Mentoring, the LifeXchange way, asks of people to really get involved. Traditionally in businesses, mentoring is viewed as something that can be done on a monthly basis or every now and then, normally translating into the transference of skill. However, BKB holds that people are their greatest asset and therefore management decided to engage, through LifeXchange, in long-term mentoring relationships with their employees, as people, taking the center of attention.
Our mission is to grow, strengthen and build resilience in BKB employees so that they can live purposeful lives. As a result, BKB will reap the benefits of staff that is more productive, effective and motivated, which in turn will lead to a higher retention rate and a greater profit margin.
Who are the mentees?
The mentoring initiative started within the Wool and Mohair Department when the General Manager himself decided to go on a long-term journey with one of his employees. The idea of mentoring has spread rapidly and now other departments also show interest in implementing a mentoring process. Today, the mentees within the BKB mentoring project comprise of employees within HR, warehouse managers, sheep shearers and more.
Who are the mentors?
Currently most mentors are senior and experienced staff. However, the future for this project is to involve personnel who are even on a junior level.
What is the nature of the mentoring sessions?
The project is run within BKB, where mentors and mentees will meet face-to-face for 40 sessions under their own direction. Instead of the usual 80 contact sessions LifeXchange promotes as best practice (that translates into 80 hours), BKB mentors have less face-to-face contact, but for longer periods of time still amounting to +/- 80 hours. This is because of the vast physical distances often between mentors and mentees. The duration of the mentoring relationships should last between 18-24 months.
Benefits for Mentees
The project will build resilience within BKB employees in many areas of their lives, including educational competence, social skills, life skills and general support. This in turn will translate into more effective employees for BKB.
Benefits for Mentors
All BKB mentors are volunteers. Even though the mentors selflessly engage in the process, having no reward in mind, experience has shown that the mentors themselves become better managers, experience improved soft skills and increased general knowledge about people. Feedback has also shown that the knowledge LifeXchange imparted in their lives within the process, had a deep impact on them not only at work, but also at home, in communities, and especially in their personal lives.