“For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out.” - Oprah Winfrey
Technology and the massive global economy can make anyone feel small. There may be moments of empowerment when inspiration strikes but when you step out into the marketplace there seems to be nothing but barriers and million opinions about what to do. Many people think the path to success is individual, that it depends on one’s ability to rise above the pack and set out on one’s own without help. But the truth is, no one, no matter how brilliant they are achieve their dreams without a little guidance along the way.
You’ve likely experienced, in some form or other, a positive mentoring relationship. Maybe it was a coach motivating you to train harder; an older sibling showing you the ropes in a new school; a teacher who guided your career path; or a more experienced colleague at work helping you navigate a new job.
It might seem like common sense that mentoring can help people grow, but when you examine the benefits of a mentoring relationship you might be surprised to learn just how powerful it can be in the workplace. Done right, mentoring can be leveraged to positively impact mentors, mentees and boost not only the productivity of your organization as a whole but also its inherent culture.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is a more experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students. They nurture the development of a less experienced and knowledgeable person.
Most traditional mentorship programs involve senior employees mentor junior employees. It doesn’t always have to be this way. Often times, companies will incorporate “reverse mentoring” programs where younger employees share their knowledge of new technology like social media with senior colleagues who may not have used these tools before.
What is a mentor supposed to do?
A mentor’s duties and goals may differ depending on what the organization is trying to accomplish. For example, a company may want to start nurturing future leaders for promotion so high potential employees would be paired up with existing executives.
Usually a mentor’s duties are pretty straight forward. They focus on developing and managing their mentee, sponsor his developmental activities, model effective leadership attributes, tech, motivate and inspire.
Workplace mentors might be a supervisor, colleague, someone within the organization but outside of the mentee’s chain of command. Mentors are not usually the mentees direct manager or superior. Blending a managerial and mentorship role into one can add unnecessary pressure to the mentoring relationship and set it up for failure. Mentors aren’t there to demand production and enforce deadlines, but to assist in the mentees growth and expansion of his or her potential.
Why do mentors matter?
1. Improved Career Outcomes
Having a mentor has a very strong impact on positive career outcomes. Employees who are mentored correctly general experience:
- Higher pay.
- A greater number of opportunities for promotion.
- Feel happier with their careers.
- Experience a higher sense of commitment to their work.
- Are more likely to believe they will advance in their line of work.
2. Employee Engagement
In a survey conducted by ResearchGate, 170 sales and marketing professionals who were part of a mentoring relationship were found to have significantly higher engagement scores that employees who did not.
Those who were mentored:
- Felt more in-tune with the future of their organization.
- Had a more positive outlook about their organization's senior leadership.
- Felt their organization provided opportunities for career growth.
- Reported a deeper connection to their place of work and more engaged.
3. Employee retention
Mentoring is the most successful, modern tool to reduce turnover intention, build company loyalty and reduce actual turnover.
- According to a study conducted by ResearchGate that surveyed 5000 newly hired sales reps, those who participated in a mentoring program reported significantly higher organizational commitment and lower intentions to leave their organization compared to those who were not part of a mentoring program.
- The Military also employees mentoring programs. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1500 Army Officers were enrolled in a formal mentoring program. The mentoring program reduced the odds of turnover by 38%.
4. Employee Inclusion
Racial and gender minority employees experience huge benefits from formal mentoring programs. These employees might not be chosen as an informal menteer, but the structure of a mentoring program can:
- Provide access to mentors across racial and ethics lines for employees.
- Mitigate any sexual tension related to initiating a cross-gender mentoring relationship.
5. Mentor benefits
Mentoring relationships don’t just benefit mentees. Mentors also experience growth. Those employees who act as mentors typically report:
- Greater career success.
- More fullfillment in work-related activities.
- Greater job satisfaction and organizaltional comitment.
Whether improving employee engagement, commitment, inclusion, or retention is your organization's goal, mentoring may provide a valuable solution. But not all mentor programs are created equal.
Mentor Resources provides web-based mentoring software that delivers results. Our software is built on the most precise matching technology you will find in any mentoring solution. Mentor and mentee compatibility is the most important factor in the success or failure of your mentoring program. These programs depend on relationships and if these are faulty the program is doomed to fail before it even starts. Through years of experience and testing Mentor Resources has developed a matching system that boasts a 99.6% satisfaction rate.
Although we're good at tech, that's not our first language. We speak in the language of growth and engagement. We thrive on the immense power of networking, and it shows in the success rate of our product. We have spent countless hours figuring out why people have such a hard time holding on in the workplace. What are the exact factors causing employees to hop from one job to another? We’ve also taken into account the key factors behind successful employees who have longevity and long-term success.
Reach out to us today for Free Demonstration and see how we can boost your organization.