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Investing in your workforce is the smart thing to do – it’s the right thing to do. When a business invests in a piece of machinery, it performs well but it’s never going to increase its performance, if anything it’ll burn out and have to be renewed.
But, look at the people in your company. They all have the potential to be future leaders, to help grow your business. Investing in their development doesn’t have to be costly if you coach and mentor in-house, and the results will be invaluable.
It’s a common misconception that mentoring and coaching are the same thing. Yes, it’s true that they both support growth and development, but they adopt very different principles. Let’s start by looking at the differences between mentoring and coaching and how they both add value.
The aim of coaching is to support immediate improvement in particular areas where specific behaviours need to be strengthened. A coach will set tasks and provide goals for an individual. Performance will be measured over a finite period of time and feedback will be given offering guidance on ways to improve and correct behaviours.
Coaching is to strengthen an individual’s performance.
This is a long-term relationship between two colleagues. A mentor will make a real difference to someone’s life as they offer complete guidance and direction without revealing any of the answers, allowing the mentee to gain wisdom as they work towards their career goals.
Mentoring is to strengthen an individual’s capability.
The value to the business
The continual development of a workforce has numerous benefits:
Learning & Development strategy
Here’s our top tips on how to effectively mentor and coach your employees:
It’s a two-way thing
It’s not just the individual who benefits, the coach or mentor will continually learn too. Other than gaining greater job satisfaction, the coach and mentor will strengthen their leadership, interpersonal and communication skills.
Improving a workplace culture
The advantages of getting to know your workforce well are far-reaching. When confronted with issues the coach or mentor will gain an insight into the bigger picture and be able to influence positive change within a company by having their eyes opened to the challenges faced by their workforce. For example, a mentor may see examples of women in the workplace asking for guidance on how to be more assertive or individuals with disabilities asking for help on how to increase their confidence.
As ever, managers and leaders need to strive to continually look at ways to improve workplace cultures and seek solutions to any potential problems before they become issues.
We’re here to help
If you would like to discuss any issue surrounding the topic of coaching and mentoring or want to hear more about our Training and Development programmes, please give us a call on 0161 941 2426.
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