When it comes to growth and teaching opportunities, there are typically three types of people in a workplace—those who give without expecting anything in return, those who give but expect something in exchange, and those who take whatever is offered without feeling a need to reciprocate the gesture. Of course, as an employer seeking to foster collaboration and boost productivity, you want to create a workplace culture that encourages the first type of person. While the prospect of transitioning your entire company culture may seem daunting, it doesn’t need to be. At Menttium, we build development programs dedicated to doing just that.
You may have heard about pay-it-forward chains at coffee shops, where a customer buys coffee for the person behind them, that person pays for the person behind them, and so on. At its heart, these small acts of kindness speak to a desire to help others. In the workplace, a pay-it-forward chain might look something like seasoned employees passing on their wisdom and taking the time to engage in valuable dialogue with less-experienced employees But how, exactly, do you begin to foster this type of culture? The secret lies with career growth and development programs dedicated to utilizing your upper-level executives and unlocking the full potential of your key talent. Through lunch-and-learn programs, networking opportunities, and mentoring programs, you can inspire generosity in your own workplace.
Lunch and learn programs are designed to provide training or development opportunities over the lunch hour during a workday. These programs are typically less formal than other scheduled development or training days, and participation should be voluntary. Oftentimes, companies will provide free lunch to act as an incentive and encourage involvement.
With these types of programs, it’s important to offer a wide variety of carefully selected topics that focus on improvement and growth in the workplace. To encourage that coveted attitude of giving back, you can open up these sessions to input from executives with valuable knowledge and perspectives to share. Perhaps someone will want to lead a discussion on managing expectations across teams or on maintaining a work-life balance. You might also consider tailoring topics to different departments in your company.
Mentoring programs offer a valuable opportunity to encourage a pay-it-forward culture within your workplace. Not only do internal programs support the growth and development of rising employees, foster innovative thinking, increase engagement, and create lasting relationships, they also instill in mentees the value of generosity and the advantages of passing on wisdom to the next generation.
When your employees are well-trained and have the right resources available to them, they perform better in their jobs, while also increasing overall job satisfaction. Over the course of a mentoring program, mentees gain confidence, perspective, self-awareness, problem-solving skills, and much more. Mentees come out of their mentorship program with essential leadership skills that can help them better navigate the workplace and thrive as their careers progress. In order for these internal programs to be successful, you must have quality mentors available and willing to dedicate their time. If you find your company is currently lacking enough mentors, you may want to begin with a cross-company mentoring program and work to build your mentees up to eventually become mentors. Ultimately, by offering mentoring programs to your employees, you show interest in their continued success and development while encouraging them to do the same for those who come after.
Creating a culture of generosity and growth in the workplace doesn’t happen overnight—it takes time and strategic planning to develop programs that will encourage employees to go above and beyond within their corporate community. Mentoring programs are one of the most effective ways to foster this type of environment at a company. While both the mentor and the mentee will benefit from the relationship, the valuable work done during this partnership will stretch beyond the one pair, setting the mentee up to potentially become a mentor themselves one day. In this way, you can foster a desire to give back to the workplace amongst your employees, as well as an internal cycle of preparing rising talent for future leadership roles.
Menttium launched with a cross-company program for women 32 years ago. Since then, we have expanded our reach and graduated 80,000 men and women, who are now better prepared for both professional and personal challenges that come their way. With our customizable mentoring programs and multitude of resources such as business education webinars, partnership best practices, and just-in-time reminders, we can help put your employees on the path to achieving success. If you’re ready to change your company culture for the better and create a mentoring mentality amongst your seasoned executives, contact us today to learn more about our diverse program offerings.