In our last blog we introduced the topic of mentoring, its similarities/differences to coaching, and when it is best to use each concept. There are two sides to furthering mentoring in the work place. The first perspective is ‘why you should implement a business mentorship program’ and the other is ‘what do I look for in a business mentor’?
This blog will explore why or how you should set up a mentorship program for your organization. There are several benefits to creating a mentorship program. However, highlighted below are 3 key benefits to consider when deciding if such a program is right for your organization.
Business Mentor Program Benefits
- Career Development – Mentorship programs can play a vital role in career development and enhancement for employees. According to Medium, 76% of employees desire career growth opportunities. Similarly, 87% of millennials find development and growth opportunities as very important. The latter stat is important considering the shifting generational workforce. The intimate nature of mentorship can afford the mentee an opportunity to develop a deeper sense of connectedness to the organization and their future within the organization.
- Employee Retention – The development of mentoring programs can significantly impact retention. The process of recruiting and training new employees can put a financial strain on any organization. Not surprisingly, When employees are engaged, they are 59% less likely to seek another position outside the organization. Furthermore, 40% of employees who receive poor training leave their job within the first year. Examining the organization’s turnover rate may provide insights into how a program like this could benefit the bottom line.
- Knowledge Sharing – Mentoring can provide a efficient method for furthering organizational knowledge and culture development. This knowledge sharing can work in both directions. Older employees can help younger employees develop a better understanding of how and why the company is where it is today. Similarly, younger employees may be able to help older employees stay current on latest business technologies, technical skills, and workplace trends. Much like the challenges with retention, knowledge sharing can keep institutional knowledge alive.
The implementation of mentorship programs can face many challenges. Below are 3 “best practices” to consider when implementing an organizational mentorship program.
Business Mentor Best Practices
- Aligning Objectives – Aligning the program with organizational business objectives is important. This may include deciding what methods of mentoring will be used and which organizational function will benefit the most from the program.
- Participants – Identifying the right candidates for the program is crucial for success. Poorly matching candidates to mentors can impact the credibility of the program and reduce participation. A program with a poor reputation can reduce the pool of interested mentors and mentees. Therefore, the organization should target specific participants for a pilot program to help understand specific challenges of the particular job site.
- Tracking Results – “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. So, tracking data on the program is important to understand what is working and what is not. Some organizations may find that the use of surveys clarifies how participants feel about the program. Rather, others may find the use of mentoring software. Regardless of technique, tracking the engagement, success, and use of the program will help refine and improve the program as it grows.
Establishing a solid foundation for a mentorship program sets the program for success. There are numerous benefits and best practices for mentorship programs. However, these six keys insights can help your organization begin to brainstorm. As you think about building a mentorship program in the new year, let’s chat about how we can help you be successful in 2020.
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