Caroline Bolderston: Is being a great mentor the ingredient to successful team growth? 

 I remember my first job in real estate more than 20 years ago.

I had just purchased a property in the Northern Beaches of Sydney and I had a really great experience.

The agent I bought through was Chris Murray, a long standing and very highly regarded agent in Manly.

I enjoyed the experience so much that it inspired curiosity about a potential career change.

I fronted up to his office, asked to have a chat and had a job offer by the end of the day!

It was the beginning of a wonderful career as a sales agent and coach.

I often think back to my early days and how lucky I was to have a phenomenal mentor.

Chris took me under his wing and created a clear growth pathway for me to succeed.

I had daily guidance and support along with regular feedback and accountability.

It paved the way for me to get ahead of my debit credit within three months and to become a commission-only agent within a couple of years.

I now know that I was one of the fortunate ones.  

There is zero doubt that great mentorship is a required ingredient to increase the success rate of any new team member.

This is true for both business owners as well as stand alone agents growing their personal sales team.

Through my time in sales and as a coach, I have seen new recruits come and go and often great talent walks right back out the door.

A great deal of money goes into hiring and onboarding new team members, but what’s happening after that? 

Mentorship is not just a feel good buzz word, it’s a significant responsibility that is owed to the new team member. 

After observing new starter processes with agents and principals let me share with you what I believe makes a great mentor:   

  1. Be an in-tune mentor and hire the right energy type. Whether you are looking for a sales agent, operations or administration support, hiring people who are energetically matched to the job requirements is a critical step. There are many tools that you can use to ensure the success of a new hire. My personal favourite is the Extended DISC behavioural profiling tool. This can show you at what level of ease a person will adapt to and fulfil a role. After using one of these tools your odds of success increases dramatically.
  1. Be a clarifying mentor and clearly discuss and outline the expectations within the role. A detailed job description, including tasks and attitudinal expectations, must form part of the interview process and be attached to the employment agreement. I have spoken to many new team members who start a role without really knowing what is expected or what great performance looks like. This is when the wheels start to fall off.
  1. Be an inspiring mentor and share the growth pathway and vision with the new team member. Map out a 12, 18 or 24-month development pathway with major milestone benchmarks outlined. This will ensure your new team member is aligned with the timeline and committed to the vision. You can reference this plan regularly to inspire and drive growth and long-term retention.
  1. Be a guiding mentor and ensure that you set up, from the very beginning, a 10-minute daily outcomes check in (first thing in the morning is best for this) along with scheduling training and skill development sessions several times a month. Knowing what to focus on each day and when to focus on it, will embed powerful habits that will underpin consistency. The regular skill development sessions will deliver faster and greater results. 
  1. Be a transparent mentor and provide a more formal structure for ongoing two-way feedback by scheduling 1:1 development meetings. For the first month, a weekly frequency is best. For the second and third month adjust it to fortnightly, then after three months have an ongoing monthly meeting. These meetings show that you care, you are willing to ask for feedback on your leadership and you are totally committed to your new team member’s ongoing success. Provide candid and transparent feedback on KPI’s, cultural behaviours and overall attitudes and commitment. This gives both parties the opportunity to course correct if things are off track and for the team member to truly shine. 

When not approached in the right way, hiring and team growth can be one of the most disappointing, frustrating and resource wasting experiences.

Why not commit to becoming a phenomenal mentor and discover how your team growth can actually be rewarding, fulfilling and incredibly valuable. 

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