EP 53: The Power of Mentorship with Traci Scherck

The Power of Mentorship

There are many times in our lives when we become uncertain of where we should be headed, or perhaps we require a gentle push in the right direction. The same goes for our staff within our organizations. Having someone there to guide them when they are unsure, or to teach them the right way, is essential to the growth and success of our businesses. So, in this episode, Traci will be sharing a deeper dive into the topic of mentorship, specifically explaining how having a mentoring program can elevate your organization. 

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • Common types of mentors and how they apply to you. (2:10)
  • How to ensure your staff feels content in your organization. (5:30)
  • The importance of clear communication with your staff. (9:30)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Create formal programs that allow individuals to be recognized for their hard work. (15:23)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Invest in your own learning and be transparent about your own vulnerabilities. (15:00)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“Create a clear organizational expectation for both learning and teaching.” - Traci Scherck Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Welcome to 2022 and.the talent optimization podcast my name is Tracy Scherck and we are thrilled to ring in the new year right.

Traci Scherck: One of the things that we really looked at in our reflection on 2021 in our planning for 2022 is how we take care of others.

Traci Scherck: How we take care of our staff, how we lead how we grow as ourselves, and how we grow those individuals that we’re working with right whether it’s a new hire coming in, for their first day, as we know, the busiest day of the year for applying for jobs is the first work day back after.

Traci Scherck: The holiday break and guess what we are there so as we look at how we’re going to take care of our staff this year.

Traci Scherck: One of those things that we want to do is talking about mentoring, so our topic for this month is mentoring and mentoring, has so many different.

Traci Scherck: meanings behind it.

Traci Scherck: With those different meanings we’re going to dive into a couple of them throw out this month, we have a couple different guests are going to come on and talk about different mentoring programs that they have implemented inside of their organizations.

Traci Scherck: So there are three key definitions that will cover this month with with mentoring, so we have mentorship, which is that trusted counselor provided guidance and support on a range of professional issues.

Traci Scherck: And that could include career progression now there’s a couple different types of mentors right, so a mentor can be an individual that’s really working with someone that is pretty far in their career that’s looking to up level.

Traci Scherck: A mentor could be someone that’s really like that new hire buddy.

Traci Scherck: In those words can be used interchangeably so I just wanted to find what it is so that, as we talked about it, you either have that in our organization or Oh, I would like that that would be really nice so.

Traci Scherck: With That being said, the next one that we’re going to talk about is the.

Traci Scherck: apprenticeship, and there is a thought here on how we tie in apprenticeship and mentorship inside of organizations mackenzie has a phenomenal article that came out late last year.

Traci Scherck: really talking about how do we build an apprenticeship and a mentorship program inside of our organizations.

Traci Scherck: specifically about that that one on one interaction of training and the learning that individual does as we up level in our roles.

Traci Scherck: And then the next thing that we are going to talk about is the formal and informal mentoring programs, because they are both out there.

Traci Scherck: And the formal programs typically have some sort of an application process to them you’re taking individuals through this their formal meeting with a mentor.

Traci Scherck: There are specific outcomes that is meant to be matched there and mentoring is different than coaching.

Traci Scherck: In February we’re going to talk a lot about how we create a coaching culture inside of our organization.

Traci Scherck: mentoring is more that that one on one conversation to up level we’re coaching is the way in which we give feedback and really create the space for an individual to think for themselves.

Traci Scherck: In that space that safe, which is psychological safety right so when we create psychological safety what we’re doing is you’re creating a safe environment for an individual to grow into name of those key things are.

Traci Scherck: So let’s dig into the different types of mentoring so as best businesses emerged from the pandemic.

Traci Scherck: We know that more than 80% of them based critical gaps of the skills needed to build resilience and only 42% of employees are.

Traci Scherck: Taking up employer supported rescaling and upscaling opportunities I don’t know about you, but that sounds completely off to me and it sounds accurate.

Traci Scherck: So why are only half of our staff taking a reskilling and upscaling opportunities.

Traci Scherck: So we’re not in the street right, so what i’m hearing when i’m chatting with our clients about this is there are some of the time, there is no time for reskilling we’re so focused on doing the thing to get it done that we’re not reskilling upscale.

Traci Scherck: I get it right and we see this as well, so the question is how do we create some of that reskilling and upscaling bits with in the context.

Traci Scherck: Of the job that we’re currently doing that we’re building it into the fabric of the infrastructure of the organization.

