Growing up, children often look up to their parents for guidance. However, that guidance doesn’t have to stop in professional adulthood. Kevin Systrom, Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman, and other technology all-stars all had mentors. What does each of these people have in common? Their businesses were successful with the help of mentors in the last 15 years. Mentorship isn’t just a method teacher’s use in middle school to help cultivate generations for the future. Mentorship is a tool to professionally develop employees as well.
Mentors help new hires to create professional relationships with company leadership; however, the company as a whole will benefit from a mentorship program as well. An effective program will help organizations reach higher retention, meet diversity initiatives, and increase employee engagement.
What’s in it for you?
Increase your retention rates – This is perhaps one of the most important reasons mentorship programs matter in your workplace. Retention is critical to the health and growth of your organization. Successful pairing of mentors and mentees increase retention rates. In fact, retention rates were 72% higher for mentees and 69% higher for mentors in companies that created effective training programs.
Build your employer brand loyalty – Mentorship programs increase employees’ loyalty to the organization. 70% of the Fortune 500 companies have official mentor programs. After all, they didn’t become Fortune 500 companies without employees who believed in the value of their organization. A company can showloyalty to employees through a mentorship program. Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director at Robert Half, a staffing firm, says it’s important to show your appreciation in daily actions…
“Ask yourself am I loyal to my team. How do I show it. Do I work as hard as they do? Am I alongside them shoulder to shoulder in the trenches during peak times and do I have their back during rough times?”
Meeting your diversity initiatives – New hires and leaders who have similar interests, backgrounds, education, etc., have great potential to make a successful mentor/mentee team. Pairing the right employees and management personnel together can benefit from diversity initiatives as well as strengthen mentor programs. China Gorman, CEO at Great Place to Work Institute, says:
“Today there is a wider awareness that the diversity focus should also consider values like cultural fluency, global mindset, language skills, etc., or ‘acquired’ diversity.”
Increase employee engagement – A mentorship program has the potential to change the 70% of disengaged employees into workers who are engaged and involved in the workplace. If an employee feels that their work is noticed and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged in the workplace. Mentors can help to foster this productive atmosphere.
What’s in it for your employees?
Create meaningful relationships with leadership – Mentorship isn’t simply a tool with results that can be systematically measured. It’s a combination of careful planning and relationship development. Jeanne Meister, author of “The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today,” explains it best:
“A lot of companies’ structured mentoring programs have failed as they have tried to put structure to something that is basically a relationship.”
Opportunities for professional development – Your employees will gain professional knowledge at the hands of your managerial staff. What about the development of your management team? Managerial staff who participate in a mentor program are promoted 6x more often than those who opted out of the mentorship program.
Mentor programs are healthy additions to any onboarding program. They increase new hire involvement and create working professional relationships between the new hires and veteran employees. Creating company loyalty isn’t an easy task. Leaders have to show employees their loyalty to the team. You can do so utilizing a mentorship program.
By pairing the right leaders and employees together, you can create an atmosphere in which both leadership and new hires can learn something from each other. Your employees depend on the job to give them a sense of professional development, and the best place to start is with a mentorship program. Succession of knowledge to new employees provides continuity within the organization. It’s more than a teaching tool; it’s a professional development tool. The greats had mentors… where are yours?