From Leader to Leader: ERC President Kelly Keefe Talks Mentorship Programs
No matter the state of the economy or labor market, competitive employers are always on the lookout for new and effective ways to attract, engage, and retain more workers.
ERC's employee engagement and NorthCoast 99 data points to a win-win engagement opportunity that might just fit the bill – mentorship.
From increasing employee job satisfaction to cultivating a more inclusive workplace, there are many reasons why you should consider starting a mentorship program at your organization.
Why Start a Mentorship Program
Mentorship is a powerful talent development, engagement, and retention tool that benefits the mentor, mentee, and your organization as a whole.
In fact, two-thirds (67%) of award-winning organizations have a formal mentorship program in place. More specifically, 57% have a mentorship initiative exclusively for newly hired employees.
Let's explore the benefits of mentorship and how it sets organizations apart...
Accelerates New-Hire Acclimation
New hires generally have questions and require extra assistance. A designated mentor can guide them in the onboarding process and help them navigate your workplace culture. As a result, mentees get acclimated to their new roles and new workplace faster through mentorship than they would through traditional onboarding or their own efforts.
Enhances Productivity & Growth
A mentor can provide guidance, support, and valuable insights to help mentees grow both personally and professionally. Mentors help mentees develop new skills and knowledge, which can lead to increased productivity, efficiency, and ultimately, opportunities for career advancement.
Especially in a remote or hybrid setting, connecting with a mentor on staff can act as an additional touch-point to keep the mentee engaged. These check-in meetings can help mentees feel more connected to their colleagues and the organization as a whole.
Just as the mentee benefits from mentorship, so, too, does the mentor.
Increases Job Satisfaction
Mentorship gives senior leaders and seasoned professionals the chance to teach, motivate, and provide honest feedback to mentees. As a result, mentors feel a greater sense of purpose and as though they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
The 2022 NorthCoast 99 award-winning organizations know that these factors, along with formal mentorship training, can positively contribute to an employee's job satisfaction and the success of the program. That's why 91% provide mentors with training and resources to be effective in their mentorship roles.
Broadens Skills & Perspectives
While the mentor is chiefly responsible for transferring knowledge and experience, they, too, can learn new skills from interacting with their mentee. Mentees, for example, may teach their mentors new technology tips and tricks and new ways to approach problems.
Recognizes Leadership Abilities
Being asked to be a role model reaffirms an employee's leadership abilities. It instills confidence in the mentor, which motivates them to be a better leader. Mentorship also gives high-performing employees the chance to shine and set themselves apart from their colleagues.
How Organizations Benefit From Mentorship
Mentorship not only benefits your employees, but it also shapes your workplace culture, supports retention, and sets your organization apart.
Creates a More Diverse & Inclusive Culture
Employers can create a more inclusive and equitable work environment by providing mentor and/or mentee opportunities to employees from underrepresented groups. The mentorship program can bridge gaps between different departments, levels of seniority, and backgrounds, which can cultivate a workplace where diverse views and perspectives are shared.
Reduces New-Hire Turnover
New-hire mentorship helps build solid relationships early on, which sets a strong foundation and helps prevent new-hire turnover in the short term.
Attracts & Retains Talent
Our research shows that employees are more inclined to stay at organizations that develop them. Mentorship programs can foster a culture of continuous learning and development, which can help attract and retain top talent. The strong attachment between mentors and mentees can also further retain employees at your organization.
Mentorship as a Win-Win Strategy
It's easy to see that mentorship can be a win-win for both employees and your organization. Not only does it engage and retain your workforce, but it also helps you become an employer of choice.
Kelly Keefe, SHRM-SCP