Today (27th October) is National Mentoring Day.
We’ve discussed mentoring on our blog before. As I’m sure you know, employees at all stages of their careers can benefit from entering into mentoring relationships and programmes (formal or informal) – both as mentee and mentor. We’ve interviewed marketing mentors and mentees for previous blog posts to learn how these relationships have helped those involved grow in their technology marketing careers and personally. What we haven’t focused on is the benefits for our clients – the employer. If you’re the one investing your employees’ time in setting up schemes like this, what is it that you’ll get out it? Our answer is: a lot more than you might expect. This goes for mid-sized technology companies as well as larger multinational ones.
Here are our top 5 reasons why you should consider setting up mentoring relationships within your marketing team. This could be informal internal arrangements, formal schemes, or could even be within a trusted partner relationship.
1. Higher staff job satisfaction and staff retention
Mentoring can help make both parties – mentor and mentee – feel more engaged with the business, as they actively work together to solve challenges at the heart of the company marketing strategy and improve performance. The mentee will also feel like the company has an interest in, and supports, their personal development – lessening the need to seek a career move elsewhere. For the mentor, it’s an opportunity to gain key skills in coaching and leadership. In this way mentoring can give a new energy to employees who have been with the business a long time or may be in a later stage of their careers. It can also help reinvigorate a senior team and keep them and their knowledge and client relationships in the business. It can provide fresh thinking and new perspectives to enrich marketing strategies and tactics (though more on this later). For these reasons, mentoring is known to reduce staff turnover and its many associated costs.
2. More confident, informed decision makers make better decisions
A young marketer may have a lot of enthusiasm and different, novel approaches to marketing and business challenges. This kind of experimentation and a certain degree of risk-taking can reap real rewards, however a little guidance from someone who has learnt from past successes and failures can make all the difference to an initiative’s success. In some cases, the mentee may lack the confidence to bring their idea for a marketing campaign to life or lack the strategic know-how or executional knowledge to maximise its potential. An increase in an employees learning on the job is always of benefit to an employer, and can help develop marketers for future leadership, reducing the need to seek more expensive senior leaders outside of the business.
3. Better channels of communication within your business
You might find out about issues senior staff weren’t aware of. A junior member of the team may have a problem they don’t feel comfortable bringing up with their manager (perhaps that manager is part of the problem). Without anyone they feel they can confide in that problem might get worse. When senior management eventually find out, it could be too late, the damage is done. With a mentor, they have someone more senior who they can confide in and who can advise them on a solution or who can let the relevant people know in good time to help them find a resolution.
Mentoring might also facilitate innovation within the organisation by allowing fresh talent to communicate new ideas to those who can help develop them from concepts to actionable marketing strategy. This idea might have been lost had it not been championed by someone more senior or if the person hadn’t been given the reassurance that the idea was sound from a more experienced business perspective.
4. Improved staff attraction
A foundation of solid mentoring relationships and employee support/trainings shows that you engage in your employees’ career development. This is something to show off about. Communicate this on your careers page and build a more attractive employee profile for ambitious marketing professionals looking to join your business. It might make all the difference when a strong candidate is choosing between 2 offers.
5. Increased knowledge transfer and employee productivity
What differentiates a talented new starter from an equally talented old hand? Knowledge of the business, its objectives, how internal processes work, who to go to get x y and z done.
How much better could your new employee perform if they had someone to improve their insider knowledge? How much more secure and more comfortable would that first month on the job be? Often this knowledge does not get imparted as it should, with confusion over who should help with the induction process and a pass the buck attitude. With a set mentor, there is someone who is given the dedicated time to set aside for you. At the beginning and beyond. Mentoring like this could be part of the on boarding process to help employees adjust to new positions and from then on to keep them continually on track and engaged. The sooner a new employee is performing at their best, the better for the business.
Today’s a good day to find out about how mentoring could help your business. At Marketing Moves, we’ve seen how much of a difference it can make within the marketing department – but we’re sure it’s beneficial across the board.
For support sourcing marketers with the leadership skills to grow your team and the right personality fit for your organisation, contact Melvin Day on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01932 253 352.