Make an impact on your employees with an effective mentorship program

mentoring

Finding the right kind of mentorship in the workplace can help you achieve your goals, whether career-wise or for personal goals. Mentorship is beneficial at any stage of life to foster growth and development. New professionals, fresh graduates entering the workforce, and students are always looking into an extensive learning environment that will give them long-term support to grow into their full potential through challenging situations, advice, and encouragement that a mentor provides.

However, general mentorship is often low in the list of priorities of most companies. While it promotes employee engagement and job satisfaction, starting the search or forming a mentorship programme alone is already exhausting. Strategies for improving workplace culture, like mentorship, are often overlooked despite the long-term advantages such as improving retention and upskilling existing employees.

How can you create a successful mentorship programme for your employees?

Mentorship is a great tool to enable employees, boost workplace satisfaction, and nurture professional growth regardless of any circumstance. Not only that, mentorship helps establish a supportive network of peers, and gives the company a positive employer brand with attributes like trust, knowledge building, and a wealth of expertise.

Effective mentoring programmes improve employees’ satisfaction and retention in the workforce. In a 2019 survey of CNBC/Survey Monkey, 91% of workers with mentors in the US are “satisfied” with their jobs, saying mentors are considered most valuable in providing them guidance on how to get ahead at work and how to climb the corporate ladder.

The benefits of mentorship programmes are not just limited to the employees being mentored, a 2015 study shows that those who served as mentors reported greater satisfaction and greater fulfilment at work. Further, more research suggests that mentors perform better at work and experience greater success in their career.

Fostering relationships between seasoned professionals and newer employees through mentorship can positively impact both participants and the company’s performance. You can organise a mentorship programme for your employees with these following key guidelines:

  1. Define the programme’s goal. Most mentorship programmes are designed to improve each employee’s performance. As long as it works to the development of your employees and aligns with your organisational goals, the mentorship programme goals can vary. You could create a program that is integrated into your onboarding programmes to help new hires adapt to the workplace environment. It can also be for leadership development for some prospective team members that can be candidates  for future promotions.
  1. Build strong mentorship programmes by establishing clear guidelines and boundaries. Charting your mentorship programme, from programme enrolment to objectives and completion - there must be clear expectations and consistency throughout the programme. For example, you can chart the progress of each individual through evaluations at different stages of the programme, whether in the form of an interview or survey. A diagram can also help you actualise more critical steps both mentors and mentees should take. 
  1. Make matches using a data-informed approach. Your company may have a good structure for your mentorship programmes but can still get poor results due to mentor-mentee mismatch. To prevent this, you can gather useful information by creating questionnaires or surveys about your employees’ skills set, communications styles, interests, and long-term or short-term goals. Upon using this collection of data, you can match your participants for mentorship accordingly. Another consideration to make for a successful mentorship pairing is the experience gap of the mentors from its mentees, which on average is between 5-10 years, enabling mentors to feel a sense of balance as they bring out each mentee’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas mentors have a valuable and enriching experience. Remember, a well-structured mentoring programme makes it easy for determined and ambitious employees to find willing, well-meaning advisors who aim to help them reach their full potential.
  1. Provide mentorship training. Before starting your programme, it is helpful to train your mentors for them to understand how to best support their mentees. This should be done to align with the programme goals that have been established to ensure that all participants get the most out of it. Training them equips them as mentors to the appropriate approach in guiding and evaluating their mentees.
  1. Integrate mentorship as part of your organisational culture. Gain support from your senior management and regularly communicate the benefits of participating in your mentorship programme to the whole organisation. Generate excitement and buzz from employees as you promote the programme in various key departments where mentorship can take place as an essential tool for success. Discuss options with your mentors about which new skills should be integrated into the programme, observe and give constructive feedback to participants, and develop opportunities  for mentees to apply the teachings on a regular basis.

Ultimately, a mentorship programme is one of the best initiatives that your organisation can do to create meaningful connections between your employees. These programmes can help you align your employees’ individual goals with your company goals. With these in sync, your workforce’s performance will improve while your organisational culture will flourish at the same time.

Complement your company’s mentorship programme with Talegent’s Talent Development Solutions.

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