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Updated 29 Feb 2020

Mentoring and coaching vital to job creation

What came first: lack of employment opportunities or decreased access to skilled labour? Whichever, the solution lies in the workplace.

13 September 2012  Share  0 comments  Print

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Unemployment in South Africa stood at 23.9% as at the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics South Africa. This translates to 4.244 million jobless people in the three months to December 2011.

Government initiatives aimed at job creation

Job creation is one of the government’s top priorities, and as such, it has introduced training programmes to help people become more employable. These include learnerships, internships and short learning programmes.

Government is encouraging companies to implement these training programmes and take on unemployed, or qualified but inexperienced individuals, by offering financial grants and tax incentives.

Onus on managers to coach and mentor

Managers need to become more hands-on and effective in terms of coaching and mentoring their staff in order to develop them.

With the old managerial hierarchy now obsolete and the fast pace of business today, coaching and mentoring have become pivotal to reducing staff turnover, increasing productivity (thereby improving the bottom line), assisting with organisational transformation and building global competitiveness.

Challenges unique to SA workforce

Current challenges in the South African workplace include a multicultural workforce and the requisite need for sensitivity to these cultures, as well as generation gaps between graduate employees and managers, also necessitate a coaching/ mentoring mindset.

Mentoring vs coaching

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are, in fact, distinct differences. Mentoring is the quickest way to transfer skills and accelerate empowerment in the workplace.

It is a developmental relationship between a senior manager and an inexperienced employee, intern or mentee, which is focused on their individual growth.

Mentorship helps them to reach their full potential by putting them in a position where they can act as assistants to someone senior and learn on the job.
Coaching capitalises on employees’ strengths and ensures a work environment that offers opportunities for growth and advancement, making current employees want to stay and outsiders aspire to join.

It empowers individuals to progress and helps them meet organisational goals, so as to improve a company’s bottom line.

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