The Importance of Mentorship Programs for Small Businesses

The Importance of Mentorship Programs for Small Businesses
  • Mentorship and coaching programs are quickly becoming a secret weapon for many businesses.
  • Outsource your coaching programs to the best business coaches to empower your employees and improve productivity.
  • Business coaches and mentors keep you accountable to your goals and are invested to tell you the truth and devise a better solution.
  • Keep reading to learn about the benefits of mentorship programs and the benefits it offers your business.

All great performers, from professional athletes and business legends to rock stars, have a team of coaches and advisors. Business owners, startup founders, managers and every aspiring career person who want to go to the next level should consider hiring a coach, mentor or advisor. 

However, as the business world becomes more complex and competitive, and as the ranks more diverse, encompassing different age groups and cultures, the need for a team of mentors and role models is becoming more vital to appeal to diverse personalities.

 Executives, managers and employees hungry to climb the ranks need to have the opportunity to tap into an array of advisors, mentors and role models who can support them with advice, information and support during critical stages. 

The Benefits of Mentorship Programs for Your Employees 

Establishing a mentoring program in your business will enable you to harness and capitalise on your greatest resource – your people. Contrary to popular beliefs, a mentoring program is a cost-effective way to get and keep your employees engaged.

An engaged workforce is more productive, loyal and accountable. Mentoring or coaching is not about telling someone else what to do or how to do it. It means working with employees to develop their skills, make decisions and solve problems on their own and as a team. 

Not only do the mentees benefit from being able to draw on the strengths of their mentors, but mentors themselves benefit from the opportunity to recognise and share their own strengths, abilities and limitations. With this, comes a great sense of accomplishment and self-actualisation.

For the business, developing talent can only mean good things. It means people feel fulfilled and empowered, they have a sense of direction and they become active participants in driving the company towards its goals. This leads to growth, accountability and innovation that ultimately affect the bottom line.

What to Look Out For in a Good Mentor 

Effective mentors and coaches are able to identify skills gaps, performance issues and other shortfalls, but at the same time, are able to find solutions. Below are some of the important traits to look for when assembling a team of mentors for your employees – or yourself:

  1. A good communicator with good people skills
  2. A positive attitude and a role model
  3. Leads by example
  4. Understands the goals and vision for the business
  5. Has the skills and experience to teach and guide people within the ranks
  6. Easily available and accessible
  7. Willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise
  8. Able to provide constructive feedback
  9. Respected by colleagues and people at all levels of the business
  10. Values the opinions of others

How to Start a Mentorship Program for Your Employees

Outsourcing your mentorship program provides your employees with a greater sense of freedom and objectivity because they don’t fear any kind of discrimination or disciplinary action if they disagree with a manager or supervisor who has been assigned to a mentorship role.

An outside source with the right experience can help to encourage creativity, objectivity and the sharing of ideas which leads to innovation. 

Remember, being a mentor is not for everyone. It is time-consuming and a drain on resources when implemented in-house. Some employees simply do not feel comfortable or can be a mentor effectively. External mentors, on the other hand, are invested. It is their core business to make your mentorship program work.

How a Mentor Can Benefit You and Your Business 

Perhaps the biggest plus about having a mentor is having someone for advice and guidance. As a small business owner or the founder of a new startup, you can become overwhelmed by advice from friends, on the internet or other business owners.

Although some of this advice is useful, some mentors are unqualified and might be applicable to other businesses – but not yours. An experienced business coach who has worked with other businesses in your industry, or a mentor who has walked the same path as you, would be in a better position to offer sound, qualified and relevant guidance.

They will help you look at problems and situations from a different perspective and are invested to find solutions which you might not have been able to reach on your own.

A good mentor or coach will tell the truth about you and your business – no matter how uncomfortable it may be. They will help you face the realities of your business and how you run it and guide you in making the changes you need to make and devise strategies for improvement.  

Just knowing that you have someone credible to turn to for advice or to simply bounce around ideas brings confidence and reassurance when facing tough business decisions. Running a business is not easy and many business owners will face similar challenges.

Working with a business coach who has helped other small business owners navigate these challenges will prepare you for managing them. With each challenge you navigate, you prepare yourself to be a better businessperson into the future.  

In a Nutshell

Mentoring and business coaching are becoming increasingly necessary tools in the arsenal of every growing business. However, they require your buy-in and the buy-in of your staff.

A company with mentoring experience will bring the perspective needed to get your people enthusiastic, motivated and engaged so that you can develop the talent you have and keep them.

For you, as we have discussed, it means good things. A business coach will keep you 100% focused on your goals and help you with step-by-step processes to reach them. This focus alone will have an amazing impact on you and ultimately your business results.