Why Mentor Employees?
Research shows that when an organization visibly values education as a key to its success, the employee is much more likely to pursue education and training. Employers can play an important role in supporting employees in starting or returning to school to complete a degree or certificate program. By establishing a more formal mentoring or coaching approach, employers can work with employees to create individual plans and demonstrate to the employee the link between their education, personal advancement opportunities and the success of the organization.
“Education and training of employees is important in the relentless pursuit of excellence by Madison Paper. The company encourages employees to improve themselves and their ability to contribute to the Company’s total quality effort.”
Madison Paper Company Education Policy
Identify a human resources professional or training professional as a resource for questions and support for employees interested in further education
Establish peer to peer coaching as an option – pairing an employee who has started or recently completed a training or education program with another employee beginning the process. Establish regular meetings where the more experienced employee can answer questions or provide support for one just starting out.
Use workforce development professionals at local career centers or other agency – reach out to regional representatives to work with individual employees on their education goals
Positive time options for an employer to introduce the idea of continuing education or training:
During the annual review with an employee to set education goals and to talk about future opportunities.
During a recognition discussion with an employee for a job well done.
Weekly or monthly individual meetings with employees to review progress.
During a problem solving discussion or coaching session
During discussions with the employee on advancement potential or expanded responsibilities and opportunities.
STEP 1: Engage in active listening – listen to what the employee has to say, ask questions so that you understand their hopes and concerns.
STEP 2: Support the employee as they develop their education goal – be as specific as possible. Discuss supports that are available in your organization as well as the potential barriers.
STEP 3: Identify the steps to reach the goal – after each step, identify resources for follow-up.
STEP 4: Agree to meet regularly to check in on progress – establish a regular meeting time so that you can check in on progress and see if the employee needs additional support.