Mentoring is a powerful tool for developing your staff and, ultimately, your ministry.
This is especially true when jobs are tight and people are being asked to take on more tasks and step into more roles. The organizations I have worked with on mentoring have seen dramatic improvements in their workforce, such as increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, better organizational communication, increased motivation, and growth in the appreciation of peoples’ strengths that leads to higher organizational performance.
Mentoring does not need to be a complicated process or program. In fact, within certain parameters and given good preparation, it is one of the most basic, organic forms of training available. Through the encouragement mentoring provides, your staff members are more engaged; they see that their efforts matter; and they are happy to be moving forward professionally. Mentoring allows their passion for their work to surface in powerful ways, opening up opportunities for creativity and innovation.
Mentoring can be effective in any work context. It can be done across distance; with all generations, genders, and global cultures; and with all skill levels. Today’s technology makes dynamic mentoring relationships possible. Mentoring enables exponential knowledge expansion and limitless skill development opportunities, expanding your ministry and God’s reach in critical ways.
THE BENEFITS OF MENTORING
In a successful mentoring program, it is important for everyone involved to buy in to the program wholeheartedly. To do this, everyone involved should understand and believe in the benefits of participating. The benefits for a mentor and mentee were highlighted in an earlier blog post, 24 Benefits of Mentoring Relationships. But there are also many benefits for the ministry.
FOR YOUR MINISTRY
- Manages stress and change while promoting higher productivity
- Aligns the ministry’s goals with personal goals of the employees (which may also help garner support for new organizational initiatives and transitions)
- Improves motivation
- Raises productivity through specific goal setting
- Reduces turnover and enhances satisfaction
- Enhances communication
- Provides a faster and more robust transfer of knowledge and skills
- Provides for better succession planning
- Promotes organizational mission identity
- ?Offers inclusion through more positive relationships within a diverse organizational culture
THE MENTORING IMPACT
A 2008 study by Noble Business Solutions reported that the internal challenges businesses experience had to do with human resources more than corporate systems — motivation, developing the next generation of leaders, the sense of team, and other human capital issues. They also assert that having a great, positive team is a huge competitive advantage since people issues so often get in the way of forward progress. (Business Challenges, 2008 Survey, Noble Business Solutions)
And according to a 2008 doctoral study by Lily Benavides at the University of San Francisco, The Impact of Executive Coaching on the Organizational Performance of Female Executives, training dollars were best spent in conjunction with mentoring, because the return on this investment in training was six times the actual dollars spent — well worth the effort because of the potential for impact on personal, professional, and ministry development.
It seems that mentoring is a critical tool for developing people in organizations. Knowing this, what exactly is mentoring? There are a number of definitions out there. One that I have found helpful is this:
Mentoring is a reciprocal and collaborative learning relationship between two (or more) individuals who share mutual responsibility and accountability for helping a mentee work toward achievement of spiritually integrated, clear, and mutually-defined learning goals.
Dr. Liz Selzer is the founder of Mentor Leadership Team. Liz has served as Christian Leadership Alliance faculty at the Outcomes Conference, been featured on monthly webcasts, and will launch a CLA Online Academy module in the Spring of 2015. This post is an except from her 2013 Spring Outcomes Magazine article.
Advance your leadership legacy. Become a mentor. Find a mentor. Make a difference.