Improve Your Shop

Mentors Make A Difference

Ensuring a successful hire

From sifting through resumes to interviewing candidates, the hiring process can be long and arduous. Now that you have found the right person for the job, you still have one more task to complete before congratulating yourself on a job well done. Help ensure your new employee’s future success by pairing them with a mentor.

Establishing a mentoring program for new employees can pay off big for your shop. Not only does the new employee benefit from the relationship but your shop and the mentor also profit from the experience. Read on to learn how mentoring can be a catalyst for success.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a person who provides guidance, advice and knowledge to a co-worker with less experience. It can be helpful for the mentor to be in the same job or to have previously held the position that the new employee is starting. That way, the mentor will understand the job demands that the new employee is facing and can better counsel them.

 

Advantages to the new hire

Matching up new employees with a veteran employee is the perfect way to welcome them to your team. New hires can experience a host of benefits from a mentoring relationship:

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Smoother and easier adjustment to new position.

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Reduced learning curve.

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Opportunity to learn the shop culture and how things are done.

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Professional growth opportunities.

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Increased chances for education and learning.

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Encouragement to take charge of career path.

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Chance to build skills needed for success in new role.

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Networking opportunities – chance to meet new people in the shop.

 

Advantages to the mentor

The new employee isn’t the only one to benefit from a mentoring relationship. Veteran employees who mentor others can experience many benefits including:

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Development of leadership and management skills.

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Opportunity to improve communication skills.

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Chance to give back to the profession.

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Increased job satisfaction as a result of helping others.

 

Advantages to the business

With all the benefits that new hires and veteran employees get from the mentoring experience, it’s no surprise that your shop can see many positive results. Benefits of having a mentoring program in your shop include:

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Transfer of critical knowledge from seasoned veterans to new employees.

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Positive work environment and increased morale for all employees.

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New hires that are knowledgeable and productive in a shorter amount of time.

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Improved productivity when new employee can ask mentor questions and get back to work.

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Reduced employee turnover.

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Useful recruiting tool - promote the mentoring program as a perk of working at your shop.

Tips for success

Implementing a successful mentoring program requires some careful planning. Follow these tips for starting a mentoring program that is rewarding for everyone involved.

  • When introducing the program to your employees, stress how important the program is to the success of your shop. Promote the idea that being asked to participate in the program is an honor. Consider giving a reward for serving as a mentor; it could be monetary or something special to the employee like tickets to a game or concert.
  • Before having veteran employees work with new hires, give them some training on what being a mentor entails. There are online resources you can use or books like John C. Maxwell’s Mentoring 101.
  • Decide upon a timeframe for each mentor/mentee relationship to last. At the end of each mentor/mentee pairing, be sure to encourage them to keep up the communication on their own or to seek out other mentors in the shop.
  • Clearly define what you want to achieve from the program. Be sure that upper management and/or owners are completely on board.
  • Spell out expectations for both mentees and mentors. Make it clear that mentors are a resource for new hires, not someone to do their job for them. Encourage mentees to make contact with their mentors. Outlining expectations to both groups will go a long way in easing any apprehension.
  • Evaluate the program on a regular basis. Survey both the mentor and mentee to see what each got out of the program and what they feel could be improved. Incorporate any findings into future training sessions.
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