What are the benefits of team building that come from having members coach one another? Coaching and mentoring encourages staff members to make a connection. When you're able to bring together employees across generations, employees who have different skill sets and ideas, you'll find that relationships form and employees are able to count on one another.
In other words, coaching and mentoring in the workplace create a foundation for solid teamwork and an environment in which everyone wants to succeed. The more that your staff is brought together and recognizes that they are a team; the more they will be able to contribute. The more your staff are able to contribute within the office on their own and with their teams (and, the better that they feel about coming into work in the morning), the more that will be accomplished.
Team building, therefore, is a vital component to having a thriving business. Strong teams are able to problem solve, lead from within, and focus on bringing staff together. When your staff members recognize business goals and are focused on helping one another succeed, you'll find that they are more productive, more present, and more committed to the success of your company - it really is as simple as that.
Although there are some key differences between coaching and mentoring, the edges are undoubtedly blurred. Mentoring is often referred to as the 'transfer of wisdom'. It is the process by which an individual learns from someone who has worn the same shoes and travelled the same path, someone metaphorically older and wiser. Often the mentor will work in the same organization, as Marion Gillie, partner at Sheppard Moscow, specialists in organizational development, confirms 'The traditional definition of a mentor is usually somebody more senior in your own organization, taking an interest and helping your career path'. Coaching on the other hand concerns itself with amplifying the individual's own knowledge and thought processes. It is about creating a supportive environment in which to challenge and develop critical thinking skills, ideas and behaviors.
Organizations implement coaching and mentoring at all levels of a company structure, from graduate recruits to the Chairman. However, as with any program or initiative, success is dependent ultimately on a high degree of senior level buy-in and commitment. Without such support, programs risk death through lack of co-ordination and focus or even disruption by power groups or individuals seeking political gain.
It is unfortunate that coaching and mentoring relationships do not typically occur automatically. Both require careful consideration of requirements, expectations and objectives. Format, content and timescales need to be formally agreed. They are dependent on mutual respect and empathy between both parties and underpinned by a shared commitment to achieving results.
Businesses to consistently strive to implement training programs on mentoring and coaching are often more successful, their employees more productive, and the morale much higher than those companies who do not take the time to ensure mentoring programs are implemented.