Why the best managers mentor, not micromanage – and how to build a workplace of stayers

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As someone who’s been in my field for about six years, I’ve experienced the process of working my way up the corporate ladder under several management/mentoring styles, with one type of manager that stands out – the one that empowers you.

Some might go as far to say that without acknowledgement for great work, and being offered guidance over being told what to do,  you’re not only having the morale zapped out of you, but you’re bound to be looking for where the grass is greener.

A recently released Employee Retention Report confirms that micromanagement drives all kinds of employees away, but Generation Y are the least likely to stand for it, even if they are in the infancy of their careers.

So how can we all work towards mentoring, and why is this better for all parties? Here’s a few tips based on what we’re all looking for:

As the manager:

The best managers acknowledge that they too can learn from their team.

Even the most senior staff members can benefit from looking at something from a new perspective. Embrace your team and their creativity by asking them questions, seeking their input on creative ideas and concepts, and encouraging them to challenge ideas should they have an alternative viewpoint.

Offer growth opportunities, either internally or externally.

Research confirms that the recipe to employee satisfaction is feeling not only appreciated, at work, but also challenged – it’s about striking the right balance between the two. If you’ve got a staff member hungry to try something new or to tackle a larger task, be grateful for their enthusiasm and offer them the challenge. Your feedback and guidance on the task at hand will allow them to grow and in turn, will build a more talented team member.

Be the team cheer squad.

The best kind of manager is the one who tells you that you can do something when you think you can’t, and has faith in your abilities. Your team are an extension of you, so be their biggest fan and you will reap the rewards of loyalty and hard work.

As the employee:

Ask to take on new challenges.

If you’re feeling less than inspired at work and want to tackle a new task, speak up – your manager will appreciate you asking to take on more. It’s important to be vocal about your interests and goals, and to seek opportunity and guidance on how to achieve them.

Use feedback as a way to grow.

It’s okay to ask questions, and it’s important to understand why perhaps a piece of work you produced or an idea you had was changed by your manager. Proactively seeking feedback from your manager is the best way to show you value their opinion and want to learn, and will help you understand each other better.

Praise goes two ways.

It’s great when your manager celebrates a piece of work you have produced, but do you stop to tell your manager or your fellow colleagues when they’ve done well? Well, you should…they’ll appreciate it as much as you do!

A blog post by Kate Carey, Account Manager at P4 Group.

Do you have any tips on great mentoring? Let us know in the comments below, or connect with me on LinkedIn here

We’re incredibly proud of the culture we’ve built here at P4 Group. Interested in learning more about us? Check out our website