As organizations strive to become more competitive and successful, one of the most powerful tools they can implement is a mentoring program.
In fact, organizations are increasingly adopting this strategy. In ATD's latest research report, 48% of the organizations surveyed had formal mentoring programs in place, and 42% planned to implement one within the next year.
A mentorship program, especially for new hires, offers numerous benefits, ultimately stemming from the goal of connecting an expert with someone who isn't as experienced or knowledgeable about accelerating professional development and reaching new heights of success.
With these advantages in mind, it's clear why your organization needs a mentoring program — not just for its current staff but also for its future leaders.
Throughout this guide, let us take a look at some concrete reasons why your organization should consider implementing a mentoring program, both in terms of measurable outcomes and other noteworthy benefits.
Are mentoring programs really necessary at work?
Mentoring programs are beneficial in the workplace because they provide support, guidance, and a sense of community for employees. Mentorship can help foster team cohesion and collaboration while also providing a platform for employees to learn from experienced professionals.
These programs create an environment that encourages growth and development, as well as provides employees with the tools they need to succeed in their current roles and build their careers.
In the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workplace Happiness Survey, over nine in ten workers (91%) who have a mentor report a high degree of job satisfaction. The result is a higher rate of employee retention and, for new hires, the opportunity for career development from the get-go.
The common saying in the workplace that runs along the lines of "mentorship should happen naturally. If we force it, it will be less meaningful" rings true. When the process is forced, the relationship between mentor and mentee can lack authenticity and lose the value of mentorship.
However, it should likewise be noted that formal mentoring programs need to be in place to encourage a healthy amount of goal-setting. A structured approach ensures that each person has a clear understanding of what they are expected to contribute as well as outlining how progress will be measured.
W Brad Johnson, an expert in mentorship and gender in the workplace, captures the challenge of “informal vs formal mentorship” cleary during our interview on the topic of women and mentorship:
“When you ask prospective mentors and mentees, would you prefer a formal relationship where you're matched or would you prefer chemistry? Most people say chemistry…Here's the problem with that. When you rely on just chemistry, you have low rates of mentorship, and the first people to drop through the cracks tend to be women and people of color.”
Relying solely on natural mentorship can lead to a lack of support and resources for many people. It often means that those who are privileged or have access to networks are more likely to receive mentorship than those without.
When done right, successful mentoring programs will lead to improved morale for all team members, increased productivity, higher job satisfaction levels, and better overall results for the organization.
The concrete benefits of workplace mentorship (that impacts the bottom line)
There is no doubt that investing in an effective mentorship program is essential to the success of many organizations. Let's look at how its concrete benefits can impact a company’s bottom line in the long run.
Mentorship considerably reduces employee turnover
Mentorship is a key factor in reducing employee turnover (check out our turnover cost calculator to see how much you can save). When an employee feels supported by a mentor, they gain confidence in their current role and can begin to see the long-term potential of the company. This creates loyalty and dedication to the organization, which leads to less turnover.
According to peoplekeep.com, the average cost of replacing an hourly employee can reach $1,500. For those in technical positions, it’s 100% to 150% of their salary. The expense of hiring new staff is expensive, whereas businesses that employ mentorship programs have far better employee retention rates that result in long-term reductions in costs.
Retaining valuable employees
A mentoring program enables organizations to develop high-potential employees (HiPos). HiPo employees are those who demonstrate outstanding performance and have the potential to become future leaders. Compared to non-HiPos, these valuable employees can add 91% more revenue to the organization.
Investing in HiPo talent will help ensure that you have access to experienced professionals with advanced skill sets who can help drive success in the long term. Your employees can become the kinds of leaders you need through workplace mentoring.
Employee satisfaction increases revenue
The number of personnel who stay with an organization is directly linked to how content they feel in their role. A disgruntled worker is more likely to leave than someone satisfied with their job.
A Gallup study revealed the expensive repercussions of disengaged workers, who had 37% higher levels of absenteeism and 60% consistency errors. Companies with a low employee engagement rate also saw 18% less productivity.
