Mentoring in the Workplace: How Companies and Employees Benefit
When employees mentor each other, everyone wins.
A mutually rewarding endeavor for the mentor and mentee, workplace mentoring can help cultivate a more welcoming, engaged, and productive environment.
Successful workplace mentorship can have a profound financial impact on both an organization and the employees, as well.
A five-year study of 1,000 employees by Gartner, a research and advisory firm, and Capital Analytics, a software and services company, found:
- 25% percent of employees who took part in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who didn’t participate.
- Mentors were promoted six times more often than those not in the program.
- Mentees were promoted five times more often than those not in the program.
- Retention rates to be much higher for mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than for employees who didn’t participate in a mentoring program (49%).
Does your place of employment have a formal workplace mentoring program? If it does, you can benefit from a structured system designed to help elevate employees of varying experience levels.
Workplace mentoring programs promote personal and professional development, build new leaders, foster diversity and inclusion, create a learning culture, and increase job satisfaction while cutting down on turnover.
Whether done formally or informally, here is what employees stand to gain through the mentoring process:
Under the guidance of one or multiple mentors, mentees can:
- Acquire new skills and knowledge
- Gain invaluable insights from seasoned professionals
- Develop a network of contacts
- Become more confident and empowered
By sharing expertise and experience, mentors can:
- Gain a new perspective by interacting with younger generations in the workforce, or employees at different stages of their careers
- Develop leadership skills
- Improve communication and interpersonal skills
- Find personal satisfaction when their protégé rises through the ranks
Steps to take to become a good workplace mentor
Invest time in getting to know your mentee: A relationship that is purely surface level likely won’t breed trust or open lines of communication. Get to know your mentee on a personal and professional level by finding out about their strengths, weaknesses, career goals and experiences.
Set expectations and build structure: If your organization does not have a formal mentoring program, you will need to set up the parameters yourself. Make any long-term goals of the mentor/mentee relationship clear. Outline meeting times, any specific objectives you want to see your mentee accomplish and whether there will be a formal review.
Lend guidance during tough times: Investing time in getting to know your mentee could go a long way in making them comfortable enough to reach out when they are struggling at work. They may feel embarrassed or worried to reach out to their superior, especially if they are new to the organization, depending on the issues they are having. But you could be there to lend a helping hand to your mentee during growing pains.
Give honest and genuine feedback: Whether you set up a formal review or not, providing constructive criticism from the start is key. Give genuine feedback, whether positive or negative. If delivered in a supportive manner, providing frequent feedback should be another means of reinforcing trust while also instilling company expectations in your mentee.
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