Support systems are essential for every professional, but for HR practitioners, it’s a necessary lifeline. This is because we are the ones always looking after others. We celebrate them, monitor their growth and development and reward them when they put forth their best. Yet no one really does that for us.
Irene Asare, a Global Transformational Leader and Business Services Director at Tullow Ghana started the HR Mentoring Programme last year for this particular purpose: bring together and provide a support system for the future of HR professionals in Ghana. A year down the line, it was an absolutely worthwhile investment.
On Thursday, August 8th, 2019, Irene organised an alumni homecoming for the cohort one of the HR Mentoring Programme. The purpose was to celebrate and share the inspiring stories of the pioneer mentees. As well as relay new partnership information (with China Europe International Business School- CEIBS) and the benefits to them.
As part of the event, Irene started off with a Ted style talk hinged on goals. She spoke about the mentees making time to reflect on the goals they set for the mentoring program and how far they had come in achieving those goals. She shared stories about her own journey and the role hardwork, sacrifice and networking played in the accomplishment of those goals.
Irene highlighted the fact that as unique individuals, they were all going to have unique goals and no one person should be put down because of another person’s success in their goals. She asked thought provoking questions to those who had goals of networking, focusing on who they are in the networking relationship, “Are you the one in the relationship who is always asking for things and never providing any value at all, or are you the one who provides value for receiving value.” On hardwork and sacrifice too, she shared about the importance of being willing to do what others weren’t willing to do and making sacrifices which may include family time, rest, etc. Concluding that, without the mindset of hard work and the willingness to sacrifice, success will be far off and the goals may never be accomplished.
The mentees were also granted an opportunity to share their inspiring stories about what the mentorship has done for them and how much it has impacted their personal, education and professional lives. Quite a number of people were on track with their IHRMP levels and ploughing through, despite all the challenges it came with.
These are some of the brilliant and inspiring testimonies the mentees had to share.
“I have been able to implement the evidence based leadership I learned from the program. Having been ushered into the role without a predecessor to understudy, the mentorship really helped me boost my confidence and gave me practical tools to implement policies and create structures for my organisation to use. Because of my influence and the help with providing strategic direction, training programs are improving.” – Florence Aflakpui (Senior Assistant Registrar in charge of Human Resources Development, Kumasi Technical University)
“This mentorship for me came with what I call the 3 Pillars. Which are New Ideas/Solutions, Nudge to be accountable and Networking in the highest level. I have been able to get access to Irene frequently to seek advice and assistance without having to go through protocol. And I got to learn from the stories of people close to home, not books or videos. I look forward to engaging more effectively both at my workplace and elsewhere, and also influencing decisions to set the pace.” – Patience Setutsi Kploanyi ( HR Business Partner – NTHC Limited)
“For me, the first session had my attention because it spoke to what I wanted to do – influence business decisions in my organisation. And I’ve been able now to carry out presentations/reports without always looking at my books. Which was a pleasant surprise to my boss. I’ve also been able to draft policies for the company that speaks the language of all the people involved. I’m looking forward to getting back into the office from the sites, and working to grow the HR department in the company.” – Frank O. Amofa (HR & Admin Manager – Cell Construction Limited)
Overall, it was an inspiring and humbling evening for all the mentees who made it. The power of mentoring and having support groups was clearly depicted. And the validity of the improvements in all the mentees as compared to the first day they joined the program was undeniable.