Traci Scherck: The other question is, if you look at your staff that have left you look at those staff that.

Traci Scherck: You know, are part of this great resignation what were the reasons that they left, and if you haven’t done exit interviews with them.

Traci Scherck: You know exit interviews can be valuable, we would prefer and we recommend that we do stay interviews, because you have the ability to make the change and trade.

Traci Scherck: But if you don’t know why individuals would laugh, this is a really, really great question.

Traci Scherck: And it’s beyond money right because money is that number one thing that individuals are going to see when they leave and it’s so far beyond that.

Traci Scherck: So what exactly is it in the organization, as to why they’re leaving a lot of it is they don’t feel supported either by their manager.

Traci Scherck: By their team, or they don’t have those upward mobility opportunities so with those things being said how do we specifically create that in the organization and one of those ways to do that.

Traci Scherck: is to build in mentorship programs, in order to do that and guess what there’s so much to learn and there’s not a lot of time to do that, formally, so we need to do that day to day, and this takes.

Traci Scherck: us as leaders inside the organization being very cognizant about what that is that we’re doing so let me give you an example, and this is where my own examples right so.

Traci Scherck: I have a project that needs to be done and I assign that project out and say hey this project needs to be done.

Traci Scherck: here’s the High Level goals boom boom here’s what I want this to look like when we’re done and I walk away right, this is typical maverick fashion.

Traci Scherck: And if you don’t know what a maverick is it’s one of the behavioral profiles that predictive index has there are 17 of them.

Traci Scherck: And they really help us a know ourselves better and know specifically how we need to be self aware and specific situations, this is one of those okay.

Traci Scherck: And who we’re working with so that as we’re working with other individuals we know here’s what that person needs and if i’m managing them, I know that I need to manage them in a certain way.

Traci Scherck: And they also know that if I completely stressed out.

Traci Scherck: This is where I will default to right so it’s an understanding and it’s kind of a dance to say how do we both given take a bit to to meet the business needs of the organization and to ensure we have an awesome working.

Traci Scherck: Environment together so back to my story so with this, I assign this task it’s high level boom boom, this is what we need.

Traci Scherck: This individual is super detail oriented and very process focused I don’t have a process that I gave her right I just said, this is what I do so, I come back and I see it’s not what I want and it’s not what I need to deliver to my client so.

Traci Scherck: I have a couple different choices here right, I can get upset about it and go and quickly, you know go through and rewrite the whole thing send it out to the client get it done it’s done facts check done but let’s go back to this relationship right did this individual learn anything.

Traci Scherck: Did they learn what needs to happen in order to up level to get to specifically the business outcomes that we’re looking for, and specifically the project outcomes and outputs to the quality.

Traci Scherck: And the quantity that we’re looking for in this specific situation answers not and if we ask a deeper level question is how did.

Traci Scherck: You both feel about that situation on both sides, the answer is not very good at, and that starts to breed frustration so that’s one way of doing this let’s take a look at another way of doing.

Traci Scherck: Another way of doing this is, we can me right So whoever that leader is really pay attention to how do we delegate tasks.

Traci Scherck: and ensuring that we’re delegating tasks in a way that needs what the individual needs right so whether it is there is very specific to it or you’re creating a process in your system that says.

Traci Scherck: We are requiring that you give us feedback, if you have a question I want you to ask those questions.

Traci Scherck: And when those questions are asked, I want you to answer that question yourself, and then I will answer it for you, once that’s done.

Traci Scherck: So that is a system that we built inside of our organization and it’s called our questions list and that questions list is been out there for any employee that’s interested in, you know curious about.

Traci Scherck: hey I have this situation i’m under someone else’s asked that before that I can learn myself what I need to do right so that’s one way that we can do that.

Traci Scherck: um another way is instead of me just going and completing this task and getting it done and being frustrated about it, I can say okay.

Traci Scherck: When does this thing need to be done by i’m going to be doing the work anyway What would it look like if we had a working meeting.

Traci Scherck: And we sat down together and really completed this project together so it’s still meets the quality expectations.

Traci Scherck: That our clients expect the quality expectations that our organization expects and we’re up leveling this employee, at the same time, in a way that doesn’t feel threatening right that psychological safety is incredibly important that is a form of mentoring, at the end of that.

Traci Scherck: That individual has been given the one on one guidance to get to where they need to go, so that the next time that they do it, the goal is that they can do it on their own.

