Have you ever had someone take a real interest in your personal success? How did that feel?
In my workshop on employee engagement, I sometimes lead an exercise where I ask people to share experiences of when they felt a boss, teacher, or coach was truly acting like a mentor and did things that showed how much they cared about their success. In many cases, people end up describing experiences through tears of joy and appreciation, sometimes bringing the whole crowd to tears in the process. Stories come out about mentors who encouraged people to leave their jobs and go back to school; or mentors who lobbied for a promotion for the person; or who lent them their car for an important appointment. Generous acts that show true care for the mentored person are rare in most work cultures, so when they happen they make a big impact. Sometimes the impact lasts forever.
We know from Gallup studies that one of the most important questions to which we want a positive answer is: “Does someone at work seem to care about me?” In fact, when someone answers five out of five to this question, there is only a one percent chance that they will be disengaged at work. These stats are interesting, but for us at IBEX, there is only one reason to promote this kind of behaviour – it is because it is the right thing to do. It’s a reflection of our core value to “show you care in everything you do.”
Some tips for being an effective mentor:
Personally, some of the most rewarding experiences in my work life have come from helping members of my team with their personal ambitions.