Hiring employees with skills and knowledge in the printing industry continues to be challenging. Many companies are instead hiring employees without industry skills but who have the drive and motivation to learn and grow. Properly training employees with industry skills requires a blend of education that includes in-person training, e-learning, and workplace mentoring.
Workplace mentoring is a cost-effective way for existing, well-trained staff to provide knowledge and specialized expertise to newly hired or less-experienced staff. Study after study has shown that employees who were given personal, specialized direction and feedback when working with more experienced staff boosted performance and results faster than those who were not. There are probably dozens of benefits for employee mentoring that can be cited, but if we could boil them down to the three most positive effects, they would be the following:
Mentoring Staff Fast-Tracks Your Goals
Internet search is a great way to find tidbits of information, but for significant changes in professional development, it’s not the way to go. When a less experienced staff member (a mentee) is paired with an experienced colleague (a mentor), they tap into years of professional experience and advice. A mentor will have already been through many of the scenarios and obstacles, and can provide the approach and direction needed to move forward more quickly. Best of all, that advice and guidance are presented with context relevant to specific business needs. An internet search will never be a replacement for excellent mentoring. Let’s see Google do that!
One-On-One Coaching Sets the Right Mindset
We all battle “the voice.” I’m not talking about the TV show here; I’m talking about the self-doubting, self-sabotaging little voice that keeps us from achieving our goals. It’s that voice that tells us we’re not good enough. To give up. To go back to the “old way” or the only way we know. Mentoring helps push a mentee through those situations of self-doubt with confidence, positivity, and goal-oriented focus.
Mentoring Makes for Accountability
Accountability is all about delivering on commitments. To hold a mentee to obligations, a good mentor will help set clear expectations, ensure each milestone is met, and provide honest feedback. Setting clear expectations gives a mentee a vision for your success and how to get there. Meeting milestones means agreeing on specific targets and timelines to achieve a goal. Finally, open, honest, consistent feedback from a mentor will let a mentee know precisely where they stand on reaching their destination. Feedback could be positive or negative — remember, it’s always more productive to be honest rather than nice.
PRINTING United Alliance can help augment employee training with the Alliance’s recently launched iLEARNING+ e-learning platform. Engage your staff by integrating onboarding industry training, certifications, and more into your organization with this online educational resource powered by real-world printing professionals.