Workplace mentoring programs are one of the best tools that organizations have to boost employee engagement, improve productivity, and reduce turnover rates. Statistics show that 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs at their organizations.
Yet, not all mentoring programs succeed. A one-size-fits-all approach is not the best way to create a program that works for your business. It is important to understand that there are different types of mentoring programs depending on what you are trying to accomplish. However, whether you are trying to develop leadership skills, onboard new hires, or improve your company’s diversity, mentoring can get you there.
4 Examples of workplace mentoring programs
Mentoring programs can align with business goals to make you, your company, and your employees more successful. Here are some ways that companies are using structured mentorships to boost leadership, diversity, and more.
- Leadership – Accounting firm Deloitte has developed a mentoring program that develops leaders from its ranks. The program’s focus and dedication have led to its achievements. Each mentee is matched with a sponsor for a two-year program of growth and development. Throughout their time, the sponsor helps the participant navigate their career with the company. The primary aim of the program is to build the company’s retention rate while developing top talent for future leadership roles. Boeing also has a formal leadership development mentoring program to facilitate employee growth in their IT, engineering, and HR departments.
- Training – Mentorships that revolve around training talent in employees is another best practice for mentoring programs. KPMG helps its employees prepare for writing the Certified Professional Accountant exam. By supporting employees before, during and after their certification, KPMG ensures that individuals are reaching their full potential while advancing the talent they have in their ranks.
- Onboarding – Starting a new job can be stressful. Companies can utilize mentoring programs to help new hires acclimatize to their organization. Connecting recruits with more experienced and established employees can help them feel more comfortable and attached to their new workplace. Another way to use mentoring with new hires is reverse mentoring. This gives new talent the opportunity to teach more senior employees new skills or technology tricks. Using mentoring for onboarding also provides an opportunity for companies to help new employees get up to speed on policies and processes. Matching mentees with mentors that have built a reputation for reliability in the company is a great way to ensure new hires don’t develop bad habits.
- Diversity – Creating a workplace that reflects the society that we all live and work in has been proven to be lucrative for companies. Researchers at McKinsey report gender diverse workplaces outperform non-diverse organizations by up to 25 percent. Ethnically diverse workplaces outperform non-diverse companies by up to 35 percent. That is why many businesses are developing diversity initiatives. Mentoring can help you make big strides in your diversity and inclusivity goals. Pairing minority employees with a mentor gives them the opportunity to be recognized, develop their talent, and cultivate leadership skills. Management consultants Bain and Company not only pairs junior employees with senior ones, but their mentoring program also has an inclusivity focus through groups like Blacks at Bain and Women at Bain. Their efforts have allowed them to double the number of women in leadership positions.
There are many more examples of successful workplace mentoring programs that can inspire you. These U.S. companies demonstrate that mentoring is not only good for your employees but it is also good for your business.
What you need to know to build a workplace mentoring program
Mentorship programs at work are an investment that companies make in their employees. Rather than wait for these relationships to develop on their own, many organizations develop a strategy to build a structured mentoring program.
While it takes a little more time and effort to create a program for your company, mentoring software can take the hassle out of running a workplace mentoring program. You can use software like Together to streamline the registration process, simplify the matching process and cultivate reports to gauge the success of your mentorships.
Here are some other ways that you can build a structured mentoring program for your workplace:
- Have a purpose. Instead of starting up a mentoring program to have a mentoring program, create a specific purpose for your program. Do you want to develop leaders? Will your program facilitate training opportunities for employees? Is your goal to build a more diverse workplace?
- Identify participants. To build mentorships that work, you may need to recruit participants actively. Consider employees that have been with your company for a long time and have something to offer younger employees. Are there new employees that could benefit from a connection with a mentor? Be sure to spread the word about your mentoring program through internal communication channels like email, newsletters, etc. Simplifying the registration process may also attract more participants. With mentoring software, you can customize the questions to align with your program goals and needs.
- Decide on a format. There are many different types of mentorships. You’ll want to decide if mentors will be matched one-on-one with mentees or if you’re going to do a group mentoring setting. Peer-to-peer mentoring and remote mentoring have also become popular options. Think about the mentoring format that works best for your program purpose.
At Together, we want to help your workplace mentoring program succeed. Contact us now for a free product demo.