Mentor Like You Mean It

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Recent grads are entering the work force this fall, and if you’re lucky, many will be on your marketing team. Fresh, young minds inspire, motivate and sharpen a marketing team with on-trend insights and new energy. But you have to groom your new grads for real-world expectations. Set the stage for them to have a rewarding, successful marketing career, while also improving the success of your team.

Let “Rules” Rule

Encourage your marketing staff to create good habits as the foundation for success. Set clear expectations and “ground rules” for all to follow such as:

1) Answer back.

Always reply to all emails and phone calls within 48 hours. Not doing so, conveys inefficiency and lack of organization.

2) Have a game face, and use it.

Avoid walking around frantic and stressed; it signals weakness and incapability.

3)Task Lists.

3. (At the end of the day, print out anything that wasn’t completed and leave it on your keyboard to do the next morning)

4) Segment your schedule.

Be sure to block out calendar time to return calls, organize your inbox and to schedule time for assignments that require uninterrupted concentration.

5) Always meet deadlines.

It shows professionalism, conveys trust and supports a mantra of “No Excuses.”

6)Be on time.

Arrive early in fact, and be prepared.

7) Don’t dare cancel.

Grads may have a tendency to “flake,” as “no worries” may be part of their vocabulary. Show them accepting a meeting invitation means always being there, and it’s professionally respectful.

8) Encourage questions.

Raise your hand, and make everyone comfortable to do so…to learn more.

Make the Most of Meetings

As a department leader, its important to communicate expectations, lead by example, and take the time to mentor. Department meetings are a great opportunity to connect and build your team.

1) Have at least one department meeting a week to discuss projects, and issue a mentoring tip of the week.
2) Celebrate the status report. Encourage each staff member to share their status report of current projects.

It keeps everyone up to speed and enhances presentation skills too (maybe even offer an open-feedback forum on the delivery).

3) Share the love.

Have all staff members share a success story—plus a failure story. This helps you celebrate success and admit flaws, which offers room to learn and grow.

4) Get goal-oriented.

Have everyone on the team provide a goal for the week.

Be Religious About Reviews

Employee reviews are critical to everyone’s success. If you don’t share your feedback with your staff, and they fail, you fail. Take the time. It’s worth it.

Like any parent watching a child grow – a new team member’s success can be much more rewarding than your own personal achievements. One of the most career rewarding experiences can be watching your team flourish and grow. In return, you’ll be able to trust them more and learn their capabilities. Mentor your staff correctly and the gratification will make you feel as proud as ever.

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