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BW Businessworld

Does Mentorship Benefit Employees?

EO has helped me in my business, too. Discussing ideas, sharing issues, giving and taking input from various global entrepreneurs — all of it helped me in developing a well-rounded view of my business

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In my years of experience running a professional talent search firm, I have met a lot of human resource heads of established companies. While conversing with a senior executive who had received a lucrative offer from a bigger and better company, he told me he was apprehensive to join the bigger company. He wasn’t sure if in the new company, he would find as good a mentor as he already had. That made me sit up and take notice, especially since I was absolutely certain that the person would take up the new offer.

As an aftermath of the aforementioned conversation, I began researching about what companies were doing by way of mentorship. Subsequently, I made sufficient notes to feel confident about starting a mentorship programme of our own.

The salient points included:

1. Identifying the objective: The first step is to be clear on what a mentee wants out of a programme. We sit with mentees to identify their apprehensions and aspirations.

2. Getting an apt mentor: Depending on the needs of mentees, our company looks for mentors internally or externally. A mentor could even be a customer. For example, when we were looking to enter the U.K. market, the person who mentored our sales lead there was a customer. A good mentor could even be a junior, as well.

3. Fixing the quid-pro-quo: What would both parties—the mentor and mentee—gain? Both should gain from the programme, and the potential benefits must be outlined.

4. Committing to a common goal: Once the mentor and mentee are identified, they both need to agree toward a common goal. The goal usually has a 12-month horizon, and it is broken into monthly milestones. We encourage mentors to share experiences as opposed to giving theoretical knowledge. In the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), this is called Gestalt Language Protocol. Sharing from experiences creates a non-threatening environment and allows for others’ to learn and grow at their own pace.

5. Monitoring: The progress of both the mentor and the mentee is checked quarterly. At the end of the 12-month programme, they both submit a detailed
report on what they gained and any two things that could have been done better.

The “Fast Trackers Forum” was our first batch internally. The results were better than expected. Not only were the objectives met, but, by working collaboratively, the overall understanding in our organization improved, and we had an almost 100 percent retention. In fact, the programme showcased such great performance that we started offering it as a consulting service to our clients. After I saw merit in the mentoring programme, I started looking for a mentor for myself. With 12,000 members in 50 countries, EO has a great platform for mentorship. I put in a request for finding a mentor who could help me become a better parent. I was assigned to an excellent person who, apart from being an educator, was an extremely successful parent himself with grown-up kids. His insights help me shape my perspectives on parenting, and I feel I am a much better father and a more engaged parent than I was before. That’s the magic of mentorship in EO.

EO has helped me in my business, too. Discussing ideas, sharing issues, giving and taking input from various global entrepreneurs — all of it helped me in developing a well-rounded view of my business. It helped me structure my thoughts and enabled me to escalate toward higher goals. In 2008, when I entered a joint venture with the GI Group for staffing, my forum of 6-8 fellow entrepreneurs shared ideas on how to structure the deal and get the best out of it.

Later, when I sold my business, the same group helped me steady my ship. In EO, there’s a commitment to 3600 support, wherein the focus is on helping entrepreneurs become better leaders in their businesses, communities, families and personal lives. What’s more, EO organises workshops that help people become well-rounded individuals, educating them on everything from parenting to creating more balance in your work and life. I’m thankful to EO for helping me become a stronger leader in my personal and professional life.

Vipul Prakash is a serial entrepreneur, investor and innovator. He is currently incubating a social enterprise HUM and a global executive search firm wowJobs, which is headquartered in Dubai. He joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization in 2006, and since then, EO has helped him learn, grow and lead alongside entrepreneurs who run medium to large businesses, which has resulted in developing a well-rounded view of his own business.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Vipul Prakash

Vipul Prakash is a serial entrepreneur, investor and innovator. He is currently incubating a social enterprise HUM and a global executive search firm wowJobs, which is headquartered in Dubai. He joined Entrepreneurs’ Organization in 2006 and EO helped him discuss ideas, issues and share inputs from various entrepreneurs who run medium to large businesses, which resulted in developing a well-rounded view of his own business.

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