The Importance of Mentorship
Before we move into 2021 and begin setting various work-related goals, it’s essential to analyze the gaps in the organization’s current working model and leverage the incredible growth tool – mentorship.
Business mentoring is the relationship between an experienced person (mentor) and a working staff (mentee). It can be used at all stages in the business life cycle and help organizations achieve a higher ROI.
Why does mentorship matter in an organization?
A mentoring program allows companies to capitalize on their most excellent resource – the people! It helps the business strategically develop employees’ talent, contributing to the company’s growth, and increasing bottom-line revenue.
Companies embracing mentoring programs are often rewarded with higher levels of employee engagement and retention rate. 71% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs to their employees.1
The benefits of mentoring are myriad. Mentoring helps:
● Develop future leaders.
● Impart new skills and fosters connections.
● Support personal and professional growth.
● Serve as a valuable onboarding tool, boosting employee loyalty.
● Provide a competitive advantage.
How to Start a Mentorship Program
Since many celebrate January as the National Mentoring Month, it is a perfect time to explore the positive impact of mentoring programs and push your organization to new heights. Mentoring is a well-established corporate practice. However, such programs take more than just a mentor and a mentee. Mentoring requires a solid foundation of guidance and support from the organization facilitating these opportunities.
Although each organization naturally develops its unique mentoring philosophy and processes, here are the five tips to provide structure for mentoring relationships.
Define Learning Objectives
Creating a successful mentoring program starts by identifying its purpose. It helps both mentor and mentees to establish clear expectations from the mentoring program. The mentor can focus on these expectations and prioritize them, providing a mutual sense of purpose. Defining learning objectives helps to measure the results of the program and keep track of the success.
Set a Timeline for the Program
Through establishing a plan before the program begins, organizations can more effectively meet their stated learning objectives. Both mentors and mentees can know the time and effort they are committing to the program. Setting a timeline helps track the program’s progress while also keeping the session focused on the objectives. The appropriate timeline could be selected depending on the complexity of the knowledge that is shared in the program.
Provide Tools and Resources
For a productive interaction, organizations must provide tools and resources to help mentors and mentees plan their actions and progress. These resources can include templates covering many aspects of the mentorship, such as plans and records, career and life goals, self-development planning, and final reviews. The organization can even use the central online platform that facilitates every step of the mentoring program.
Measure the Progress
It is crucial to track, measure, and assess the program’s progress to prevent a lack of quality assurance. The best way to quantify the benefits is to compare retention rates, promotions, and employee evaluations between the employees who participated and those who didn’t.
Mentors could even use short monthly assessments and surveys and ask mentees to assess their progress. This feedback helps identify the areas that need improvement, know if the outcome includes the base objectives, and quantify the same.
Consistency is the Key
The consistency of mentorship programs connects to the longevity and quality of relationships. Even the most experienced executives of the company need to meet with a mentor consistently. Mentees can openly discuss their plans and seek advice. Consistency in mentoring develops a strong relationship that is beneficial in the long run and results in positive outcomes.
A successful mentorship is all about the right strategy and forethought, knowing what mistakes to avoid and what actions should be encouraged. Such mentoring is long-lasting, fruitful, and helps to accelerate professional growth.