Alison Martin is the Founder and CEO of Engage Mentoring, a mentoring movement seeking to elevate people in the workplace. She is also the author of Learning to Lead Through Mentoring: 8 Mentoring Lessons to Help You Pursue Meaningful Mentoring Relationships.
Alison’s passion for mentorship comes from reflecting on the opportunities she had early in her career. She credits her success to the great mentors who helped her realize her leadership potential. Because of the positive effect mentorship has had on both her professional and personal life, she now strives to equip others with the opportunity for meaningful mentor relationships.
In this throwback episode, listen as Alison and Nikki discuss how mentorship can increase employee engagement. Not only does it help transfer knowledge to help mold strong leaders, but Alison believes it gives employees a stronger sense of purpose knowing there’s someone else invested in their development.
Truth You Can Act On:
1. Learn and Master Feedback
Alison Martin: “As I look back, there are several people that come to mind, honestly, but the one that was really instrumental in my career was a woman by the name of Pat. I first met Pat when I put my hat in the ring for a position that I was wholly unqualified for, and she gave me an interview anyway. And I ended up working for Pat for a period of time. And she was both. So when I reported to, but also a mentor for me, which not always is the case for most people, but she was, she really took me under her wing and gave me the feedback that I needed when I needed it, and that’s not always fun, but that’s what ultimately helps you grow.”
2. Develop a Personal Board of Directors
Alison Martin: “In other words, if I want to develop my skills as a public speaker, or I want to be more effective as a team builder, I can go in and identify people who have identified that particular competency. And it’s a much faster way to learn than going out and having to take a course or look at some other resource. And finally, the last category is having a career mentor. Someone who really understands what your career goals are and can help you really see a path and offer strategic advice for how you’re going to get there. And so whether you have one person, or multiple people, it’s not the frequency as much as it’s really feeling like you have a well-rounded personal board of directors.”
3. Leaders Must Participate
Alison Martin: “On the surface, you look at mentoring, you think, okay, that’s a learning strategy. So we’re going to help people who have knowledge and wisdom to transfer that knowledge to the next generation. And certainly, we can all agree that that is an important piece of this, but mentoring also impacts employee engagement because like I said, feeling like there’s someone else there who is pouring into you really cares about your development is a critical piece in the overall engagement. Iit also impacts diversity inclusion. So being able to connect to others on the basis of the knowledge and really empowered to take charge of your own development. And then lastly, I think just an overall culture in terms of when you teach people how to teach and how to lead effectively for others.”
4. Measuring Impact Through Intentionality
Alison Martin: “We first seek to understand if they are in fact measuring employee engagement numbers and what those numbers are telling them. And so through their diagnostic services, what’s our baseline? Because that helps us really understand what it is we’re trying to accomplish and what we’re trying to impact. And so, over time seeing movement and the numbers of people who are actively engaged, seeing things like promotability as a result of structured mentoring. So we try to seek to understand, you know, what are your employee engagement numbers telling you now, and how are you measuring that?”
- Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex by Aubrey Marcus