TO MOST ORGANIZATIONS the idea of adding a mentoring program sounds promising. Thoughts of internally trained junior executives rising through the ranks under the wings of their predecessors gives a noble air. However, there is much more to consider. What – specifically – can a mentoring program offer your organization? The most common aspect of a mentoring program is that of development. A manager or supervisor works with an employee to help in shaping and training them for future responsibilities. However, mentoring programs are more flexible and diverse than the simple act of training. Mentoring programs reach into practically every area of professional life in order to sculpt, mold and improve those who participate.
Let’s look at the top 10 applications for mentoring programs and how they can impact your organization:
Recruiting and New Hires: One of the top benefits employees seek is room for growth. Highlighting your mentoring program before those you hope to recruit gives your organization a solid advantage over companies that don’t offer such programs. When a recruitee knows your firm has an active mentoring program, they automatically understand that advancement is something your organization takes seriously. Likewise, mentoring programs give new hires a fast start once they are on board. By having their own personal guide to explain the chain of command, varying processes and unwritten rules, your new hire will become productive much more quickly than if he/she were left on their own.
Internal Hiring and Leadership Succession:Mentors have the duty of making employees more employable within your organization. One of a mentor’s various tasks is to look ahead to leadership and possible succession routes. If an employee has specific skills or has a desire to move up into management, the mentor will assist with creating a plan of action and implementation to accomplish the employee’s goals. This also helps ensure your business is prepared with qualified individuals in place to carry on as retirement and other events of attrition naturally occur.
Retention: Mentoring programs have the ability to keep employees in the organization. Through attention to personal and professional details, mentors are able to work with employees to overcome obstacles, site challenges, plot a course for the future and achieve goals. bridge specific skill gaps in order to transfer training into practical applications.
Diversity: Developing the representation of particular groups within the organization and ensuring those within your firm are on board with diversity protocols is another little-known aspect of mentoring.
Change Management: For some, change is seen as exciting. For others, change is dreaded and feared. Mentors can work one-on-one with mentees to cope with organizational changes. For those who embrace change, a mentor can help guide their direction in order to keep focus. For employees who prefer the status quo, a mentor can give enlightenment and reassurance.
Personal Growth: Helping employees develop as individuals is a vital step in any management program. Knowing an employee’s personal aspirations is a start. Being able to help that employee reach some or all of his/her aspirations in order to be more satisfied as a person is something mentors are uniquely qualified to do.
Mid-Career Boost: It isn’t uncommon for mid-career employees to battle with burnout or question their vocational choice. It isn’t uncommon for these employees to change careers and leave an otherwise happy work environment. With the presence of a mentor, an employee is much less likely to take drastic measures when it comes to his/her future. Instead, they are more likely to focus, regain their passion and continue serving your organization.
High Achievers: One of the most difficult types of employees to manage is the high achiever. Because these fast-paced workers get bored easily and must constantly be challenged, the turnover rate can be double or triple that of other employees. Mentors encourage high achievers, help them concentrate, assist with defining and meeting goals, and work to ensure high achievers always feel as though they are moving forward.
Low Performers: No one likes to let employees go. However, some low performers simply aren’t capable of producing the expected results… or are they? It has been shown that low performers, when matched with a mentor, more often than not improve their performance and deliver expected (and sometimes unexpected!) results. This saves the company the financial and time expenses of a new hire and saves the employee an embarrassing termination. Mentoring can have a positive impact on practically every aspect of your organization. Take a look around. Do you see any room for improvement within your firm? If so, chances are a qualified mentor has the ability to bring those improvements to life!