What You Need to Know About Employee Mentoring Programs

Posted by Andy Holmes on Tue, Jun 16, 2020 @ 08:00 AM

As an organization grows, it is confronted with a multitude of complex human resource challenges. The manner in which these are handled determines the rate of growth and prosperity of an organization. To stay ahead of HR problems and to keep employees engaged and develop, organizations are using employee mentoring programs.

71% of Fortune 500 companies are providing their employees with mentoring programs.

A Deloitte survey found that 68% of millenials who had a mentor planned to stay with their employer for more than five years.

The labor market is getting tighter. More and more companies are relying on mentoring programs to engage, develop and retain top tier talent.

What you need to know

It can feel like a rare opportunity to make a business decision that will impact both employees and management with exclusively positive impact. A mentor program will bring growth and change on all levels of an organization.

Mentoring improves employee satisfaction, retention and on-boarding. It makes your company more appealing to potential recruits and trains up your future leaders. Many companies try to boost employee development through learning incentives like paying for courses or expensive training programs. Mentor programs utilize the resources that you already have, cutting out cost to formally train and everyone wins.

The collaborative nature of mentoring develops employees and personal relationships. Mentoring programs connect employees with more senior leaders higher in the organization to learn the ropes. Through this process leaders are developed, skills are transferred and friendships are created. All this boosts retention, attracts more talent and increases engagement.

Mentor programs promote the spread of knowledge throughout an organization and they are cost-effective.

How to get started

First, you need to define the objective of the mentoring program. As each organization has its own unique problems and things it’s trying to handle, every Mentoring Program should be tailored to precisely tackle the matter at hand.

Here are some of the problems a mentoring program can help solve:

  • Employees are lacking company culture and connection.
  • Retention rates are low and need to be improved.
  • Middle Management is lacking leadership skills.
  • Diversity issues have arisen.

Mentoring programs can tackle all the above trouble spots. However, they aren’t limited to this and can facilitate on-boarding and knowledge transfer.

Pairing

The way you go about pairing mentors with mentees will largely depend on the type of mentoring program you are launching .

There is group mentoring which differs from the one on one approach of peer mentoring. Reverse mentoring is a unique program where younger, newer employees act as mentors to veteran staff to help them learn social media platforms or new skills. Some companies want to expose younger employees to as many veterans as possible so adopt a sort of speed dating model called flash mentoring where employees are paired up with mentors for short periods of time.

The most common type of mentoring program is one-to-one.

The biggest obstacle of any mentorship program is pairing. You have to get it right from the start or risk conflict amongst program participants. This where software (Like Wisdom Share from Mentor Resources) can really help. Mentoring software provides participants with information sheets covering career and personal goals. Coupled with the software, mentoring specialists can take this information and form successful partnerships and not miss the mark.

Software also keeps the whole process clean, organized and helps you and the participants win from the start.

Organization

Goals have been established and pairing is underway. Now, the program needs to be structured and supervised as you send your matched pairs off to work. A good starting point is helping everyone understand what mentoring is.

It often helps to pick out a handful of opinion leaders throughout the company and have them make it clear why they think the program is important. Get as many high-profile employees and upper level people to participate as you can.

Once things are rolling, you can use software to set meeting frequency and supply participants with tools such as topics to discuss, surveys to fill out and journaling. You can also have participants list out skills they wish to acquire and integrate learning these into the mentoring meetings.

Communication

People only do as well as they can communicate. If you don’t open the channel for participants to communicate feedback and discuss what’s happening with the program they won’t receive the maximum benefits.

It’s important to encourage and open up communication channels early on to invite active participation.

As a final note, employees have mixed views on HR. Many times when HR rolls out anything the general consensus can be “well here comes another HR initiative.” It’s important to get as many leaders in the company as possible to vouch for the mentoring program and impress the importance of participation. The way the program is positioned and launched will set it apart.

Mentor Resources can help any company to leverage technology to create tailored career development programs that are cost-effective. Our mentoring software - Wisdom Share is a cloud-based program that is simple and comes with guided workflows. Included are tools for administrators to attract, enroll, connect and guide participants. We also provide analytics to ensure you can monitor your employee development program and easily see ROI metrics.

Reach out to us today for Free Demonstration of our software.

Topics: corporate mentoring programs, employee mentoring