If you ask any CEO or Founder, to name a few of their top leadership challenges, you are guaranteed to hear the words “Finding and keeping good talent” somewhere near the top of that list. Yes, we have a few other challenges keeping us awake at night, but the one that stands out most is the challenge around hiring great talent and then keeping them motivated and engaged.
Most recruitment processes have now evolved into really well researched, designed, and executed strategies - job specs are meticulously crafted, candidate journey’s are carefully mapped out to and interviewers are trained in best practices when it comes to delivering great interviews. Safe to say, a lot of time goes into ensuring the best possible candidate for the role is selected.
Taking all of this into consideration, why would you leave employee engagement up to the gods of healthy snacks, flexible working, office games areas and other such fluffy benefits? Yes, hiring your perfect candidate is only the beginning - the weeks, months and hopefully years to follow is what will really make an impact on the company and the individual.
For an employee to evolve, they need access to continuous learning opportunities. Not only does this benefit new staff; organisations also see the advantage as their employees grow with them and keep their skill set fresh.
Employees now stay in a job for an average of four-and-a-half years, with their skills becoming out of date within five years. As the retirement age grows, it’s vital for anyone with an eye on their personal development to continue their learning expertise and personal growth. According to Gallup, staff are at their most engaged during the first six months of employment.
The big question is then - How do you get the most out of your employees during those first six months, while setting them on a path to continuous development?
1 - Promote continuous learning
Create an environment where your employees want to learn, it is part of the company culture and it becomes embedded in their personal ecosystem. Starting a new role can be daunting for someone, but as we’ve learnt it also happens to be when they are most eager to succeed and prove themselves.
Don’t make learning a separate entity. Instead, combine the educational aspects with working to create a seamless work/learn blend. Consider “Buddy Programs” for newbies or “Job Rotations” for those curious about other parts of the business.
I really love building programs that combine working and learning - and have found that the most successful employees have embarrassed this method making them top performers in their teams.
2 - Invest in mentoring
86% of businesses get a return on their investment from coaching and mentoring, according to the International Coaching Federation. The numbers backing a mentoring program are already impressive, but why else is mentoring seen as such a necessity?
Mentoring offers a personalised support system for people who have previously been in the same position as mentees. A mentor helps their mentee overcome obstacles and develop
new skills - both professionally and personally.
Whether in a one-to-one process or group session, mentoring helps employees get up to speed and gives them the confidence to excel in their role. They develop specific skill sets that will enable them to go down specified career paths and potentially even with a fast track to a leadership position.
3 - Provide access to digital resources
While mentoring offers arguably the most reliable way for employees to learn on the job, it’s also important to provide access to resources. We’re reaching a stage where millennials are becoming the most important group of workforce employees. When not taking part in structured learning programs, they like to top-up their learning on smart devices, in their own time.
Instead of outdated corporate learning platforms, look at high-quality digital resources that
provide staff with instant access. Make it short, snappy and easily digestible - give them what they need when they need it, rather than overpopulated documents that don’t hold their interest.
4 - Make a step change permanent
An environment that incorporates both learning and working provides the building blocks to create better employees. This will ultimately have a positive impact on an organisation’s bottom line. As the way we work evolves, it’s essential that staff are kept up to date and grow with the times.
With these strategies in place, it will mean that in some cases managers need to relinquish an element of control to help mould a learner-centric atmosphere. If they provide the right tools and resources for employees to learn as they work, they stand a higher chance of raising staff engagement.
To survive into the future, businesses must begin to create durable and practical learning cultures. Give your employees the chance to upskill and connect with a mentor as part of their job. You’ll find you can boost staff retention rates and increase productivity, all while building trust with your teams.
Mentorjam is a Dutch startup, founded in April 2020. They were born out of frustration, and their passion and belief in the Power of Mentoring lead them to create a truly unique solution for organizations who want to deliver change through Mentoring.
The team at Mentorjam believes that every person needs a mentor. Sharing knowledge is progress, progress drives change, and change is a motivator. The Mentorjam Whitelabel Saas solution enables communities, organizations, and ecosystems of all sizes to provide mentoring solutions that really add value.
To make a difference in this world we should inwardly reflect on what we can share, teach or learn from others to really deliver change. To find out more or book a demo visit www.mentorjam.com