Most Fortune 500 companies have a formal mentoring program in place for their employees. IT is up to the individual employees and their managers to engage in this program, but it is out there for those willing to do it. This builds up top-tier talent, helps promote job growth and opportunity, improve retention, and increases employee loyalty and satisfaction at work. In addition, it can be a great way for management to find good talent and motivated individuals.
Unfortunately, most small businesses do not offer these opportunities. And while those larger companies certainly benefit from the mentoring options, small business owners have a stronger need for mentoring given the limited staff and nature of growth, especially in the early years of building a business. Creating a culture of mentoring early when starting a business, however, will help to foster that culture as your business expands. This, in turn, will help with retention, loyalty, happiness, and will help you find the best talent in your team.
But it will also help to ensure you have contingency plans should a key member of your team leave. If your bookkeeper, for instance, leaves in the middle of tax season and you have no idea how to read the books, you can be in for a lot of unnecessary and costly work trying to figure everything out. If you have a sales staff and your best salesperson leaves while you are in the process of trying to win an important prospect that could be devastating to the sale if no one is ready to step up and finish the sale. If you run a restaurant and your chef quits, that could mark the end of your business if no one is ready to step in.
Through mentoring, however, there will always be someone ready to step into these key roles to ensure business continuity. If mentoring and growth are a part of your corporate philosophy and you live it by mentoring your key staff, they, in turn, ill mentor others looking to grow their skill sets. For a small business, finding a great replacement for an important employee can be much harder than a larger company with unlimited resources. But mentoring can be an important tool to ensure long-term, continued success, no matter who leaves.
I want to thank Jeff at Premier Factory Safety for submitting this article, they are one of the premier lockout tagout companies in the US. Jeff is well trained in mentoring safety staffs throughout the US and Europ in Dupont best practices. We hope he will continue to contribute on a regular basis.