Mentoring Employees 101: Tips to Get Your Top Talent on the Right Track

Being a business owner is no easy task. You have to be dedicated, passionate, and patient. And when you add employees into the mix, you become a leader and role model.

Whether you realize it or not, your employees are the foundation of your business. Without them, your company will likely struggle to thrive. If you want your business to succeed in the long-term, you need to build your employees into leaders. And to create said leaders, you need to take a crash course in mentoring employees.

6 Tips for mentoring employees

Being a mentor not only benefits your employees, but also your business. On the importance of mentoring employees, Chane Steiner, CEO of Crediful, said:

Quite simply, mentoring employees benefits everyone. When businesses take the time and effort to develop, train, and mentor their employees, they are providing those employees with the skills and know-how to improve and even lead businesses in the future. This is extremely beneficial to employees at any stage of their career, as they get more opportunities, more skills, and oftentimes the knowledge necessary to change their lives.

At the same time, when businesses develop and create leaders, they are able to reap the rewards those leaders create for the business for years to come.

Follow these six tips to become an A+ mentor and keep your top talent around for years to come.

mentoring employees

1. Begin mentoring from day one

If you want to be the best mentor you can be, you have to start from day one. That’s right … you have to start the mentoring process during onboarding.

The first few days and weeks are crucial to an employee’s growth. Their onboarding process, training, and interactions can make or break their success at your business.

Begin mentoring each employee from the get-go. On their first day, show them the ropes and ensure they’re on the right track for the future. If you don’t have time to do it all yourself, consider creating a buddy system and assigning another seasoned employee to mentor your new hire.

Either way, you should begin mentoring employees in the workplace ASAP. That way, your workers can receive employee coaching and mentoring right off the bat.

2. Offer constructive criticism

Ah, criticism. Some people take it well while others don’t. And unfortunately, giving criticism and feedback is necessary when you’re a leader and/or employer.

While mentoring employees for growth, offer constructive (aka helpful) criticism. Constructive criticism is a valuable tool that allows your employees to learn and grow. Without it, your employees might not know if they’re doing something wrong. And, they’ll keep making the same mistake time and time again.

To be a true mentor and help employees succeed, offer constructive criticism. Offering clear and honest feedback can help:

  • Cultivate a trustworthy workplace
  • Build stronger relationships and bonds
  • Promote growth
  • Improve communication
  • Boost employee career development

3. Delegate tasks

If you want your employees to grow, you have to be willing to give them a few things off of your plate. So, what do you need to do? Stop hoarding tasks and start delegating them instead.

Sure, it can be tempting to do everything yourself, especially if you’re a perfectionist. But sometimes, you have to be willing to let things go in order to let others grow in the workplace.

Delegating tasks shows employees that you trust them. Not to mention, it takes a major weight off of your shoulders and helps employees broaden their skillset. If you never grant trust through delegation, your employees might never reach their maximum potential.

4. Be a good listener

When one of your friends or family members has a problem or question, what do you do? You stop and listen to what they have to say. The same should go for when you’re mentoring employees.

If you want to be an all-star mentor, be willing to stop talking and start listening. Sure, you may have a ton of experience under your belt. But sometimes, you need to listen to your mentee instead of pouring all of your knowledge onto them at once.

Give your employees room to breathe and time to ask questions. Remember to listen carefully to what they have to say and hear your employees out before offering insight and advising them.

5. Let employees make mistakes

A major part of growing as an employee is making mistakes. You’ve been there. We’ve all been there. Nobody is perfect, so you shouldn’t expect your employees to be.

As a mentor, you need to show employees that making mistakes is OK. Let employees know what mistakes you’ve made in the past to help prevent them from doing the same.

In addition to teaching employees about lessons learned, don’t be afraid of letting employees “fail.” Instead of hovering or micromanaging, allow employees to do their own thing. Let them make their own mistakes and give them the opportunity to learn from them. Your employees’ mistakes will ultimately be some of their greatest “mentors.”

6. Have regular check-ins

Although you want to avoid being a micromanager, you should still check-in with your staff every so often.

How often you check-in with employees depends on your business and staff. Some people prefer to check-in with workers on a daily basis, while others would rather do a weekly check-in.

When you do check-in with your employees, make sure you’re asking the right questions. Don’t step on your employees’ toes or cross micromanager territory. Instead, ask questions like:

  • Are there any obstacles you are facing that I can help with?
  • Do you feel you’re getting enough feedback?
  • How can I better support you?
  • Are there any issues that I can help you with?

In addition to the above questions, don’t forget to check-in with your employees to see how they’re doing. A simple “How are you doing?” or “Did you do anything fun this weekend?” can make a world of difference.

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