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What makes an employee happy? It is a question that has been asked for generations and will continue to be asked for generations to come.
It isn't impossible to answer. For most people their top priority is usually pay. The more they are paid, the happier they tend to be.
That is true of procurement professionals as much as it is an employee of any other business function.
But, there is something a bit further down that priority list that should make procurement chiefs sit up and listen. According to the Procurement Leaders' 2017 Salary Survey (£), mentoring is key to their job satisfaction.
Regardless of seniority or experience, everyone should be open to continuing to learn throughout their careers. Mentoring is a good example of how that can happen.
Traditional mentoring schemes where more experienced team members pass on their knowledge to the younger generation, or reverse mentoring in which younger members of the team teach the older generation about new trends and technologies, are two such programmes used today.
The use of them keeps knowledge and experience flowing up and down throughout your team and benefits both mentor and the mentee.
The key to success though is establishing clear guidance, communication and pairing the right people together.
Using questionnaires in which you find out more about people in terms of their preferences for learning and career goals is a good place to start.
Further, the roles of mentor and mentee must be clear from the offset. Clear guidelines of the goals of the programme should be laid out at the start.
Measuring progress and goals should also be a consideration.
KPI's for such initiatives can be quite difficult to construct, however a good way to measure success would be to look back at answers from the initial questionnaire and then gather feedback over the course of the programme to understand the progress that has been made by each person.
Aside from preparing a pathway for future function leaders and a more rounded team, mentoring also helps employees develop interpersonal skills, which many believe are important when it comes to the function working closely with other functions.
Being easy to implement and with the benefits it offers to a team, there is no reason why all functions shouldn't be doing something similar.
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders' content team.
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