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How Can I Move Up in the Organization?

A Mini Case Study on Mentoring Employees

Sammy has been working with the organization for a number of years, since he graduated college. His manager has consistently given him really good performance reviews. And his peers have always commented to him, and to his manager, that he is a great team player and they can always rely on him. He is ready for a new role! Ideally, he’d like to be a team lead. He believes that is the next natural step for him. Sammy decided to talk with his boss about his goal at the next one-on-one meeting.

The one-on-one meeting

At the meeting with his boss, Sammy explained that he would like to develop an action plan to move to the next step in his career – a team lead role. He was ultimately interested in getting into management, but realized he had a way to go yet! He wanted his manager to help him move up in the organization.

Sammy’s boss, Jeremy, said he would be more than pleased to mentor Sammy to help him achieve his goal of moving to a team lead role and then ultimately into a management position. He commented that Sammy was an excellent employee and was always willing to go above and beyond to meet his objectives. In fact, Jeremy told Sammy that a team lead role would likely open up within the next 6 – 9 months, so he suggested they plan now to get Sammy into the role.

Sammy, in collaboration with Jeremy, created the following development plan.

Mentor: Jeremy

Mentee: Sammy

Goals to Achieve:

  • Move into a team lead role within the next 6 – 9 months.

Tasks/Steps to Achieve

Due By

What Does Success Look Like?

  • Develop project management skills
    • Take a training class.
    • Job shadow a project manager on a project to understand challenges involved.
    • Lead a smaller project within dept. under guidance of project manager.

Over next 3 months

Have skills to effectively manage projects of varying complexity and sizes.

Utilize project management skills to manage heavy workloads.

  • Develop supervisory skills
    • Take a few training classes on basic management skills (management 101.)
    • Job shadow another team lead to understand challenges in role.
    • Do role playing with manager to practice managing a variety of situations common in a team lead role.

Over next 5 months

Have skills to manage people and work toward accomplishing set goals and objectives.

Develop skills to handle a variety of situations and challenges common in a team lead/supervisory role.

  • Take on additional responsibilities within department.
    • Work with manager to take on some additional responsibilities to develop leadership skills.

Month 6

Further develop skills necessary for a team lead/supervisory role.

Implications for Professional and Career Growth and Development:

  • Move into a team lead role
  • Over time, take on increasing responsibilities to achieve a management role within the organization

How can I (mentor) help you to achieve your goals?

  • Provide funding for training.
  • Role play a variety of scenarios to develop skills to deal with a variety of challenges team leads/supervisors face in the role
  • Provide introductions to others (project manager, other team leads, etc.)
  • Provide opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and lead projects for the department.

Sammy and Jeremy set up regular one-on-one meetings to keep checking in on Sammy’s progress on his development plan. Jeremy reminded Sammy that while he had significant work ahead of him juggling both his current workload and, effectively, training for a new role, he was excited about the opportunities for Sammy and knew he was up for the challenge!

Jeremy knew that by working with strong employees, such as Sammy, he would be able to retain top talent. By providing opportunities for developing personal and professional skills over time, Sammy would be contributing to the success of the organization as well as his own success. No sense losing Sammy to the competition when Jeremy could invest just a little extra time in grooming him to take on leadership roles in this organization.

Working with employees such as Sammy takes time and commitment. But in the long run, the benefits to the organization, the department and the individual employee make it well worth it!

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