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Onboarding

Why all new hires need group mentoring

Starting a new job–especially if remotely– can be daunting, to say the least. And according to research, new hires aren't getting the support they need: only a third feel adequately prepared. What can people leaders and managers do about this? It's not revolutionary, but connect new hires with each other and give them meaningful support from leaders. We call this group mentorship and it's incredibly effective at taking your onboarding process to the next level. Your new hires will thank you.

Ryan Carruthers

October 14, 2021

Organizations invest significant time, effort, and money into hiring the best candidates. However, unless you’re successful at helping your new hire transition to their new role, all that effort can be wasted. 

The onboarding process is the foundation of the employee experience at your organization. And according to Gallup, only 29% of new hires feel prepared for their new role after onboarding. 

29%! There’s got to be more we can do as people leaders to prepare our new hires for success.

A large number of companies have found mentoring new employees to be useful at reducing turnover rates and adequately preparing them for their new roles. One study found that 77 percent of companies reported mentoring programs increased employee retention.

You can give employees all the information and manuals they need to maneuver the processes and procedures at your company, but that won’t create trust, respect, or a feeling of belonging. 

Mentoring during the onboarding process is key. 

A mentor knows the ropes and can provide support, encouragement, and advice. They can also help a new hire integrate socially into the company. 

If you want to create an onboarding process that works, group mentoring is the answer. 

Group mentoring can take three forms: One mentor, several mentees; more than one mentor, multiple mentees; peer to peer mentoring. 

What Is Group Mentoring For New Hires?

Picture this: you’re starting a new job remotely (as many have over the past year). On your first day your manager takes you through all the administrative work and then, to your surprise, changes gears to introduce you to a group of other new hires. Your manager explains that you’ll all be enrolled in a group where a senior leader in the company will be available as a mentor for all of you during your onboarding. 

They explain that, in addition to having them to rely on, you’ll also have the senior leader to support you with things like understanding company culture, how different departments work together, and they’ll be available to answer any questions you may have about the company, your career, or anything else. 

You, along with other new hires, will all be enrolled in a group where a senior leader in the company will be available as a mentor for all of you during your onboarding. 

Now you have a mentor and your manager to help you succeed–all on day one. But that isn’t all. Your manager goes on explains that you will have opportunities to buddy up with other new hires so you have someone similar to you to work alongside as you ramp up in your new role. Welcome to the team!

What the manager was introducing you to was a group mentoring program for new hires. 

Group mentoring can take three forms:

  1. One mentor; several mentees.
  2. More than one mentor; multiple mentees.
  3. Peer to peer mentoring. 

Organizations can leverage group mentoring to build mentoring relationships between leaders and peers. These groups come together to support each other, discuss challenges, goals, and share ideas. It’s an opportunity for new hires to meet new people and get valuable exposure to leaders. 

Offering a group mentoring experience during the onboarding process connects recent hires to help them adjust to their new roles. 

Only 29% of new hires feel prepared for their new role after onboarding. There’s got to be more we can do as people leaders to prepare our new hires for success.


Why Group Mentoring Is Better For New Hires Than 1-On-1 Mentoring

We’re not saying that 1-on-1 mentorship isn’t beneficial or doesn’t have a place for new hires. It’s incredibly important. But new hires will benefit from connecting with others like them as well as learning from senior executives. 

Strengths of 1-on-1 mentoring

Traditional mentoring, or 1-on-1 mentorships, have several benefits, such as:

Strengths of group mentoring

Group mentoring is an ideal format for the onboarding process. Some of the strengths of group mentoring for new hires include:

  • You have others like you to learn from - mentors and mentees have something to offer the group, and peer mentoring can be just as beneficial. 
  • You can problem - solve together rather than just getting answers from a senior mentor - this can create a bond between your new hires that will extend into their work for your company. 
  • You won’t feel like you’re the only one in your position - new hires may feel insecure as they acclimatize to your organization. By connecting with other new employees, they can gain confidence and build meaningful connections. 
  • It can be a useful mentoring model if there are not enough mentors available for 1-on-1 pairing - some organizations don’t have enough employees for traditional mentorships. Utilizing the group model can help overcome this problem. 
  • Build your network and connections in a new company - group mentoring will help you develop relationships with others in the company within the first few weeks. 

We’ll now look at the benefits of group mentoring for new hires in more detail. 

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Benefits Of Group Mentoring During The Onboarding Process

The first few weeks and months of a new hires’ experience with your company can determine what their future will be like at your organization. 

By mentoring new employees, you’ll support their onboarding and take advantage of the benefits of group mentoring, such as:

They have more than one ‘buddy’ to help them understand their new role

Some organizations assign new employees a buddy to help them adjust. These buddies are usually like mentors and are coworkers or peers.  With group mentoring, new hires will benefit by connecting with several buddies. 

Access to more knowledge sharing opportunities

Allowing new employees to develop connections with peers and other employees in the company offer them access to more knowledge-sharing opportunities

Each of the individuals that your new hire builds a relationship with can become someone they learn from as they grow in your organization. It can also present an opportunity for your new hire to share their expertise or experience with other employees. 

Adjusting to a new company takes time. Engaging new hires in group mentoring experiences can shorten the time it takes for them to adjust to your organization and their role in it. 

Helps new hires adjust to company culture quicker

Adjusting to a new company takes time. Engaging new hires in group mentoring experiences can shorten the time it takes for them to adjust to your organization and their role in it. 

New hires motivate each other 

New employees are often filled with enthusiasm and excitement for their new jobs. Offering group mentoring sessions can help them share their ideas and energy. Doing this can also infuse enthusiasm in your other employees. 

With software like Together, you can cut back on the time it takes to get groups up and running and tracking their success. 

New hires hold each other accountable

A group setting means that new hires will be accountable to all the others in that group. This feeling of accountability can bring out the best in employees as they know their peers and mentors are watching. 

Organizing A Group Mentoring Program

There are a few steps you need to take to build a successful group mentoring program.

  • Begin with a plan - define the purpose or objective of your program. You’ll also want to identify KPIs that you can measure to see how successful your group mentoring program is at achieving its goal. 
  • Get leadership on board - having senior members of your company promote and support mentoring new employees directly impacts the success you’ll have. 
  • Market it - invite all new hires to join the group mentoring onboarding program. You can spread the word during the interview or hiring process and include some information about the program in the hiring handouts you share with new employees.
  • Have the right support - running a group mentoring program requires some time on pairing, monitoring, and reporting. With software like Together, you can cut back on the time it takes to get groups up and running and tracking their success. 

We also have more tips on starting a group mentoring program that can help you build the best experience for your new hires. 

You can also learn how to improve your onboarding process with our mentoring software, including tips on staying organized and simplifying the pairing process. 

The onboarding process is a crucial experience that can make or break a new employee’s success at your organization. A group mentoring program can overcome the challenges of starting a new job, cultivating team building, and teaching new hires about company policies and culture.


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