Saturday, October 2, 2010

Flash Mentoring: A Way to Enhance Employee Performance

Flash Mentoring: A Way to Enhance Employee Performance

by Eric Frankel

As mentoring plays a key role in the development of employees, employers may want to consider if flash mentoring is right for their organizations.

Flash mentoring is a means to provide honest, constructive feedback in a concise time frame to accelerate the performance and perspectives of key middle management personnel. This concept fits with the evolving demands of talent management leaders throughout the business world.

The phrase, first coined in 2007, is defined as a one-time meeting which enables an individual to learn and seek guidance from a more experienced person who can pass on relevant knowledge and experience. The purpose of flash mentoring is to provide a valuable learning opportunity while requiring a limited commitment of time and resources for more experienced individuals serving as mentors.

Here are a few characteristics of flash mentoring:

1. Personalized

While employees share the common bond of working together in a collaborative environment, their experiences, priorities and perspectives are unique. Flash mentoring considers each person individually while being cognizant and committed to enhancing the functional and organizational opportunities that formulate their priorities and perspectives.

2. Compact Time Frame

Time is of the essence for managers often struggling to balance the requirements of functional management with implementation of strategic initiatives. Flash mentoring delivers memorable and resonating communication for lasting insight and motivation in exchange for a one-time investment.

3. Budget Friendly

For today and the foreseeable future, company decision makers seek initiatives with a predictable cost, defined endpoint, immediate benefits and strong ROI. Flash mentoring is a realistically priced option to complement a multitude of high-priority talent management directives.

4. Non-Invasive

Employees prefer a one-time discussion requiring only a fraction of their work day. Send them to a full-day seminar or enlist them in ongoing coaching and there is often trepidation and resistance to these more intimidating breaches of their personal space.

5. Fresh and Objective

The mentor role in flash mentoring is best suited to objective outsiders. This carefully selected individual should process relevant business experience, an empathic personality and the ability to communicate positively and constructively in an appropriate, non- threatening manner. Utilizing internal personnel flash mentoring often puts the mentee into "paycheck protection" mode rather than one of honesty and self-reflection.

6. Push Back Accountability

Flash mentoring pushes back performance expectations squarely on the shoulders of key employees, appropriately reminding them of expectations to raise performance levels for themselves and those whom they touch in a highly consistent and impacting manner.

[About the Author: Eric Frankel is the creator of 10 Minutes to Change, a Flash Mentoring program that offers HR departments strategies for maximizing the effectiveness for all human capital initiatives. ]

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