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How to Introduce an Employee Mentor Program into a Hybrid Workplace

May 31, 2021

Many things have changed in a single year, particularly for employers and employees. Remote work has enabled most organizations to continue operating through the pandemic. However, as immunization rates increase, companies will be looking to get back to pre-pandemic business models. 


Yet, there have been some benefits from remote workplaces, such as promoting equality among staff, that are important to hang on to. Many organizations are designing a hybrid workplace model that brings together the benefits of the office with the advantages of working from home. But where do employee mentoring programs fit in with this new way of working?

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What Is An Employee Mentoring Program?

Employee mentorships have traditionally been a way to help new hires learn the ropes in the company. Mentors serve the role of advisors and guides along the mentee’s professional journey starting with their onboarding. But mentoring programs have many more benefits to an organization than training new hires.


These programs also have several benefits for employers, including:

  • Improve employee retention
  • Increase workplace satisfaction
  • Develop professional skills and capabilities
  • Succession planning
  • Attract top talent
  • Boost productivity


Despite having a number of benefits, not everyone understands the importance of employee mentoring programs. Having support from company leadership is vital for the success and longevity of the program. 


How To Sell Mentoring To Management

Running a workplace mentoring program takes a lot of time and energy. You’ll need to have support if you are to do it well. Whether that is in the form of advocacy by company leadership or some money to pay for resources to help manage the grow the program. How do you sell mentoring to management? You’ll need to create a case that clearly explains why your organization needs the program. Here are some tips to help you make a customized business case for a mentorship program at your workplace. 

Start by identifying the business goals or objectives of your company. 

These can include inclusivity, employee retention, productivity, succession or knowledge transfer, and employee engagement. Then show how mentoring will help your organization reach those goals. For example, if your company has been struggling with high turnover rates, which lead to higher costs (recruitment, advertising, etc.), find out just how much it costs your business with an employee turnover cost calculator

Faced with those numbers, managers will see the benefits that an employee mentoring program can bring. Another example is mentoring’s positive impact on diversity and inclusivity. Hybrid workplace mentoring programs are ideal places to help minorities in your company advance.  

Gather research and statistics. 

To support your case, look at some reports about the benefits and advantages of mentoring in the workplace. A number of studies show a connection between various business goals, including an increase in revenue and mentoring. 

Gauge the desire of employees for mentoring at work. 

To strengthen your position about the benefits of a workplace mentoring program, find out if it interests your employees. One way to do this is to send out a survey asking them about development and learning opportunities and if they are interested in more. Presenting this feedback alongside your business case for an employee mentoring program is the best way to get management onside and promote your mentorship program


Types Of Employee Mentor Programs In The Workplace

Employee mentor programs can take many different forms. There are many different types workplaces can use to meet any of the business objectives mentioned above. Many of these can easily fit in a hybrid workplace, such as:

One-to-one

This style of mentoring connects one mentor with one mentee and the focus is on the development of the relationship. Throughout their time together, in a one-to-one mentorship, a mentee is encouraged to develop goals and with the support and advice of the mentor to achieve them. 

Reverse 

Traditional mentorships pair a more experienced employee with a newer hirer or one just starting their career. However, reverse mentoring does the opposite. The mentor is the more recent employee who guides the experienced employee through a learning process. Reverse mentoring is ideal for organizations that want to advance technical skills in employees. It works because younger individuals usually have more experience with the latest tools on the market. 

Group 

In a group mentoring setting, one mentor is appointed to guide two or more mentees. One of the advantages of this style of mentorship is that participants have the opportunity to learn from each other and the mentor. It also fits into a remote or hybrid workplace by allowing for in-person or virtual mentoring

Whatever style of mentoring you feel best fits your hybrid workplace, you’ll want to brush up on the best practices for your mentoring program and develop strong remote workplace policies

How to Build a Successful Employee Mentoring Program

To simplify the management of your employee mentorships from registration to pairing to feedback and reporting, Together’s mentoring software is the best tool. Here are some of the benefits of having a program such as Together to help with your program:

  1. Cost - Mentoring programs take time, which can cost money. Mentoring program managers can spend hours on the registration and pairing process alone. That can lead to overtime and also prevent them from doing other business tasks. Together’s platform enables participants to register, choose potential matches, and you can customize its algorithm to identify matches that fit in with company goals. 
  2. Reporting - You’ll want to see that your mentoring program is meeting the objectives defined for it. Together can create business reports that allow you to measure the program’s ROI or identify areas that need some work. 
  3. Scalability - A company mentoring program may start small, but it will grow over time with good management and outcomes. The bigger it gets, the more complicated it can be to manage it manually. When you need to make over 100 pairing decisions for participants, having mentoring software is a boon. It can mean the difference between an average match and the best possible one. 
  4. Speed - Once you have built up momentum for your employee mentoring program, you don’t want to lose it by taking weeks to create a match. Using mentoring software eliminates this issue by allowing the platform to sort through the data in a matter of minutes.  


Together offers lots of information on starting your mentoring program to help support and encourage you through the process. 


Hybrid workplaces will become the norm. It’s important that companies don’t let their employees in the office receive more support and professional development than those who are remote or hybrid. For that reason running employee mentoring programs is essential to keeping hybrid workplaces engaged and performing at a high level. 


Download our Full Report on Mentoring

We interviewed and surveyed employees from 50+ leading North American Companies including McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, IBM, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Capital One, Norton Rose Fulbright, Mackenzie Investments. Get the results below.

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