5 Ways Women Business Owners Can Mentor Employees for Success
As more and more women enter the business world, female mentorship is becoming increasingly important. Mentorship not only inspires women to grow and aim higher, but also creates professional networks, opens doors to leadership and entrepreneurship, and creates more opportunities for success.
Mentorship is invaluable for women who are just starting their careers or launching companies of their own because it provides an example of what they can do and who they can become. Mentorships benefit business owners as well as employees. On a personal level, serving as a mentor can make you a more understanding individual, refresh your skills, and remind you of your hard work and accomplishments. On a business level, mentorships can motivate employees, and as a result, increase job performance and advance company success.
For women business owners, mentorship does not need to be limited to the traditional one-to-one structure. Women business owners can establish a formal, company-wide mentorship program, or follow their own informal approach to mentor multiple employees simultaneously. No matter which route they choose, female entrepreneurs can mentor employees for success by listening, giving honest feedback, being transparent, supplementing employee skills, and acting as a role model.
Active listening is an essential skill for mentorship. Great mentors know that while they should provide guidance and answers, sometimes they just need to listen. Mentors should accept that their employees are likely to follow their own unique path, and should help them navigate this journey rather than put them on a set itinerary. Help your employees come to their own conclusions; don’t solve problems for them.
Give honest feedback
As uncomfortable as it is, providing constructive criticism demonstrates that you have high expectations for your employees. Employees need to hear things that others aren’t willing to say in order to better themselves and gain new skills. Additionally, the improved job performance that comes with constructive criticism can benefit your business.
One of the benefits of mentorship is the opportunity for the mentee to learn from the mentor’s mistakes. Therefore, mentors should share their professional failures as well as their successes. While it is important to highlight accomplishments in order to motivate and inspire mentees, a mentor should be open about the obstacles faced along the way.
Supplement employee skills
Business owners should help make their employees’ strengths even stronger while also identifying areas where they may be lacking. Employees with diverse skill sets are an asset to any business. Assigning new and challenging tasks and offering suggestions on how to approach existing tasks in a more effective way prepares employees for growth within the company, as well as their future beyond the company.
Act as a role model
Female entrepreneurs are a symbol of hard work and success for other aspiring businesswomen. Employees look to business owners for leadership and observe how they approach business ownership, management, and expansion. Therefore, mentors must lead by example and model their behaviors and attitudes after strong ethics, values, and standards.