Edward Ballo has been formally trained in coaching, he has been mentored and he has mentored as many as eight people simultaneously. From this experience he learned to coach and mentor employees that worked with him, as well as others in different functional areas of the business.
Organizations are constantly changing because of marketplace demands. When this occurs it affects the employees in many different ways. Depending upon how the change is rolled out, the dynamics of the team, and the speed of the change, the impact can be costly to all stakeholders. The best way to counter the negative impacts that change can have on an organization is to prepare the leadership and followership for what lies ahead, and to assist them expeditiously through the change curve.
The most common mentoring scenarios that I encounter in the workplace include:
- First job for a new employee(s)
- Transfers from a core job to one in their non-core, EHS profession
- Hourly or new professionals
- Supervision or management
- Integrating multiple new employees into the EHS function and organization
- Experienced employees not achieving the level of performance expected of them by their leadership
My approach has been both formal and informal, depending on the needs of the customer. In all cases, I speak with the employee’s leadership to get their perspective and determine which direction they want me to go. I then meet with the employee, one-on-one, and discuss how the mentoring experience will take place. Once this occurs, the employee(s) and I meet over a period of time to discuss issues, and work though areas of opportunities together.
An example of how I mentored an employee began when I was on a business trip with a business leader from one of my clients. The leader explained to me that an employee was not achieving the results they expected that person to achieve. The next week, I met with the employee and asked that person to speak openly and honestly about their performance. The employee agreed, so I explained to the employee a summary of the conversation that I had with the business leader. I then asked the employee, if they were aware of the perspective that others had about them, and their performance, and the employee conveyed to me that they did not realize how the leader perceived them. The employee and I agreed that this “personal improvement plan” would be confidential, and I would not discuss it with anybody else. Consequently, I asked the employee where they thought they could improve, and a meaningful discussion ensued, and things progressed from that point forward.
It took about three months before the employee’s leader informed me that there was a marked difference in the employee’s performance after I mentored this employee. Six months after that discussion, the mentored employee transferred to a different site within the business to assume a bigger role in the business.
The goal of mentoring employees is to have them realize that they can be more efficient and effective at their work, which might mean stopping nonproductive behavior, teaching the employee the culture of the organization, and in some of the most stark cases, assisting them with their work and essentially teaching the employee how to work smarter, or even how to do their job.
By doing this type of mentoring, the employee tends to be happier doing their work, which in turn means that they bring more value to the business. Many times, employees do not know how to approach, understand and/or address workplace situations, including those that are interpersonal and/or technical in nature. Throughout my career, I have had many success stories mentoring employees, and I have truly enjoyed growing stronger employees in today’s companies.
Contact Edward Ballo with e3s Consulting for help with your company’s EHS leadership and mentoring needs.