When you are a boss or supervisor, you have a unique opportunity to do more than just lead a team; you are in a position where you can truly impact people’s lives and foster professional growth. Here are some ways you can be more than a boss and be a true mentor for your team members!

Leverage their strengths.

Get to really know the members of your team. Pinpoint their strengths and interests; find out what their true passions are. Sure, you want them to complete the duties associated with their position, but by looking for skills and interests and finding ways for the individual to apply them, you are not only opening up the door for him/her, but also opening up doors for your company.

Build on their weaknesses.

Every person has skills that could use a little spit shine.  Instead of ignoring and working around weaknesses, help your team members embrace them. Coach them to not be self-concious of weaknesses, but to instead identify them and confront them. Is your employee scared of public speaking?  Help find opportunities where your employee can start by presenting ideas for maybe a group of two or three people, and gradually work up to larger audiences. Pushing your employees out of their comfort zones and trusting them with the platform to work on these weaknesses may give them the confidence to overcome them.

Get to know their personal and professional goals.

As mentioned, it is obviously important to coach your employees through the tasks assosicated with their current position, but in order to be a true mentor and ensure you are setting your team up for success, it is essential that you sit down with them to really get to know their personal and professional goals. If they aspire to relocate eventually, or they have interests in potentially working in adjacent departments, it is important to know these things while you help develop their career paths.

Communication is key.

Above all, it is critical you make yourself available for open and honest communication. In order to be a mentor, your employees must be able to trust that you have their best interests at heart. By making sure you have an open door policy and that your employees can count on prompt, honest conversations to discuss concerns, you will have a more engaged workforce as well.

By placing yourself as a mentor available to your team members, you are creating a culture that will exude success. When a team is full of employees who are developing professionally, they will be more productive, and your division and company will prosper as a result!