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Developing Leadership Skills through Mentorships

11 months ago by Luigi Muscat Filletti
Two people discussing using notepads

Increasing the motivation, productivity and ambitions of the current workforce is not always plain sailing, and although efforts are being made to leverage employee drive and vision, Maltese companies should also prioritise employee engagement by nurturing their growth within the company.

As the Millennial generation continues to more actively participate in the workforce, focus is being made to motivate and guide these individuals, not only to achieve career success but also to lead a more prominent role within their organisation. The shifting working landscapes of the digital age are resulting in greater work flexibility - the gig economy is steadily surging, and some companies are no longer promoting remote working as an employee benefit, but rather as a standard option of working. Diversity of skill is being recognised across the workplaces of many organisations, as  digital transformation is seeing the recruitment of professionals with expertise in specific areas of their field.

‘Companies should put into place the right procedures to cordially develop the skills of these individuals in an attempt to prepare them to take on more serious roles and responsibilities’

As the demand for particular skillsets become more constraint, the employer must keep in mind that in relation to the competitive Millennial job market, this generation of individuals desire greater task ownership and the freedom to express their ideas. In other words, this segment of candidates long for the ability to directly contribute to the company’s sense of direction. Such ambitions should not be left unheard, meaning that companies should put into place the right procedures to cordially develop the skills of these individuals in an attempt to prepare them to take on more serious roles and responsibilities, ultimately shaping them into competent and proficient individuals who can confidently lead at the workplace.

‘Mentors can transfer their extensive industry knowledge and experience to younger and less experienced professionals, allowing them to gain valuable and practical insight.’

One way of nurturing employees into well-rounded contributors ready to lead is by assigning experienced industry professionals to act as direct points of reference to guide, support and provide feedback to employees. That said, mentors can transfer their extensive industry knowledge and experience to younger and less experienced professionals, allowing them to gain valuable and practical insight. In turn, mentorships contribute to the skills gap by supplying professionals with more opportunity to improve their skills. This approach is one which also contributes to the company’s employer branding strategies, by providing practical and meaningful ways for employees to progress in their careers. As a result, this becomes an integral part of the company culture, one which promotes company growth and innovation.

‘Mentors who possess skills and experience in areas such as people and project management, strategy and planning could prove to be more influential to employees, thus sharpening the soft skills needed for them to excel.’

The first stage of a successful mentorship would be identifying the objectives of the course - this meaning outlining what the employee’s desired outcomes would be, and by so doing, finding a suitable mentor who possesses the knowledge and experience which can best reach those outcomes. Additionally, mentors who possess skills and experience in areas such as people and project management, strategy and planning could prove to be more influential to employees, thus sharpening the soft skills needed for them to excel.

‘It should be a priority for companies to not only source great mentors but also ensure that they match their potential mentees’ needs and dynamics.’

It goes without saying that the relationship between the mentor and mentee does indeed make a difference, thus it should be a priority for companies to not only source great mentors but also ensure that they match their potential mentees’ needs and dynamics. Once this is settled, the next step would be structuring a consistent plan of action, one which would see a timeline of tasks complemented by feedback. Good communication between the mentor and the company should be maintained to make sure that objectives are met well.

As the nature of the workforce continues to evolve, mentorships remain a strong solution to develop the current and upcoming generation of industry leaders, whose experience first starts off humbly at the workplace.