On the other hand, organizations that have happier employees generate income per share that is 147% higher than that of their competitors.
The meaningful benefits of mentorship for employees
Through mentoring programs and initiatives, businesses are able to foster a culture of collaboration and learning, in turn helping to maximize the potential of their employees.
Here are some of the meaningful ways mentorship can provide in the workplace.
Fosters a work culture that values diversity and inclusion
A mentorship is a powerful tool for fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It helps to create an environment of acceptance, appreciation, and understanding between people of diverse backgrounds.
Through mentoring relationships, employees are able to learn about their peers’ experiences and perspectives, which can help them better understand how their own experiences may be shaped by their identity or background.
Leaders understand that their companies have the potential to profit from creating and maintaining a workforce of diverse backgrounds. Research has shown that organizations with more extensive diversity had a 45% higher rate of sales generated by innovation compared to those with less diversity, leading to superior overall financial performance.
Ultimately, when employees feel included and accepted, they are more likely to be productive, engaged, and loyal members of the organization.
Develops personal and professional development
Creating a mentorship program encourages employees to take risks and make mistakes in order to learn and grow, creating an environment where innovation can flourish. Having mentors available provides a supportive space for employees to explore new ideas without fear of failure.
Mentors provide guidance and support by helping employees set personal and professional goals, then providing the resources needed to achieve those objectives.
The program can also offer insight and advice into how one's behavior affects their career trajectory and relationships with others. This helps individuals become better communicators while also developing their emotional intelligence.
In fact, mentoring has benefits for everyone involved, such as a renewed professional identity and a heightened sense of confidence in the direction of the profession for mentors. Mentorship is a two-way street based on trust that yields tremendous rewards for both parties involved.
Reduces stress in the workplace
Mentorship can be a powerful tool for employees when it comes to managing stress. Mentoring programs can provide support and guidance to mentees, which can help them navigate difficult situations or stressful periods more effectively.
Also, mentoring has historically been used to help individuals reconnect with their job environment, grow their abilities, and build connections that can further their careers.
That being said, a study from Harvard Business Review discovered that providing mentorship can have a beneficial effect on stress levels for mentors as well. Not only did it lessen their anxieties, but it also allowed them to recognize that these worries are widespread and provided an opportunity to discuss strategies for managing them.
Both mentors and mentees can feel more at ease discussing such concerns, resulting in a therapeutic experience for all involved. This helps reduce overall stress levels by providing an outlet for everyone to express their frustrations and by equipping them with the skills needed to manage any challenges that come their way.
Encourages workplace learning
A learning culture in the workplace is an environment that encourages and supports employee development through education, training, and professional growth initiatives. It recognizes that employees need to be supported in their growth both professionally and personally in order to remain productive and engaged at work.
The primary benefit of having a learning culture within an organization is that it encourages communication between mentors and mentees, allowing them to share experiences, advice, feedback, knowledge, competencies, or any other form of support they can offer one another.
Furthermore, a mentorship program designed with a learning culture development in mind allows employees to develop their skill sets in order to remain competitive in today's ever-changing business environment. This not only boosts morale but also makes employees feel valued by their employer, which leads to higher engagement levels overall.
Ready to start a mentorship program? Together can help
Mentoring programs are an invaluable tool that can benefit both the mentor and the mentee in a variety of ways. By providing guidance, support, and encouragement, mentors have the power to help shape their mentees’ futures for the better.
Crafting the right mentorship program can be a complex undertaking. It cannot be done in one day, but with the right tool, it can be streamlined more conveniently and can aid in managing employee growth more efficiently.
Look no further than Together's mentoring platform if you want a seamless way to launch a mentoring program. Using our best-in-class software, utilized by some of the world's largest brands, can rapidly pair the right mentor with the right mentee, cutting down the time it takes to do so down to a few minutes.
With the ideal mentoring program, the mutual exchange between mentor and mentee helps build meaningful relationships that foster personal growth, confidence, and self-reliance, ultimately leading to a successful organization.