. A mentor helps their mentee overcome obstacles and develop new skills – both professionally and personally.
Whether a one-to-one process or group session, men-toring helps employees get up to speed and gives them the confidence to excel in their role. They develop specific skill sets that will enable them to go down specified career paths with a fast track to managerial positions.
3. Provide access to digital resources
While mentoring arguably offers the most reliable way for employees to learn on the job, it’s also important to provide access to resources. We’re reaching a stage where millennials are becoming the most important group of workforce employees. When not taking part in programmes, they like to top-up their learning on smart devices, in their own time.
Instead of outdated corporate learning platforms, look at high-quality digital resources that provide staff with instant access. Make it short, snappy and easily digest-ible – give them what they need when they need it, rather than overpopulated documents that don’t hold their interest.
An environment that incorporates both learning and working provides the building blocks to create better employees. This will ultimately have a positive impact on an organisation’s bottom line. As the way we work evolves, it’s essential that staff are kept up to date and grow with the times. Mentoring is often overlooked as a ‘nice to have’ in organisations.
However, companies need to understand the true value that this relationship brings, across engagement of staff, company profits and overall happiness in one’s position which undisputedly creates positive word of mouth and subsequently elevating employer branding. Mentoring is a win-win for all so make sure there is a structured men-toring programme within your company and you will see significant marginal gains across your business.
Written by Eva Connections
Networking and events platform for women, providing events, workshops, webinars and community across Health and Wellness and Professional Development topics. We also offer a structured mentoring programme called Eva Elevate giving access to mentors and mentees across many sectors enriching the mentoring experience. www.evaconnections.nl