A manager must wear many hats when it comes to sub-roles that fall within the management category.
For instance, depending upon the size of the business, a manager may play the role of manager, leader, and supervisor all rolled into one. If the business is much larger, they may only play one of those roles. However, all managers need to inspire their employees and act as a role model. Within that, there is also the mentor role to consider too.
A mentor is someone who is a role model to an employee but is also someone who helps them to learn, who oversees their work and advises them, is always there to ask questions, and basically creates a sense of learning and development around that employee. In larger organisations, managers often identify a particular experienced employee to act as a mentor for someone who is new to the business or someone who is quite young and experienced.
However, managers can work within the mentor role without actually holding the solid job title.
For instance, if an employee voices their desire to move into management at some point in the future, their current manager could help them to develop their skills by simply giving them a little extra responsibility from time to time or being there to ask questions. They can also be on the lookout for new learning opportunities and courses that the employee might like to go on.
Being a mentor doesn’t always have to be a one-on-one deal, it can be someone who is inspiring, there to talk to, approachable, and open to answering questions. Of course, it also helps if the manager is not overseeing a large number of employees too.
In large businesses, there is a reason why there is more of a hierarchy or management team in place. One manager simply can’t lead, inspire, and motivate a huge number of employees whilst handling in the day to day business too. In that situation, you may have an office manager, a leader, or a supervisor in place to help take some of the load away. Despite that, every member of the management team should be approachable, open to discussion and to answer questions.
Check out this video for some inspiring words on how to be a mentor.
In many ways, being a mentor is about being there for your employees whenever needed whilst also setting an example. You need to be a good listener and always keep your office door ajar (literally or metaphorically) for times when an employee may need to talk.