How to use mentoring/coaching as a vehicle to help companies go through change
Mentoring and coaching are effective approaches to supporting a workforce through change, and to enhance engagement and organisational culture. In our new hybrid workplace, they can play a significant role in helping employees to manage their career paths, build resilience, and cope with change, whilst also helping the organisation to maintain business performance and enhance employee wellbeing.
There is a myth that mentoring is for used to correct problems, help struggling managers, or address performance issues. In reality, mentoring is about objective challenge and providing an experienced sounding board, to enable the client to push themselves. It is about helping people to become even better at what they do, in an environment that encourages them to develop new ideas, skills and techniques.
In the post-pandemic world of work, managers need to adapt swiftly to new technologies and volatile markets. Individuals need to be flexible, better able to collaborate and share knowledge with colleagues, and quicker to learn new ways of doing things. Mentoring helps the individual collate, absorb, and process new perspectives and ideas.
Change in progress
Change is a given, and the business environment is no different. Technological advances, legislative change, evolving consumer tastes, socio-economic and demographic changes all mean businesses and leaders must evolve to survive and thrive. External mentoring from experienced professionals can help make that process smoother, easier, and less stressful.
We are all resistant to change but managing it is essential for successful leadership. An external mentor with relevant industry experience can help with improving communication, creating a more collaborative culture, and ensuring the team are engaged and committed to the vision and values espoused by leadership.
Times of transition
During any time of change or transition, mentoring and coaching can help establish and build a community culture across the organisation. In times of uncertainty, employees may feel less confident about the future. This can affect their performance and may lead to talented people leaving the organisation. A mentoring programme focused on improving knowledge sharing and morale can address employees’ fears, make them more resilient and productive, and boost retention rates.
A mentoring programme is an effective investment to deal with the practical challenges encountered during times of transition. Providing flexible and personalised guidance and support in dealing with change, offers powerful tools in supporting your employees through the stages of transition.
Mentoring and coaching help employees plan, develop, and manage their careers. It helps build resilience in times of change, enhances self-reliance and self-directed learning. It encourages the development of leadership competencies which are often more easily gained through example, guided practice or experience than by education and training.
Mentoring for change management
The benefits attributed to coping with change mentoring include:
- Greater understanding of the roles and responsibilities to deal with change
- Developing greater confidence and self-awareness as a leader
- Learning and absorbing from the mentor how he/she has dealt with change in their own career
- Having a safe and confidential environment to exchange ideas on how best to deal with change
- Helping the mentee to take responsibility to make changes
Mentoring does not aim to give a client the answers. Instead, it offers a process for the client to share knowledge and experiences, test ideas, and receive objective feedback. This will enable the client to process the situation and context to decide what to do for themselves.