In the fast-paced business ecosystem, organisations are striving hard to be a step ahead. With the adoption of the latest technology and better practices of conducting business, it’s important that we understand the vitality of holistic organisational growth.

The business hierarchy is no longer top-down and the latest norm of a flat structure, with a balance of authority and responsibility, is preferred in most organisations.

Accounting for all of this, one step towards business evolution is to motivate, train and develop the most-valued resource in a business setup – the human resource. Employees are the greatest strength and their career growth is of utmost importance to any company.

Hiring the right talent, setting the correct compensation benefits and a positive work environment are what we consider key factors to a low attrition rate. Recently, we have also noticed a trend of increasing employee motivation with functional benefits, and not just monetary perks. Contrary to a common belief these benefits tend to bolster employee motivation, as effectively, if not more than monetary perks. Consequently, various organisations have now started investing heavily in employee engagement programmes.

What Are Employee Engagement Programmes

To begin with, engagement programmes are an amalgamation of leadership, skill training and development programmes.

Companies chart out year-long development plans. From specific programmes such as Manager Development Programme (MDP), to sessions on business etiquette and communication skills that are open for employees across departments. For the sales and marketing teams, extensive sessions on interviewing skills, sales capabilities and leadership effectiveness are conducted.

One such initiative called cross-functional rotational programmes are considered a great source of learning and professional development. As we enter the digital era, we want to be well aware of all kinds of information related to our job profiles.

Projects such as on-the-job internships, training programmes, and off-site schedules prove to be beneficial not only for employees, but also for employers and mentors. But before we dig deeper, let’s understand the qualities one must possess when mentors and mentees team up.

Mentors And Mentees: What’s Essential

Mentors must showcase willingness and patience to share the knowledge and expertise in their field. Along with dedicating a fair share of time for guidance and constructive feedback, a mentor must also acknowledge the professional goals of mentees, value opinions and motivate them by setting a fine example.

Mentees have an equally important role in the success of the programme. An ideal mentee sets standards, goals and correct expectations from mentor’s sessions. Moreover, they need to participate willingly and learn as much as they can. Mentees must also accept mistakes and be open to mentor’s useful feedback.

It is only when both parties work in tandem and understand long-term benefits of these initiatives, would such programmes boost organisational productivity.

At Directi, before launching a development programme, a briefing session is conducted to explain expectations from mentors and help them develop mentorship content. This content is based on mentees’ expectations and then shared with all the employees so that interested candidates to apply.

Mentees are selected based on any prerequisites that mentors have for learning a skill. Training teams also speak to mentors and mentees during the training in order to ensure that they are both in sync. These programmes at Directi have proven to be beneficial for employees, in the long run. Mentees and mentors have commended these initiatives as they encourage cross-departmental training and holistic development of both parties.

As these sessions are very interactive, participants get hands-on experience of various activities that are not part of their job role and learn skills that benefit their career in more ways than one. Moreover, mentees receive qualitative feedback as each session entails assignments and projects that evaluate their performance.

Now, let’s analyse why companies must engage in such development initiatives.

How Do These Programmes Help

In an employee development programme, both mentors and mentees stand to gain equally. While employees benefit by increased self motivation levels and sharper skills, mentors gain from the opportunity to coach and advice, thereby increasing confidence and job satisfaction.

Furthermore, employers are on the winning end as motivated and trained employees tend to remain loyal, make lesser mistakes and cut losses for the firm. The company may also use these training programmes to attract potential employees to their firm.

Another appreciated technique of training employees is to expose them to various job roles. Smaller projects, assignments or courses are the most trusted and valued method of developing employees’ potential considerably.

While most businesses have started offering internships for lower and middle level executives, professionals too, don’t shy away from the proposition of mentoring other employees. These internships provide opportunities for individuals to experiment with their job roles and take up projects that harness their creativity to build dexterity in their current job profiles.

At Directi, the Exceed Programme encourages career development amongst the workforce. It is a fixed-tenure internship course, wherein employees choose to work for a department different from their own. This initiative provides the perfect platform for participants to harness skill sets of their interest, which often helps to broaden their perspective of various job roles.

For example, copywriting for the web is a course available for both, marketing and support teams. Similarly, sessions on visual design can benefit not just product managers, but also digital marketers and developers.

This initiative aims at addressing the learning needs of a dynamic workforce and also instills appreciation of the work performed by other functions.

Note from Inc42: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.