Traci Scherck: Now, if this happens, three or four times and they still can’t do it on their own, we potentially have a performance issue that we need to address, however, if I as the leader continue to do this thing on my own what happens is more and more piles on my plate might overwhelm goes up.

Traci Scherck: Which means i’m not necessarily self aware in the situations i’m working in with my staff which resignation right so with That being said, those are some key things that we can look at and.

Traci Scherck: The article that’s in the show notes from mackenzie does a really great job of lining there’s four key steps to this.

Traci Scherck: And those four key steps that they have is one pre to clear organizational expectation for both learning and teaching, so what is that organizational expectation.

Traci Scherck: And that is for every single individual in every single level of the organization.

Traci Scherck: Second, is to build apprenticeship skills and every employee, and so you can replace that word whatever you want right apprenticeship mentorship you know leadership, whatever right.

Traci Scherck: But you need to build those skills and every single employees, so that they are always bringing others into the conversation, so that we can learn about those things together.

Traci Scherck: And the third is to identify skill sets that individuals need to build So what exactly do they need one of the tools that we love.

Traci Scherck: is a tool, called the predictive index because it allows us to really see what an individual’s behavioral strengths are.

Traci Scherck: so that we know one we have them in the right role right that’s, the key to retention to we have them on the right team that’s aligning to the strategy so that we can ensure that there is that collaboration within the team, so my strengths.

Traci Scherck: Are someone else’s weaknesses and my weaknesses or someone else’s strengths right that’s really going to allow us to get those key things done and there’s also skill sets within that So where do we need to be self aware, is it skill sets like let’s say that it is.

Traci Scherck: Business writing skills or excel skills right so when we can identify what those skill sets are and bring in some professional development, and some training to support them what we’re telling them is.

Traci Scherck: We value you we want you to grow, but we’re going to do it in the context of your current job because there’s so much growth within your job.

Traci Scherck: And then the fourth is to be brought it and inclusive about who can be involved in these programs.

Traci Scherck: As you’re going to hear throughout this month we’re going to talk about new hires and individuals that have not been in a supervisory position for but have the aptitude for it heather.

Traci Scherck: dobson from corporate contractors and I will have that conversation next week we’ll also have a conversation about more formal mentoring programs, and what that looks like for high potentials.

Traci Scherck: and individuals and organizations that are looking to grow, and then we will have a conversation at the end of the month it’s specifically related to those external power partners and how they mentor others and these can be attorney is these can be accountants, these can be.

Traci Scherck: Leadership coaches right but there’s different ways, you can mentor and coach others and it doesn’t always have to be in that one on one fashion that we talked about today.

Traci Scherck: here’s what we know overall research has shown that 76 of professionals believe that mentors are important for career growth.

Traci Scherck: Get only 54% of response that 54% of respondents do not have a mentor and amongst senior level staff only 8% have had a mature and I will name for you.

Traci Scherck: That having a mentor have been a game changer for me early in my career and it’s something that was something it wasn’t a formal mentorship was very much an informal mentorship.

Traci Scherck: But it was that individual that sonny bigger than I saw myself that also we had built the trust that she could point out.

Traci Scherck: that’s probably not going to serve you very well right so Those are just some things you want to think about as you build a mentorship Program.

Traci Scherck: So a key takeaway for our executive listeners is this leaders who tangibly invisibly invest in our own learning in our transparent about their role vulnerability is create that psychological safety.

Traci Scherck: That creates an environment where individuals can learn and also teach right it gives others that permission and for HR listeners listening in.

Traci Scherck: You know, create the programs that are formal that allows individuals to be recognized for that and also continue along their career pathway inside of the organization, so that you don’t lose them.

Traci Scherck: Because they didn’t feel that they were either respected or had the opportunity to necessarily grow.

Traci Scherck: So with That being said, if any of this is interesting to you, we have a six month program that will be starting in early February you’re going to see the watch for it at the end of this month, and that is our higher Program.

Traci Scherck: And that takes you all the way through, how do we get from business strategy to those business results specifically focusing on hiring.

Traci Scherck: This is the compliance portion of HR this is looking at compensation in our org charts, this is a formalized structure and process for.

Traci Scherck: recruiting pre boarding employees going through the orientation onboarding which includes a mentorship program so if this is interesting to you.

Traci Scherck: check it out in the show notes and we cannot wait to see you next week, as we talk with heather dobson from CCI about their mentorship program have a great week.