7 Tips for Building Mentoring to Develop Employees and Raise Engagement

7 Tips for Building Mentoring to Develop Employees and Raise Engagement

When I decided I wanted to write a book, I was utterly terrified and baffled. Where do I start?

Thankfully, I’d learned years ago that I do not have to go it alone with new challenges: I called on a trusted mentor. Elaine Biech has written or edited more than 50 books. She knows about this thing! I’m grateful for the amazing insights Elaine shared with me to guide my book publishing process. I couldn't have done it as quickly or as well without her mentoring support.

Have you had a mentor or mentored someone? I actually devoted a whole chapter in Employee Development on a Shoestring to the idea that mentoring can be a wonderful tool to develop employees. It is also an amazing employee engagement booster. In this post, I’ll share some of the highlights with you about what mentoring is and why it’s helpful, who is the ideal candidate for this kind of relationship, and seven tips for creating a strong mentoring program and/or building a great mentoring relationships which will increase both learning and engagement in your organization, department, team, or even just yourself.

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How to Leverage Lunchtime for Learning

How to Leverage Lunchtime for Learning

You might have been exposed to the idea of Lunchtime Learning before. Sometimes called Brown Bag Training or Lunch ‘n Learn (beware – that’s a trademarked phrase!), it’s a short (45-90 minutes) learning session held during lunchtime. What’s so special about these Brown-Bag Sessions, you say? Invite employees to do the teaching, not just the learning! In this post, I lay out the what, who, why, and how of creating a 3-way win for employee development in any organization.

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How to Take a Learning Sabbatical

How to Take a Learning Sabbatical

Do you feel like taking a break from your daily routine and an opportunity to see things in a totally new way? I’ll tell you a secret: I have been longing for this kind of opportunity. I’m just itching for a break so I can strategize and refocus. The pace of change and life is just so fast, and my time to really immerse in deep, long-view thinking is so fragmented, that I’ve been screaming (on the inside) “stop the world, I want to get off!” So that I can think clearly. And breathe. Do you feel this way sometimes, too?

As these thoughts danced in my head, I remembered the research I did for my book, Employee Development on a Shoestring, about the idea of taking a learning sabbatical. I thought I’d share some more about this concept with you, and I’d love to know your thoughts about it in the comments below the post.

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Digital Storytelling for All!

Digital Storytelling for All!

Check out my latest post on the ASTD Links newsletter (of which I am a field editor) titled "Digital Storytelling: Why All Employees Could Be Generating Video and Audio Content". In it, I discuss one creative and immediately available way to develop employees outside the training classroom and outside the box: turn them into what I call digital storytellers. What does that mean? You send them on ...

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How to be a relevant employee or boss AND up your own professional game

How to be a relevant employee or boss AND up your own professional game

On Tuesday, I gave a talk at the Positive Business DC meetup in the suburbs of DC about ways to develop employees outside the classroom and on a tight budget. It was anchored in my book, Employee Development on a Shoestring. The audience members were highly engaged and enjoyed the interactive exercises and small group discussions. I'm pleased that this talk has resulted in two different reviews on two blogs, and thought I'd share them here with you.

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A cool tool to lighten your leadership workload AND develop your employees

A cool tool to lighten your leadership workload AND develop your employees
One of the common pitfalls of leaders I described in my last blog post is the Responsibility Virus. In this post I will share a great tool with you that should help you not only lighten up your own workload (whoa, that would have been enough, right?!) but actually help you develop your employees and create some real ‘bench strength’ on your team. Sound good? Read on!
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Employee Development Done Right: ASTD Interviews Halelly Azulay

Employee Development Done Right: ASTD Interviews Halelly Azulay
Listen to a short and upbeat interview by ASTD's Ann Parker in which Halelly Azulay discusses why employee development is as important as ever even in the current workplace climate, how to ensure employee development strategies are beneficial to both the employee and the organization, and how to implement good employee development strategies in your organization.
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The Surprising Truth About Why Money Doesn't Matter in Employee Development

The Surprising Truth About Why Money Doesn't Matter in Employee Development
Let me share three surprising truths about why money should not even be in the equation when you’re making decisions about employee development. Then, I’ll share with you a great opportunity to not only generate multiple, creative, and cheap ideas for how to develop your people, but actually build bullet-proof strategies for easily and quickly implement them in your organization with stakeholder support in my upcoming intensive workshop on Employee Development on a Shoestring.
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Employee Development on a Shoestring on Top Ten Summer Reading List

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I was pleased to learn that ASTD Press has published a Top Ten Summer Reading list featuring Employee Development on a Shoestring.

What's on YOUR summer reading list?


Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now!

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo

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Turn Employees into Digital Storytellers with these 7 Tips

podcasting mic By tranchis via Flickr Creative Commons.jpg

Photo by tranchis via Flickr Creative CommonsI published a guest post on the MyGreenlight blog over on Keith Ferrazzi's website. In it, I provide seven different ideas for developing employees by sending them on 'roving reporter' missions - turning them into 'Digital Storytellers'. I'd love to hear what you think about this idea and what other ideas you have in the comments - here or there!


Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now!

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo

You Might Also Like These Posts:

Digital Storytelling for All!

Social Learning and Employee Development: Webcast Recording

Employee Development Outside the Box!

Social Learning and Employee Development: Webcast Recording

Social learning is an important kind of outside-the-classroom employee development. I recently conducted a webcast about this subject as part of the Social Business Thought Leadership Series hosted by the C7 Group. Here is the recording of my webcast.

Halelly Azulay: Social Learning and Employee Development from C7group on Vimeo.

What do you think about this employee development method? Have you tried it? What were your experiences?


Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now!

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo

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Can Your Social Learning Strategy Succeed? 8 Tips to Help

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Volunteering as Employee Development: A PwC Case Study

I've written another guest post for the official ASTD blog, this time describing a specific example of how volunteering can be a great way to develop employees outside the classroom. I excerpted one of the several case studies featured in my book, Employee Development on a Shoestring, which was just launched by ASTD Press!

This case features the personal volunteer experience stories of two of the three PricewaterhouseCoopers employees I interviewed and wrote about in my book - it describes the ways in which they developed multiple competencies by volunteering to teach and build playgrounds in poor schools in Belize.

I've written about the value of volunteering as an employee development approach previously here, here, and here.

What has been your experience with learning by volunteering? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo 

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Employee Development Outside the Box!

dessert leader out on a limb.jpg

photo credit Hamed Saber via Flickr Creative CommonsThere are lots of ways to develop employees outside the classroom and outside the box. I've created a sample individual development plan for a fictitious employee, "Toby", to get you some ideas about some of the employee development tools that I've described in my new book, Employee Development on a Shoestring. I've recounted it on my guest post on the Official ASTD Blog. I hope it generates lots of ideas for you on the endless possibilities of developing employees outside the box!


Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo 

You Might Also Like These Posts:

The Surprising Truth About Why Money Doesn't Matter in Employee Development

Employee Development on a Shoestring 'trailer' [video]

5 Ways to Develop Employees without Spending a Dime