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Maintaining Momentum in Your Workplace Mentoring Program

May 26, 2020

The busyness of returning to the office after pandemic isolation risks workplace mentoring programs being put on the backburner. There will be so much to do and to catch up on. Mentoring programs are very likely to be a low priority.

Just as most of us have become adjusted to working from home, restrictions put in place by COVID-19 concerns are being loosened. We now find ourselves heading back into our workplaces, albeit with some changes.

Readjusting to life in the office will take some time. We’ll all be fairly busy when we return to work, similar to when we come back after a holiday. During this time, it can be easy to put mentoring low on your list of priorities, but it is important not to let this happen. To do so would be a step back for organizations that have built up a successful mentoring program. In fact, it might be you’ll have to start from scratch when you decide to pick up mentoring as an employee engagement tool again.

What you risk losing with a lack of commitment to mentoring

Workplace mentoring programs bring several benefits to organizations including:

  1. Employee engagement
  2. Lower turnover rate
  3. Skill development among your talent
  4. Improved diversity in the workplace
  5. Improve productivity and revenues
  6. Succession planning

If you put mentoring on the back burner, you run the risk of losing all these benefits, which may be difficult to get back in the future. Consider that you would basically be starting from scratch when you decided to put energy back into your workplace mentoring program. If you have already invested in a mentoring program at your office, it is important to keep the momentum going both for participants and for the organization.  

How to encourage commitment by participants

Mentoring programs are built on strong mentor-mentee relationships. However, it takes time and energy to be involved in workplace mentorships. You may need to invest some time reminding participants why they are involved in your workplace mentoring program. This includes telling them again about the benefits they will personally experience including skill enhancement, the ability to help someone else and the opportunity to learn and grow themselves. 

Mentees who were participating in a mentorship prior to the COVID pandemic may find the return to work particularly overwhelming, especially if they are new to the organization. The thought of having to juggle their responsibilities as well as continuing to meet regularly with a mentor can feel daunting. It is important to remember that many individuals have been struggling with the stress of what is going on in the world and mentees are among them. However, it is beneficial to remember that mentorships can help relieve that stress

Mentoring doesn’t just enhance the life of the mentee. The mentor who is involved in your workplace mentoring program also benefits from the experience. Some of the advantages to mentor participants include:

  • better communication skills - learning how to offer constructive criticism is one of the best benefits that mentors gain from their experience. Knowing how to guide someone to a higher level of performance is key to successful management. 
  • stronger leadership ability - mentorships work best when the mentor offers guidance and advice but doesn’t tell the mentee what they should do. Understanding this and putting it into practice in other areas of your professional life can make you a stronger leader. 
  • improved listening skills - as a mentor, learning to listen to your mentee can mean the difference between a successful relationship and a failed one. Mentors who develop improved listening skills will also be able to use it elsewhere in their lives. 
  • New tech capability - younger mentees are often more tech-savvy than their more established mentors. This can be an advantage for the mentors who can learn from their mentees. You never know when being fluent in the latest tech trends can come in handy. 

How to encourage commitment by your organization

Mentoring programs are among one of the best - and most affordable - ways that an organization can cultivate loyalty and engagement among employees. High turnover rates can be reduced, productivity can be increased and broaden the skill set of your team. 

Turnover can be costly. By investing in a workplace mentoring program you can show employees that you care about them and their career development. This is a great way to build loyalty and reduce high turnover rates. 

Mentorships increase productivity among employees. Mentorships help employees to feel happier at their places of work. This leads them to work harder, taking pride in their performance. 

Enhanced skills on your team. Career development programs, like mentorships, can enhance the skills that your team members bring to the table. Workplace mentoring programs help build soft skills in both the mentor and mentee. These programs can also be a good way to help high-performance employees reach their full potential within your organization. 

Investing in a workplace mentoring program means your organization can benefit from the positive impact that results. However, if you allow the busyness of reopening your office to put your mentoring program on the bookshelf for a later day, you’ll miss out on these benefits. You will also have to start at the very beginning and build up your workplace mentoring program all over again when you decide to pull it down. 

Mentoring momentum 

Helping participants and leadership stay motivated when it comes to your workplace mentoring program can be a challenge. However, mentoring software can help you build and manage a successful mentoring program for your organization. From registration to matching to tracking and reporting, Together can help you and your company stay focused and cultivate the benefits that come with a good workplace mentoring program. 

To find out more, contact us for a free demo today. 

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