Be a Mentor

Posted by Great West

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There are many benefits to implementing a mentoring program in the workplace. No matter their role in the company, a mentoring program helps new employees gain an understanding of the organization's culture. It also provides a vehicle for sharing knowledge, reinforcing company practices and important "things to know:' Mentoring is credited with improving employee retention and may make your company more appealing to recruits.

A mentor is a "go-to" person that can be a sounding board for a new employee who may help facilitate networking and communication within the company.

To get started, define the objectives of your mentoring program. Make your program as formal or as informal as you like. Plan a time frame for the new employee to be mentored - 3 months, 6 months, or a year. Pick those people in your company that you would like to serve as mentors; choose those who are good performers and who have patience and excellent interpersonal/communication skills. Ask them if they're willing to take the time and effort to mentor a new employee. Provide them with mentor training so they will know what is expected. This training should include goals, problem­solving techniques, and how to give positive constructive feedback. They will enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they've helped a new employee on the road to success as well as having the opportunity to showcase their leadership skills. A "bonus" for the mentor or employee recognition may be a consideration as well. Determine a method for pairing a mentor and mentee; if the two don't get along well, then the mentor relationship will fail. Facilitate the first meeting of the mentor and mentee; help them understand what mentoring means. Make some suggestions on how to get the most out of mentoring. Talk about each person's expectations.

There are many areas to consider where a mentor can provide guidance such as maintaining their driver logs, managing hours of service, and completing other required paperwork. Customer service, safe driving habits, and loading and unloading are all important topics to discuss. A mentor relationship may help the employee feel less isolated out on the road and encourage the employee to interact with others. With the advice of a mentor the employee may make fewer mistakes on the job. When the mentor relationship concludes, it is helpful to obtain feedback from the mentee so you can improve your program in the future.

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