Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 30

MYSTORE RETAILER'S GUIDE VOL. 9.2: TALENT MANAGEMENT

Common mistakes

Mentorship programs lose their value when the
mentors and protégés forget the goals of the program. But there are other ways that mentoring can
go wrong.
• Mentors don’t understand their roles. Mentoring is
not counselling. It provides motivation and support
to an individual seeking a new path. The mentor
can influence the mentee in many ways: by helping to set performance standards, challenging selfexpectations, offering motivation during difficult
times or just by being a sounding board.
• Retailers mismatch mentors and protégés. Charney says that more than half of mentor-mentee relationships fail. They fail because of personality
mismatches or because the mentors and mentees
cannot coordinate schedules.
• Retailers pick the wrong protégés. Finding the right
people—who have talent, potential and loyalty—can
prove difficult.
• Retailers let the programs go unattended. Mentors
and mentees should work inside a coordinated program. The program coordinator should check in
regularly with mentors and mentees to discuss the
progress and their satisfaction with the program.

Retailers should set timelines and milestones so mentors and protégés know
what they need to aim for. Another goal
that’s just as important: the satisfaction
of mentors and protégés. The people
participating in the program need to get
something out of it for themselves.
Structure in mentorship

Mentoring requires structure. Programs are not
feel good activities and mentoring sessions are
not coffee dates. Mentoring is work, and to make
it work. Mentoring programs and mentoring sessions need a clear, established structure.
From a programme perspective, the company
needs to ensure that mentors and protégés maintain a baseline of activities. Mentors must make
themselves available and follow the mentoring program (if the retailer has developed a curriculum).
From the individual perspective, mentors and
mentees will likely want to create a contract for
their meetings. The contract will help the mentor
and protégé maintain their commitment to the
mentoring. The retail organization may want to
help craft these contracts.
What should mentors and mentees include in
their contracts? Here are a few ideas to start.
30 |

canadian retailer | spring 2013 | www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer

• A promise to meet regularly. Meeting once a month
is advisable. Monthly meetings give mentees time
to complete whatever homework the mentor has
assigned. Letting too much time to pass between
meetings slows down the development.
• A promise to focus during the meeting. A mentoring meeting might only last an hour and mentors and mentees need to commit to using the time
wisely. This might mean writing into the contract a
promise to turn off cell phones during the meeting,
coming prepared with questions and completing
the homework.
• A promise to focus on discussing business. Mentors should strictly adhere to this clause. What
mentors don’t want is for mentoring meetings to
turn into psychotherapy sessions. Make it a rule
to speak only about what happens in the store.
Relationship advice, marital counselling, parental
guidance—agree to stay away from it.
• A promise to speak honestly. Mentoring works best
when the mentee can speak honestly about the business. Mentees won’t develop if they tell the mentors
what they think the mentors want to hear. Frank
talk about the store and the mentee’s professional
concerns can lead to more fruitful discussions
about career paths and professional development.
• A promise to speak fairly. Mentors should make
sure that the mentoring sessions don’t turn into
gripe sessions. Mentors and mentees should agree
at the outset to avoid cynical comments about colleagues or the company.
But what if I’m my own boss?

Large retail organizations have the resources
and human capital to make mentorship part of the
organization’s culture. But what about independent retailers? Who will mentor the store owner?
Independent retailers can look to their BIAs and
local chamber of commerce for mentors. More senior business owners can provide the wisdom that
independents won’t find on the web.
Another avenue is a business coach. Retail consultants, professional mentors, retired professionals
and freelancing retailers can provide the sounding
board independents might need.
Finally, independents can search for mentors through Retail Council of Canada. RCC and
MySTORE have networks, committees and mentoring programs that can put independents in touch
with the senior leaders who can help them advance
to a higher level of leadership and retailing.
To access more Retailer’s Guides and other RCC
resources that can help you grow your business,
visit www.retailcouncil.org/training.


http://visitwww.retailcouncil.org/training http://www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013

PUBLISHER’S DESK
RETAIL CURRENTS
EAT WELL CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE FAMILIES ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
THE EVOLUTION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
THE TARGET IMPACT
THE RISKS OF NEGLECTING THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
MENTORING TOMORROW’S TALENT
RECRUITING TOP TALENT FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
UNPACKING SHOWROOMING
SUPPLEMENTING FOR SUCCESS IN THE CANADIAN MARKET
ADVERTISER'S INDEX
RETAIL QUICK TIPS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ebelly1
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ebelly2
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - cover1
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - cover2
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 3
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - PUBLISHER’S DESK
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 5
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RETAIL CURRENTS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 7
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 8
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 9
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - EAT WELL CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE FAMILIES ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 11
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE EVOLUTION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 13
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 14
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 15
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE TARGET IMPACT
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 17
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 18
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 19
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 20
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 21
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - THE RISKS OF NEGLECTING THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 23
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 24
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 25
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 26
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - MENTORING TOMORROW’S TALENT
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 28
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 29
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 30
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 31
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RECRUITING TOP TALENT FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 33
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 34
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 35
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - UNPACKING SHOWROOMING
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 37
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 38
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 39
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - SUPPLEMENTING FOR SUCCESS IN THE CANADIAN MARKET
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 41
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 42
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 43
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 44
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - ADVERTISER'S INDEX
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - RETAIL QUICK TIPS
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 47
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 48
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 49
Canadian Retailer - Spring 2013 - 50
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