While it can seem like investing in your team or your business are on opposite ends of the success scale, we’ve found that they go hand in hand.
At ntegrity, growth is not just a commitment we make to our clients, it’s also one we make to our staff. And we’ve found when they grow, so does our business. That is why we have created mentoring partnerships and personal development plans (or PDPs – download your free template at the base of this post) for our staff and interns to guide and encourage genuine growth.
Mentoring is an investment. It takes time and energy – both precious commodities in small and large companies alike. Investing in your staff or your business doesn’t have to be a ‘one or the other’ kind of choice: one naturally flows into the other. And if you do it right, the rewards of a great mentoring relationship can be surprising.
It must start with an acknowledgement that the partnership is one of equal value exchange. If a mentor does not put all their energy into providing guidance, and the mentee refuses to either drive the relationship or be guided, you’ll quickly find yourself getting frustrated and going nowhere.
For mentors, the key is to be available. Mentoring isn’t something that only happens in monthly meetings. You might be mentoring someone more often than you think – even without realising it. Be available to answer questions, explain and teach new concepts and readily give feedback.
When having those important conversations, listen more than you talk. Read between the lines and ask perceptive questions that show you’re really listening. Remember that each individual is different: they will want and need different things from their lives and their careers, and will receive information differently too.
For mentees the mistake often lies in thinking they’re simply passengers on this journey, when in fact they should be driving it. Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves. People are part of the catalyst for shaping the future, so if you’re not getting value out of your mentorship, are you leaning in?
At ntegrity, we’ve found that the best way to get the most out of a mentoring partnership is to put structure around it. Regular meetings and a framework for development make it simpler to track progression, set achievable goals and give feedback. Enter: personal development plans, or PDPs.
PDPs are a great way to map personal goals for growth against business goals for growth, and set achievable targets each month. The next month, we review progress and have an open conversation about how things are going.
This makes mentoring easier, especially when time is limited and your energy is at its lowest. It also makes the relationship more intentional – you’ll never find yourself just having a rambling conversation that begins with “so, how are things going?”
At ntegrity, our team is our most valued commodity. And we’ve found that as our staff become more confident in their expertise and feel free to grow and be challenged, our capacity to do amazing work as an agency does too.
Our unique mentorship and professional development program only serves to enhance our culture of growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, rather than detract from it. We’ve seen firsthand that a solid investment in people translates into high performance, up-skilling, passion and added confidence.
We invest in people because growth is in our DNA.
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