How to create transformative mentorship in a 4DWW
Mentorship can get easily lost in the shuffle when your business is trying out a new work system like 4DWW.
Mentorship is crucial though—and it isn’t made any less important just because you’re working with less hours in a week. In fact, the development of our employees is so vital to the future success of the company, that we made sure to double down on mentorship and training when we went through the 4DWW.
Today, I want to prove to you that it can be done using the very same systems that we use here at IWT.
For this, I made sure to get the very best advice from IWT’s president, Gretchen Leslie, who’s helped champion the careers of dozens of people in and out of IWT. Not only does she know how to grow the rich lives and work of her employees, but she’s been doing it for years.
Here are Gretchen’s 5 pieces of advice for assuring the most transformative mentorship possible while doing the 4DWW Challenge.
1. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution
No two employees are alike. Everyone has different styles of working, managing their time, and overall career aspirations.
So why would a manager ever approach two employees with the same mentorship style?
“Even before the 4DWW, we realized that we needed to evolve with mentorship,” Gretchen says. “We realized that it wasn’t a one-size-fits-all solution—and we had to get much more intentional about it.”
That means sitting down with your employees and figuring out exactly how they want to be managed and mentored.
For example, Gretchen compares two employees under her wing: One loves to have frequent half-hour check-ins throughout the month in order to ask her questions and get advice, while another would take an hour or so every other week to go deep on the issues that they’re having.
Before, both would have received regular weekly check-ins—but that would have been doing one of them a huge disservice.
“People have really different needs and desires,” Gretchen says. “As leaders, a lot of times, we don’t actually stop and ask questions. We’re just like, ‘Alright, here’s how we give feedback, everybody gets a check-in, and then you get your end-of-the-year performance review.’ That’s what we thought it was—but that’s not the case.”
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff (especially in meetings)
When it comes to the meetings you do have with a person you’re mentoring, they need to be well worth the time.
One common theme with the 4DWW Challenge is that all of IWT’s agendas are now incredibly streamlined. There’s zero fat in meetings regardless of whether it’s a one-on-one to discuss someone’s career or an all-hands to discuss a big annual goal.
Put it another way: IWT is strictly a no “this could have been email” meetings zone.
“When it comes to one-on-ones, it is not a time for status updates,” Gretchen says. “That is a waste of meeting time when we talk about things that could be written down. When we’re spending time one-on-one, I don’t want to talk about your projects. It should be coaching.”
These meeting times need to be intentional. You need to come at it with the goal of helping develop your employee’s long-term success—not short-term.
3. Streamline your agenda
When it comes to how these meetings are run, it’s actually a very heavily guarded secret—one that takes years to master and only after you’ve gained the utmost respect of your peers and leaders of your industry.
Lol just kidding. Here is the exact agenda we use.