What is Mentoring in the Workplace?
Do you struggle to lead people that know more than you?
A lot of the time, ecommerce business owners feel like they are at the mercy of web design and marketing ‘experts,’ who talk a confusing language. But what if you could learn to take back control?
In this blog you will learn:
The importance of mentoring people who know more than you in the workplace.
How to re-set your ecommerce strategy and enable your team to work well.
- New tactics that you can implement now to run a successful, ecommerce business.
This content was created from a facebook live - click below if you would like to watch it.
Why mentoring is important in the workplace
It’s about Confidence, Challenge and Culture.
Building a successful ecommerce business is not just about the 'techy' stuff, it’s also about the ‘fluffy’ stuff! Your team and those who work for you are the cogs that will keep your business turning. They are the ones who need to work well, feel valued and get better at what they do. As a business owner, you need to take responsibility for making sure this happens. That’s where mentoring comes in.
Mentoring means ‘to advise and train someone’" It's a verb, an action.
Providing opportunity and guidance for those in your team to learn, develop and hone their skills, will in turn add value to your business.
‘It’s a no brainer really, choose great people to work with you, teach them, provide training, see them grow and watch them, and your business soar.’
It's also pretty great for staff retention too!
As a Business Owner, My job is to get my staff to feel confident, To believe that actually they’ve got the skills to do this. They’ve got the talent to produce great results.
Mentoring your team is about building their confidence, providing challenge and constantly asking yourself
‘How can I make you better?’
‘How can I help you grow?’
Once you have decided that investing in your team is a valuble thing to do, you’re half way there. Your team will know if you value them or not.
Here's where I show you what can you do to make this happen
There are 3 key components:
CONFIDENCE Show you have confidence in your team by giving them responsibility, let them be creative, give them a task to steer – micromanaging isn’t great for anyone’s confidence.
CHALLENGE This may include sending them on a course, giving them a task you know will stretch them, show you trust them by giving them a bit of freedom. Mentoring is about more than purely skills. It’s about letting someone know that his or her development in the workplace is important to you. That you see they have the potential to get better at their job, and you want to facilitate them to do this.
CULTURE As the leader of this organisation, You have to focus a lot on culture and making sure that your company follows your values Mentoring gets to shape people and gets that culture instilled into them.
“If I inspire confidence in you, if I challenge you, and help you really get to grips with the culture of this business, then you're flying.
Now onto the slightly tricky part....
How do you do that with people who know more than you?
As an eCommerce owner, you will know, that there is plenty you don’t know! Hence why you need to employ people to do those bits for you. But how do you mentor those people? When they already are a few paces ahead of you in their skills and knowledge?
What about those people in your team who are already streets ahead of you in their skill, say for example the graphic designers of this world?
If you have a business, you want to sell via ecommerce, you know everything about your products or services, but zero about how to get an ecommerce site up and running.
You are going to get some experts on your team!
Here’s the trick – Web Designers and Web developers won’t always know it all. They throw lots of language out there which you don’t understand, they will know things you don’t, but don’t be put off by this Here’s a few tips I’ve learnt
• Ask questions, If they use lingo which doesn’t make sense to you, ask them what it means. They may just presume you will know. ( or they are blagging their way through and think if they spout a ton of jargon you won’t ask for details)
• Ask - Can you explain that? Can you help me understand?
• By asking these question’s you’re going to quickly find out if they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, or they just got caught up in their own lingo
Clarify, be clear in what you want them to deliver.
Here's a tip not many people know - starting with a beginner and mentoring them can work really well for your team and business.
Here's why ...
Let me tell you about Mark. Mark is now our Head Web Developer. Rewind 10 years and he was a total rookie. I saw in him a great work ethic, a desire to learn, so I trained him, I showed him how to do basic coding, gave him time to learn, to make mistakes, to better himself, and now, he is writing our new website, from scratch.
He is now streets ahead of me in all things coding and web development. But I have a great guy who I trust, who knows our company ethos, who works hard and has got the skills.
Lastly here's a few quick tips on how ways mentoring our whole team works on a weekly basis .....
How do you mentor people – 3 step plan
Regroup - We all get together and check our focus, where the business is going - Do we need to rethink anything? Involving your team in these chats is vital. Don't make a plan yourself and then tell them, keep them in the loop.
Monthly Meetings - A meeting with a focus to chat progress, difficulties and where we need to improve.
Ask Questions in Weekly Stand Ups A quick meeting around the board, each week. Connection is key for your team to feel you're listening.
Want a mentor yourself?
Join eCommerce Mastery - I will mentor you through video tutorials,You will also have access to a members only group where you can ask me questions, and seek advice.
We've covered the importance of mentoring individuals in your team, next time I will cover the importance of your team as a hole, 'How To Build Your ecommerce Team.'
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