Most employees wanting to grow personally seek mentors within their organizations whom they consider conduits to success. Shrewd HR personnel will take advantage of opportunities in their HR careers to assume roles as mentors-to guide, lead, and influence the employees who look up to them and unearth their potential. The HR professional should try different methods in order to realize each employee's potential fully and utilize it not only for the company's benefit but also for the individual's personal development.
Every organization, big or small, is made up of a variety of people. Regardless of background, no one comes to a new work environment prepared to face every situation that will arise. Some employees will behave like ostriches in the face of adversity or flee difficult situations. It is the HR professional's responsibility to teach these people how to handle crises. His or her organization's success depends on the crisis-handling capabilities of its employees.
A word of caution to HR personnel: never begin a mentoring program just because it is a good business practice. Undertake mentoring goals with the aim of improving your workplace. As an HR professional, it is your duty to imbue your company's employees with your organization's spirit and culture, share dreams and organizational goals with them, and impart the wisdom you have acquired from experience.
The HR Professional as a Mentor
Mentoring does not mean repackaging age-old training techniques. Be innovative. Effective mentoring holds the potential to transform the human resources professional's relationship with his or her organization and its employees. Providing feedback is part of mentoring, but the HR professional should provide more than organizational feedback to the employee to help him or her further develop his or her potential.
The effective HR professional will observe, listen, and assess each employee's individual strengths and weaknesses. Unlike external coaches, HR personnel are parts of employees' everyday work lives, which enables them to work directly with every employee at every level in their organizations.
Prior to plunging into the task of mentoring, HR professionals have to build trust among employees. Some employees might feel ashamed to admit that they need help. They also may worry that members of human resources will spill the beans to their employers.
To counter these apprehensions and make employees feel it is safe to disclose their difficulties, the HR professional must strive to become extremely trustworthy in the eyes of employees. Trustworthiness comes from the individual HR professional's conduct, proven credentials, and adherence to ethics and principles. Employees want to learn from HR professionals they believe they can trust-people who clearly have their best interests at heart and who will maintain confidentiality at all times.
Learn to Listen
Effective HR professionals continuously direct their teams, ensuring peak performance through hard work and commitment. However, the absence of good communication skills can defeat the HR professional's excellent organizational goals. HR professionals need to build relationships with their teams through constant interaction-both verbal and non-verbal. The art of attentive listening is highly effective. In order to be an effective mentor, the HR professional must have strong communication skills that allow him or her to remain informed regarding employees' problems, abilities, ambitions, dissatisfaction's, and progress.
What Else Does Mentoring Involve?
The most successful HR professionals understand that every day offers opportunities to learn and grow. HR professionals should always be up to date on the latest trends in their industries as well as on employee welfare issues. This will send a message to employees that they are genuinely knowledgeable and concerned about workers' success. Human resources professionals should also conduct surveys and devise other methods of soliciting feedback to provide helpful suggestions to management. They should be resourceful when setting goals as well as have innovative measurement techniques to determine the effectiveness of their mentoring of individual employees.
For the HR professional, the task of helping employees become self-sufficient is paramount. As supportive partners in the workplace, HR professionals need to provide employees with tools that will allow them to find success on the job as well as in their careers.