How Mentoring Could Broaden Your Business Horizons
Many entrepreneurs find there is a great amount of value in passing on their knowledge and experiences to colleagues or young professionals that are new to an industry. Mentoring can be an excellent opportunity to influence the future of business, to improve or refresh leadership skills, and to embrace new perspectives from individuals you may not usually connect with.
Offering mentoring opportunities or programs can be a huge benefit to your business, especially for SMEs trying to stand out in competitive markets.
In-house Mentorship Programs/Opportunities Improve Employee Retention
Many people move on from their current roles when they feel the position is no longer meeting their career goals or they are ready for a new challenge. It is inevitable for a business to lose some brilliant employees because they want to move forward in their professional journeys. However, offering your workforce, particularly young recruits, the opportunities they need to keep growing their knowledge and advancing their abilities can help you retain hardworking and forward-thinking individuals for longer. You can create in-house mentoring programs where third-party coaches lead courses with participating team members on set dates. This could require a significant amount of time and money to organise successfully so facilitating learning and mentoring opportunities that interested parties can undertake of their own volition is a good place to start.
Boost Company Culture
Encouraging and enabling an environment where junior staff can reach out to senior team members for advice, mentoring, knowledge, and connections will help create a positive, communicative work culture. Creating mentoring opportunities where senior staff can sign up to lead workshops or take on student mentees would boost your company profile and establish fantastic professional relationships.
In a period where finding highly skilled workers is almost impossible, mentoring can help you find and support recruits that fill positions or would be a good addition to your team. Offering mentoring programs or internships to students or graduates can give you an early chance to recruit young professionals. Working with campuses and educational institutions to offer mentoring can build fantastic connections for your business and marketing to alumni and students will get your business noticed.
Young entrepreneurs are often looking for opportunities to expand their horizons and get the industry experience to support their future business plans. Bringing on these individuals as mentees could lead to working relationships that encourage them to gain those valuable years of experience at your company, where you benefit from a focused, ambitious team member that could bring innovation to your business.
If another entrepreneur reaches out to ask if you would be willing to mentor them, you should seriously consider the request if you have the time. It gives you the chance to connect with a similarly minded person who could introduce you to completely new ideas, technologies, systems, and ways of tackling a situation or challenges. You might find that their business is something extremely exciting that you would like to be involved in. While as the mentor, they would be there to learn from you, tables could turn, and your business may end up benefitting from innovative ideas or thinking they introduce you to.
Opening yourself up to share your knowledge and expertise can open paths to expand your professional community and grow your network into different markets. Developing in-house mentor programs can connect you to brilliant business coaches or experts that bring big benefits to your company, like introducing you to other SMEs that provide a service you need or might be a potential client in the future. Young entrepreneurs are often filled with innovation and building their own extensive networks; offering your advice could form a long-term professional relationship as they build their own business. Sharing your knowledge with a mentee could lead you to the person you would like to take over your business in the future or help you build the team of professionals who will continue to run your company when you are ready to step back.
Often, hardworking entrepreneurs and business owners are eager to share what they have learned to have a hand shaping the future of their industry, technology advancements, and the changing attitudes of work culture.