“Companies that allocate the time and resources or encourage initiatives for mentorship programs can create a positive impact on their recruiting efforts, overall corporate culture, and engagement of their workforce, and thus become a great place to work.”
The concept of mentoring programs hasn’t entirely been a new one. This process has been quite commonplace as in the past, older employees acted as buddies to the new joiners and helped them learn about the process and the company. But, the rise of formal mentor programs in today’s hyper-competitive global economy suggests how organizations believe that it can help increase revenue; and save costs.
In its study, the American Society for Training and Development found that 71 percent of surveyed Fortune 500 companies had some form of a corporate mentorship program.
Here are some of the reasons why other companies should also follow suit:
Capitalize your workforce’s knowledge:
An official mentorship program is a great way to give your employees the chance to interact and learn from each other. The informal nature of a mentor-mentee relationship allows for a better exchange of knowledge, thus enabling the organization to bank on the skills and intellect of its own workforce. Google, for example, hosts Summer of Code, a global program where it pair students from more than 100 countries with different mentors to give them real-world software development experience and hone their skills.
Improve engagement of workforce:
The American Society for Training and Development reveals that 75 percent of surveyed executives give their mentors the credit for a great career. With the creation of mentorship programs, companies can develop the engagement among their trained employees. Mentors assist mentees to feel comfortable at the workplace, create a learning culture and thus, develop relationships with them by encouraging them to revamp their skills.
Improve employees’ job satisfaction:
Mentoring programs create higher job satisfaction among employees as they inculcate the feeling that their organization is committed to investing in their career development. Mentoring programs are a cost-efficient approach to enhance the engagement of your workforce. These programs help to develop the skills of your employees and create a coaching culture which increases productivity.
For example, Time Warner Cable feels that its mentorship program improves employee satisfaction by enhancing loyalty and retention. They boast of a culture where mentors teach young employees about the nuances of the role and thus become a key driver in the making of future leaders.
Create a culture of reverse mentoring:
“Mentoring is not just meant for junior management employees, as with the advent of a multi-generational workforce, all generations of employees are learning from one another. This phenomenon known as reverse mentoring has gained acceptance among companies where they encourage sessions for different classes of co-workers to share their experience and knowledge.”
Companies like Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Ogilvy & Mather have already witnessed positive results of introducing formal reverse mentoring programs, as reported by Wall Street Journal.
Boosts retention and recruitment:
Organizations are aware that both attrition and a bad hire are detrimental to costs of the company. And a mentoring program can be a key enabler in their boosting retention efforts by creating an environment of sharing and caring. Data from Emerging Workforce study suggests that 35 percent of survey participants who were deprived of any mentoring programs looked to switch their jobs within 12 months. This shows the role mentoring programs play in strengthening the loyalty of an employee.
Boosts networking and interpersonal skills:
The merits of these programs are holistic in nature, meaning they help the mentor, mentee, and the entire organization. With such programs, mentees can network and boost their interpersonal skills around the organization. This not only enhances their self-confidence but helps them get a better idea of the organization's culture and values. Similarly, mentors get to enhance their knowledge and gain deeper insights into their areas of interest in the process of coaching their mentees. This creates a culture of learning and sharing in the organization which benefits everyone at the workplace. Companies that allocate the time and resources or encourage initiatives for mentorship programs can create a positive impact on their recruiting efforts, overall corporate culture, and engagement of their workforce, and thus become a great place to work.