Around the US, there are several companies that are running successful workplace mentoring programs. Statistics show that 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs. These programs are not only achieving what they were designed to do, but they are also inspiring others in the corporate world.
Mentoring programs in the workplace have been proven to reduce high turnover rates, tackle diversity problems and improve employee engagement. There are many additional benefits to these programs including a more productive workforce, a positive workplace atmosphere and a more skilled employee base. Mentoring is also a useful tool for succession planning as baby boomers are ageing out of the workforce.
If you are considering a mentorship program for your workplace, here are a few successful examples from California to New York to Boston that you can use to inspire your program.
Examples of mentoring programs
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to workplace mentoring programs. Rather, mentoring needs to have a purpose. There needs to be a plan and strategy to guide the program and participants to success. Here are just some of the best corporate mentoring programs:
- Boeing. This Chicago-based organization-wide mentoring program offers employees the chance to improve their leadership skills and further build their careers in the industry. Boeing has clearly defined practices for participants in its mentoring program. They offer orientation sessions to get started, which helps those involved know the skills they need to succeed. Within Boeing, there different types of mentorships available. Their Rotational Program helps new employees define a plan for their career in business, engineering, HR or IT sections. They also have a 1-to-1 Learning Program that is focused on peer mentoring opportunities. Boeing offers special mentorship training for potential leaders. In the Boeing Leadership Center, these budding employees are partnered with senior leaders in the company so they can develop the skills they will need to take on the challenges of leadership. In addition to these programs, Boeing also offers interns and co-op students the opportunity to learn by being part of operations at the company.
- Caterpillar. Also based in Illinois, Caterpillar was recently named one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes. Unlike other companies, Caterpillar’s mentoring program is one of the more in-depth. The mentorship program at Caterpillar is a longer one than at many other companies. Younger employees are paired up with more senior members of the company for two or three years. During this time the focus in on specific skills the mentees need to succeed in their field. However, because of the length of the mentorship, most mentees also develop leadership skills. The company also has Employee Resource Groups, which provide peer support and mentorship opportunities. The groups were developed to help promote diversity and inclusivity in the organization. For engineers who are not currently working in the industry, Caterpillar gives them a foot in the door through their Returning Professional Developments Program. This is a four-month mentorship that guides the employee back into the workforce.
- McGraw-Hill. The education publication giant, based in New York City, has offices in 38 countries, which provides interesting opportunities for mentorships. The company undertook a comprehensive planning and strategy approach to its mentoring program development. A case study on the process shows that most employees are well-served by the program. Ninety-seven percent of participants said they would recommend the program. A further 73 percent noted they had gained more confidence as a result of the mentorship. Moreover, 80 percent had achieved most of the goals they defined at the being of the program.
- Bain and Company. The Boston-based management consultant company ensures that each of its consultants has a mentor. In their workplace mentoring program, the focus is on professional development. However, they also try and ensure a diverse workforce. According to one article (URL), the company has been able to double the number of women on their leadership team.
- General Electric. Also based in Boston, GE has been promoting reverse mentoring for about 20 years. This type of mentoring program has the younger employees guiding the more senior employees in skill development. One of the main benefits of this style of mentorship is that senior workers with the company can keep their technology skills sharp. It also helps attract and keep younger employees. However, the company also engages in more traditional forms of mentoring through its GE global leadership institute. At this location senior members of the company spend time mentoring, teaching and coaching participants from around the world.
- Intel. The California-based tech company has a variety of mentoring programs to help employees. These include formal programs related to specializations, group opportunities and other more informal mentorships that develop within the organization. Most of these mentorships focus on professional development. Mentees are given some guidance on developing their skills, goals and career path.
Tips on creating a successful mentoring program
When it comes to creating a workplace mentoring program, there are some steps that organizers can take to ensure its success. These include:
- Be clear with expectations
- Get pairs to set goals
- Develop a regular meeting schedule
- Respect each others’ time
- Set a timeline for length of mentorship
- Have policies in place for behavior or conduct of participants
- Initiate participants with some basic training
- Solicit feedback
- Create and review regular program reports
There is no guarantee that your workplace mentoring program will be successful right out of the gate. However, with some planning and tweaking, mentorships can make a big difference in an organization. Mentoring software is one of the best tools to simplify and streamline creating and managing a workplace mentoring program.
Many top US companies have successful workplace mentorships that help employees reach their professional goals. These mentoring programs can inspire other corporations who are considering starting a mentorship program.
If you are looking at developing a mentoring program at your organization, contact us for a free demo of Together mentoring software.