There are over 7 billion people on the planet. Even with so many people around us we often feel alone, lost without a guide to help us navigate life. The workplace is often the same way. Everyone seems to be on the ball, extremely productive and strapped for time while a new employee might feel totally stuck with no one to talk to you.
Mentoring matters. Having a mentor, especially in the workplace, can make or break an employee. Growing up, our mentors were teachers, parents or older friends who had blazed the trail for us. In the workplace, mentors can be equally valuable as vetern executives and tenured employees guide newcomers.
Mentoring benefits everyone. Mentees and mentors become more engaged, productivity increases, retention rates get a boost, diversity, inclusion and company culture also improve from these relationships.
A mentor is typically someone who is more experienced, educated and knowledgeable than a mentee. Mentors teach, guide and nurture the development process.
In a workplace, a mentor influences the personal and professional growth of a mentee. Traditionally, mentors are veteran employees who take a junior employee under their wing. It’s not always a requirement that a mentor is older. The most important factor is that mentors have experience that others can learn from.
Reverse mentoring can also be used when younger employees are teaching veteran employees about social media or technology tools they haven’t used before.
What do mentors do?
At a glance, it might seem like all a mentor does is take a mentee out for a cup of coffee or lunch once a week. And while this simple action can go a long way in helping an employee feel cared for by an organization, it’s really the bare bones minimum of a mentor's duties.
Good mentors mainly consists of guiding the mentee’s developmental activities, being an example of leadership and professionalism. Mentors should also inspire, warn against possible future pitfalls and motivate mentees to grow as not only professionals, but as people.
In the workplace mentors are typically managers, supervisors or tenured employees within the organization who are outside.
Why mentors matter
There are four main benefits from successful mentoring programs within an organization.
One - Improved Career Outcomes
When employees are mentored, career guidance is built into their professional lives. They will have someone to talk to, to network with and get advice from when it comes to career choices. Employees who are mentored experience:
Higher monetary compensation
Increased chances for promotion
Higher rate of career satisfaction
Increased commitment to career
Boost in confidence that they would succeed in their chosen career.
Two - Boosted Employee Engagement
Employees who are involved in a mentoring relationship feel more attached to their organizations. There is more personal connection to the mission, values and culture of the company. Employees who participate in a mentoring program typically have higher engagement scores and report:
Feeling positive about their company and place of work
More connection with senior leadership.
Feeling that their organization is providing opportunity for career growth.
More knowledge and certainty about the future course of their organization.
Three - Employee Retention rates improve
Mentoring Programs have been found to statistically reduce employee turnover.
A study conducted on 5,000 newly hired sales representatives showed that those who were part of a mentoring program reported a massively higher commitment to their organization and much lower rates of intending to leave than those who did not participate in a mentoring program. Brashear et al., 2006
A study conducted by Payne & Huffman on 1,300 military personnel who were part of a mentoring relationship were found to have a decreased turnover rate of 38%.
Four - Mentors benefit!
Mentor relationships don’t just benefit mentees. Mentors experience satisfaction and reap several gains from passing on knowledge and nurturing junior employees.
These are some of the main benefits mentors get in a formal mentoring program:
Greater job satisfaction, sense of accomplishment and organizational commitment
Greater career success
Increased work-related fulfillment
A sense of legacy and community
Formal mentoring programs are limitless when it comes to growing employees and solving human related problems. Coupled with powerful software (like Wisdom Share provided by Mentor Resources) formal mentoring programs can improve employee engagement, commitment, inclusion, retention rates and boost company culture.
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 a Free Demonstration of our software.