6 Reasons to Start an Employee Mentorship Program

Sep 05, 2017
| Michael Altiero
Employee Mentorship Program Benefits

Most companies today offer various programs to their employees that are designed to boost happiness and help with individual development. Some of these programs can cost organizations a lot of money and may not provide the return on investment to make them worth the cost, especially if employees don’t view them as helpful.

Employees and employers should both care about professional development, as there are numerous mutual benefits that come from investing in this area. This is why starting an employee mentorship program should be a must for all organizations.

Employees who take part in mentorship programs earn more money and experience greater satisfaction in their job and company. By having a mentor, employees have someone to learn from, motivate them, and assist with various areas of professional development.

Mentorship programs provide individuals with a professional role model who can help them achieve the career development that benefits the employee, mentor, and organization. But there are even more reasons to start an employee mentorship program. Let’s look at six of them:

1) Career and Leadership Development

Perhaps the most important reason to start a mentorship program is for career and leadership development. Traditional programs pair a senior-level employee with a more junior-level team member, which helps foster a mentor-mentee relationship. The goal of the mentor is to help their mentee create a career development plan, and provide the knowledge and experience that can make the plan achievable.

In addition to career development, helping mentees grow their leadership abilities and skills should be a goal for all mentorship programs. If mentees want to one day become business leaders, developing leadership skills is a must. This is where mentors can be extremely valuable, and why mentorship programs are so valuable to employees and employers.

2) Boost Employer Branding

We have talked previously about how recruiting is more difficult than ever before. Job seekers today have higher expectations when considering their next career move. Benefits, work-life balance, and professional development are all just as important as money for job seekers. Having a mentorship program can be an extremely valuable selling tool when trying to attract top talent.

Companies with successful mentorship programs should market them on their career pages, Glassdoor accounts, and social media profiles. Not only will these programs help with recruiting, but they will also aid in employee retention. By showing employees that they care about professional development, organizations can greatly reduce the likelihood of employee turnover.

3) Improve Company Culture

The importance of company culture cannot be overstated. Not only does it impact employee happiness and productivity, but it factors significantly into recruiting and retention, too. Companies today spend a great deal of time and resources trying to revamp and improve their cultures. However, this is easier said than done.

Offering an employee mentorship program is a great way for organizations to enhance and improve their culture. These programs have proven to increase workplace morale, productivity, and satisfaction. Mentorship resources can also help employees feel more proud of the company. The importance of this shouldn’t be overlooked.

4) Better Communication

One thing that a lot of companies (especially medium and larger-sized organizations) suffer from is poor communication. This is even more true for interdepartmental communication. Believe it or not, mentorship programs are a great resource to improving this aspect of a business.

Mentorship programs allow for interaction between individuals from different departments and various levels of the organization. By providing employees a means to meet and engage with new people, improved internal communication is a real outcome. Not to mention that employees can build their network and get to better know their co-workers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

5) Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement goes hand in hand with company culture and employer branding. When employees are engaged at work, productivity and performance rise. However, getting employees engaged can be difficult.

Creating an employee mentorship program is one of the best ways to improve engagement. Not only does it address some of the biggest factors of employee engagement (leadership and development, company culture, company brand and image, etc.), but mentorship programs provide employees a way to be engaged within the company.

Having the opportunity to learn from a mentor and meet fellow co-workers helps employees feel more connected with the business. It can also help them better understand the goals and values of the company. If increasing employee engagement is a business goal, implementing a mentorship program is a great start.

6) Opportunities for Reverse Mentoring

When you think of mentorship programs, the concept of junior-level employees learning from senior-level managers probably comes to mind. And while this is true of a traditional mentor-mentee relationship, the best employee mentorship programs also see the opportunity for reverse mentoring – when the mentor learns from the mentee.

Mentorship programs should be designed for a two-way transfer of knowledge. As a senior-level employee or manager, working with a mentee may allow you to learn about new tools and resources that can assist the department or company. Keeping an open mind in a mentorship program can provide even more value to everyone involved.

Don’t Underestimate the Potential of Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs are one of the most valuable resources an organization can offer its employees. These programs help both mentors and mentees feel more connected at work and improve the overall happiness of the entire workforce. They are also valuable for recruiting top talent and keeping current employees from leaving the organization.

The value of mentorship programs shouldn’t be overlooked by organizations. Employees care more about their professional development today than ever before. They also want to be engaged in their workplace and feel connected to their employer. Mentorship programs help achieve these outcomes, and more.

For an example of a successful and rewarding employee mentorship program, check out the video below of our program from this year. The entire company is excited to continue the program in 2018 and beyond!

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