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5 ways to celebrate National Mentoring Month at work

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As an employer, your goal in the long run is to help employees develop so they can reach their full potential, and there’s no better way to do that than by providing mentors. If you have an older, more experienced employee who can take rookies under his wing and impart wisdom, it will make a huge difference.

This is always important, but it’s especially an area of emphasis in January. Why? Because this is National Mentoring Month. Observing this tradition has been a trend for about 15 years now, but it’s really starting to gain traction in 2016. That’s in part because it’s caught some attention from high places – even from U.S. President Barack Obama, who’s pledged to honor everyone who helps develop the country’s youth.

“During National Mentoring Month, we honor all those who continuously strive to provide young people with the resources and support they need and deserve, and we recommit to building a society in which all mentors and mentees can thrive in mutual learning relationships,” Obama said in a press release.

According to Management Mentors, anyone can benefit from giving or receiving mentorship. These relationships tend not only to help develop people’s job skills, but also to strengthen employee engagement and facilitate better collaboration in the workplace. Everyone wins.

The following are five skills your employees can develop to improve their mentoring skills:

Active listening
First and foremost, mentors and mentees need to listen actively to one another and think carefully about each other’s opinions and feelings. This is crucial for developing relationships in the workplace.

Commitment to one’s work
Great mentors don’t sprout up overnight. They’re born out of engaged employees. If you want to impart wisdom to the next generation of workers, you should begin by working hard and developing that wisdom over time.

Dedication to each other’s success
When you’re in a mentoring relationship, you don’t just care about your own individual successes – you’re passionate about others’ work as well. Mentors and mentees should look out for each other and strive for shared successes.

Endless curiosity about others
Not that you can’t be an introvert and still be a great mentor, but in general, those who thrive in mentoring situations are those who are genuinely interested in others and work hard at building relationships. Do you fit this bill?

Stepping outside one’s comfort zone
Sometimes, achieving real success in the workplace requires being adventurous and stepping outside of your usual comfort zone. Are you willing to meet new people, learn new skills and tackle work challenges you’ve never tackled before?

Read Ceridian’s article on Harnessing Middle Managers for Engagement and Retention Success.

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