Within the information technology environment, mentoring is one of the easiest, least costly ways to cultivate staff development and departmental growth. Here are seven top mentoring techniques learned from the pros:

1. Positive Reinforcement
Compliments do more than stroke egos. Complimenting employees on a job well done encourages them to work hard.

2. Identify Strengths and Build on Them
Take note of individual employee strengths and deploy those super achievers to tasks that fit their interests, i.e. use an employee with high patience and empathy to deal with problem clients.

3. Ask the entire team for input
Employees who feel respected and part of your team are more inclined to work hard and devote all of their professional resources to improving. Asking staff to generate solutions demonstrates you respect them – this tangibly builds confidence.

4. Encourage Growth
Encourage your employees to pursue additional schooling, training or professional development outside the office. Employees who are challenged to continue learning and developing will stay motivated at work. The additional skills and knowledge they acquire will improve your organization.

5. Let Employees Take Ownership of Practices
Encourage your employees to identify with and take ownership of the way your business operates. Make them aware of the huge responsibility they have for the success of your business and support them to embrace it.

6. Attend a Seminar
Steinlin Consulting suggests taking your staff to one-day, off-site personal growth seminars. These events identify individual strengths and weaknesses and provide professional tools to overcome common career barriers.

7. Lead from the Front
Leading by example is the best way to demonstrate to employees how to conduct themselves in the professional world. Make sure your efforts are continuous and consistent. Mentoring is an ongoing process that needs to be nurtured.