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How Mentoring Makes Great Managers: Top Tips For Your Manager Training Program

  • 02/05/2023
  • Fatima Nadeem
  • 5 mins read

Did you know that 58% of managers report receiving no management training to prepare them for the role?

This percentage is concerning when you consider that a good manager is often the difference between a successful employee and an employee that churns. 

And remember that a managers role is not just supervising or coordinating; team members often look to their managers for guidance and support. This is why proper mentorship training should be essential for any management training program. 

Not only does it benefit the managers and improves their leadership, communication, and people skills, but it also encourages employees to learn new skills from their superiors and hone existing ones. 

In this guide we’ll break down why manager training is important and how mentoring managers is essential to successful employee development.

Why is manager training important? 

Managers are the glue that hold departments together and ensure a seamless workflow. So getting their training right is essential for smooth operations. 

But that’s not all—managers are the custodians of your culture, they act as a go-between from senior leadership and employees and play an essential role in your company culture. 

There are decision-makers at the top, and then there are the technical departments under them that work on planning, designing, and executing their plans. Managers are the middlemen between the two, ensuring clean communication across the board and that both sides understand the other’s complexities, ideas, and limitations. 

Proper training for managers and employees is important in making sure managers understand their role, responsibilities and the skills they need to operate effectively. Making sure that managers are equipped with the right skills early on, makes sure they are able to operate effectively from the start. 

Why do managers need mentorship? 

Regardless of how capable someone is, there are things they’ll need to improve at and mentorship can provide this. In these scenarios, a mentor can significantly help—their purpose is to guide and nurture the other and bring out their full potential. 

On top of this, when mentors practise acting as mentors themselves, they are able to develop the relationship building, communication and leadership skills they need as managers.

📖 Read more on the powerful benefits of mentoring in our guide 📖

Mentorship also provides a much-needed support system for someone getting used to a new position that may need to polish their essential skills to tackle the hurdles that come with it. Moreover, it forms an environment that encourages learning, communication, boosts confidence, and improves performance. 

This is because active learning opportunities are presented to everyone—and 76% of the previous generation (Millennials) consider this crucial in the company culture. This is important because, by 2025, the global workforce will comprise 75% of millennials. 

📖 Find out why leaders needing coaching and mentoring too 📖

How does mentoring transform manager training?

Traditional manager training consists of training sessions and seminars, but most are theoretical and don’t provide valuable practical experience. Those promoted to managers generally have good work records, people skills, and an excellent understanding of the company dynamics. So it’s easy to think that they’ll be able to handle anything you throw at them because they have done so in the past. 

This places unwanted pressure and expectations on the individual to perform just as before—even if the workload differs and job responsibilities vary entirely. 

Introducing a mentorship program to help the new and old employees settle into their management positions negates this by taking the pressure and fear of failing away. Instead, through acting as mentor and mentee they can build their skills and confidence. 

With veteran employees in their corner, they can ask for help and guidance related to their work or even regarding issues outside of work. This forms a bond that can last for years and develop a mutual understanding and respect for each other. Eventually, they become mentors for others, and the cycle continues. 

Managers learn and experience how it feels to be a young or new hire in a new position and the pressure that comes with it. As a result, they fear making mistakes and hesitate in openly communicating and making decisions—managers understand that everyone makes mistakes, and to make mistakes is to learn.  

They guide them through these hurdles because they can relate to them. This creates a less stressful working environment where employees are confident, satisfied, producing high-quality work and feeling secure about their jobs. These factors combined increase retention rates, a goal of any organisation small or large. 

📖 Don’t forget, mentoring is a powerful tool in succession planning too! 📖

How to develop a mentorship program for new managers

There are a few steps you need to take to embed mentoring into your manager training program.

1. Set milestones

The first order of business is to set milestones to accurately gauge the progress of each pairing and the mentorship as a whole. Setting goals increases productivity as it gives employees something to strive towards. 

Moreover, milestones can be customised according to each pair to focus on areas needing improvement.

2. Choose a method 

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to mentoring. Each individual has their way of teaching and guiding. Some shine in 1:1 settings where they can get to know each other closely.

On the contrary, others may find it easy to engage with larger audiences—just like how you would find a college professor delivering their lecture to a room full of students. These people may prefer group mentoring

89% of employees reported wanting virtual training sessions which can be accessed from anywhere—so why not extend this to mentoring as well? Some offshore teams and employees prefer to work from home, so virtual mentoring will make the culture more inclusive.

3. Pair mentors and mentees together

This is the most crucial stage of developing a mentorship program, as a wrong pairing could be counterproductive. 

Mentors must have a desire to guide and nurture others and the patience to deal with the hurdles that will come their way. Another vital aspect to focus on is pairing the mentee with a mentor that compliments their weaknesses and provides the necessary guidance to overcome them. 

To ensure effective matching, you can use mentoring software. Platforms such as Guider use smart matching technology to create pairings that last.

4. Feedback to measure the success 

There should be plenty of encouragement for the mentors and mentees to meet up regularly. It can be in-person meetings, virtual calls, or an informal setting such as lunches or coffees depending on the pair.

The success of mentoring can be measured not only through tracking how much pairs meet but through regular surveys and feedback forms, as well as whether or not goals are being met.

📖 Find out more in our guide How to Start a Mentoring Program 📖

Using mentoring software to run your mentorship program 

While implementing a mentorship program might seem straightforward on paper, implementing it can be difficult when you factor in the amount of manual matching admin required to scale an effective program.

While manually vetting the candidates and pairing them together is an option, it runs the risk of human error. A much better approach is to use mentoring software to evaluate the candidates based on these factors and pair them together. This ensures high compatibility, productivity, and efficiency. 

Now that you have a better understanding of why mentoring is essential for managers, departments, employees, and the company, consider creating a mentorship training program for your managers. 

If you’re interested in implementing mentoring software in your company to help managers reach their full potential—book a demo today!