Do you have a work mentor?  Some may say yes, while others have no idea what I'm referring to.  Gail Cruikshank is the Talent Director for the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.  She joined me on WJON to talk about how having a work mentor can really help someone grow in their job, remain engaged, and could help with employee retention.  Cruikshank highlights the following:

What does a mentorship mean?:

• The definition of mentoring is when someone shares their knowledge, skills, and experience with another person to help them to progress.

• Mentorship is a professional, working alliance in which individuals work together over time to support the personal and professional growth, development, and success of the relational partners through the provision of career and psychosocial support. Does not need to be someone within your organization.

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• Mentorship can take on many forms including helping develop a future leader, managing an intern, coaching someone who desires to learn more or work in your field

Gail Cruikshank (photo - Jay Caldwell)
Gail Cruikshank (photo - Jay Caldwell)

• Mentorships can be established in any phase of life; forged through networking, professional organizations and mutual friends. Strategies to Identify a Mentor or become a Mentor:

• 3 C’s of Mentorship – James Griffin Cole o Connection – deep meaningful bond of mutual respect o Communication – open and honest dialogue

o Collaboration – active participation from both parties, combining strengths and perspectives to achieve mentee’s goals. 5 Stages of Mentoring:

• Rapport Building – creating mutual trust, respect and understanding

• Setting Direction – set goals of mentee and how mentor will support mentee

• Progression – learning development and challenge. Deepen role model influence/provide counseling

• Winding Down –Mentor focuses on ensuring the mentee is set up for success

• Transitioning – transition from structured mentoring process to more autonomous phase. Does not mean end of the relationship. When mentee and mentor understand how to navigate forward, both can maximize their growth and development. Keys to remember:

• Structured relationship but also organic and tailor made to needs. • Flexibility, pivoting as needed and personalization will enhance the effectiveness and long lasting impact for both parties.

• The Match is KEY Benefits of In- House Mentorships – Express Employment • 54% upskilling/reskilling

• 34% attracting prospective employees
• 30% cultivating stronger employee relationships
• 29% keeping experienced employees engaged
• 24% reducing brain drain

Bottom Line: Observing, learning, and utilizing recommendations from someone in the field or passionate to help you formulate your career is priceless. How does this help our economy/region?

Our region has so much talent right here – all with different passions and ideas of their perfect job. Finding someone that can help mentor you along the way will help you achieve your goals while also filling the mentor’s cup.

• Employers need to listen to their employees and identify if you can match an employee to a mentor or could be a mentor to someone.

• We need to ensure all employees have a path whatever that direction is – promotion, laterally, additional community engagement – all employees need to feel engaged and valued resulting in the attainment of their “why”. The future is bright for reflecting on what you do and why you do it. Remind yourself of all your capabilities, all you have been through and all you have accomplished.

Reflect, re-energize and reset for a great year ahead with the support of a mentor/influencer/sounding board.

In closing, to share ideas/feedback with Gail Cruikshank, go to where you can find several employer resources highlights all you our community has to offer in addition to job opportunities within a 3 - county region.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Gail it is available below.



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