Friday, May 2, 2008

Tips for Helping an Employee Find a Mentor

Here's 6 tips for helping an employee find a mentor:

1. Look for individuals who are able to understand and shape the employee’s long-term professional goals (e.g., someone who has a similar background or who is currently in a position the employee might like to have in the future).

2. Consider people who are influential within the company. These individuals know how the organization works and can help your employee navigate the system.

3. Think about someone who possesses a higher level of functional experience than the employee. Sometimes individuals outside of your company or outside the chain of command, such as someone in a trade organization, are the best mentors.

4. Look for someone with a skill set that is broader than the employee’s. While you want the individuals to connect with each other, you also want the relationship to help your employee grow and develop in new ways.

5. Defining how the relationship should work can help both the mentor and your direct report. For example, how often should they meet? What types of things should they discuss? What are the rules for confidentiality?

6. Ask your employee what they want to get out of a mentoring relationship to help you find the right fit.

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