Feb, 2023 - By CMI
Mentorship programs have risen in popularity over the last few decades, and they are used by small businesses through to global corporations. Mastercard and Google are just two vast companies that believe in the value of mentorship for helping employees to advance.
Mentoring has become more valuable since the pandemic as it can help to reduce costs in some areas. Most businesses felt the financial cost of Covid and the ramifications of lockdowns and social distancing. If your business uses mentoring it is likely to lead to staff retention which means less training and less recruitment. Another benefit of staff retention is that your business keeps your talent in-house and away from rivals
Do all businesses carry out mentoring programs?
Onboarding is a method of helping new employees to learn the skills necessary for their jobs, and help them to integrate. But, incredibly, this essential way to introduce new workers to a business is completely ignored by about 22% of companies. And around 58% of firms that do have onboarding programs simply hand out paperwork and tests.
Without mentoring or an effective onboarding program, workers can feel somewhat lost. Not surprisingly, a lack of proper mentoring can lead to higher staff turnover as employees feel unappreciated, and seek employment elsewhere.
How do you start a successful mentorship program?
There are some resources for great ideas for a mentorship program online, and many businesses specialize in providing guidance and digital platforms to help mentors and their protégés.
But, you can also find a brief guide to setting up a mentorship guide here. While not in-depth, these steps are the basics you need to start mentoring.
Decide what your goals are
A report on the neuroscience behind goals and behaviors defines a goal as a desired future state, or a target so to speak. Your business needs to set the goals they wish to see its mentees reach.
Match mentors to mentees
You will need to set criteria for matching your mentors to their mentees. You may also need to provide some form of training to new mentors and discuss objectives. One way this can be made easier is to use mentoring software that helps to match mentors to employees in the program.
There are also different types of mentorship to take into account:
One-on-one mentoring is a popular choice in business, and while the mentor will be the most experienced, both parties can impart knowledge and experience to the other.
Group mentoring is where one mentor teaches a group. But, some form of individual guidance must be included as each mentee will have different levels of experience and skills.
Lastly, there is reverse mentoring, where a younger or more junior employee may pass on new ideas and methods to someone above them.
Embrace virtual mentoring
Once the pandemic hit it was widely publicized that millions of employees had started to work from home. While many have returned to the office, a large percentage of people have found working from home is the new normal.
It is perfectly possible to mentor remotely. You will just have to make certain adjustments, and possibly use a mentoring platform for communication and networking.
Encourage employees to join up
Promote the benefits of being involved in a mentorship program, and set up an intranet net site to extol its virtues and allow applications.
Get personally involved
To help with sign-ups, hold departmental meetings and explain how mentoring can help with career progression, networking, and learning new ideas. If possible, consider an administrator role in the mentorship program.
Provide resources and training
Ensure everything is in place for the mentorship program to progress as planned. Install a digital mentoring platform, provide mentoring templates, and provide office space as well as any other necessary resources.
As already mentioned, job retention is higher when mentorship programs are successful. Investment in employees leads to better productivity, staff satisfaction, and loyalty.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics the median employee tenure is 4 years for females, and 4.3 for men. If you can increase job satisfaction, and help employees develop, both you and the business will benefit.
A mentoring template helps the student and the mentor to monitor advances and development. Targets that are met can be seen clearly, and then new goals can be set or old ones adjusted as the mentee develops new skills and knowledge.
Give rewards when targets are met
When a mentee meets certain targets or completes their mentorship you can give them an extra bit of recognition with a reward of some type. This could be a day off, a certificate, a gift card, or an organized event such as a meal for the mentors and mentees.
Having experienced mentors who can pass on their knowledge and skills to more junior employees ensures that your workforce develops faster. Your business will retain the experience of senior employees, through teaching.
Your staff will feel more valued, and more confident, and should be far more efficient in their roles. They can progress to leadership roles sooner than if they hadn’t been mentored, and they will feel able to express their own ideas to help the business.