The advantages of mentorships for working individuals are well documented. A lesser-known fact, however, is that mentorships can also be hugely beneficial to the organizations that employ them. Individual improvement in performance and more effective leadership creates a more engaged workforce. This, in turn, goes a long way in terms of cost-saving retention. Employees are more likely to remain loyal and work hard for a company that they feel has worked hard and shown loyalty to them.
Mentorships, however, are not a one-size-fits-all practice. Business owners and decision-makers should begin by analyzing where their strengths and weaknesses are in terms of employees. The three most common areas of focus are on onboarding, high potential employees, and leadership succession.
New Employee Mentorship
The highest turnover rates are consistently seen in the first two years of employment. Developing an onboarding mentorship procedure can have a significant impact on the office demographic. By matching new employees with a go-to-person other than their boss, a company decreases isolation and enables new employees to ask procedural and culture-based questions that they may not feel comfortable asking a superior. The better the match between mentor and mentee in terms of specialty and personality, the greater the benefit to the new hire.
High Potential Mentorship
High potential mentoring target employees who have established their value to the company. This is particularly useful for boomerang employees who maybe left previously for greater advancement opportunities but have since returned. Pairing them with a mentor who has seen the value of the boomerang employee’s contributions will help them reach their potential within the organization. In doing so, the company is also displaying a higher level of commitment to this person and their leadership potential by providing the tools and contacts they will need moving forward.
Succession based mentoring focuses on individuals in whom the organization has already invested. These are the most valuable team members in the leadership pipeline and the ones most susceptible to poaching. Pairing these mentees with senior leaders prepares them for the next level of responsibility, shows them what they can achieve in the organization, and keeps them engaged with the success of the company.
Through mentorships, employees find trusted advisors and build a network of successful working relationships. By implementing formal programs, businesses can save hundreds of thousands in turnover costs by retaining valuable employees and increasing their overall satisfaction. It’s a win-win situation worthy of consideration.