We’re in the midst of a mentorship renaissance. Once the norm in business, the early ‘noughts saw a decline in corporate mentorship programs. But, as the modern-day workforce continues to evolve—based particularly on the needs of the newest (and biggest) workplace demographic, Millennials—we’re seeing a return to these programs. In fact, around 70% of Fortune 500 companies offer mentorship programs.
In 2010, 75% of Millennials stated mentorship programs as critical to their success, and now, ten years later, we’re seeing companies focusing more on these programs. Probably because by 2020 Millennials will make up more than 50% of the global workforce.
If you don’t already have a mentoring program in place, you need to get started. Corporate mentorships won’t just make you more appealing to potential recruits, it will also improve your business in five key ways.
1. Builds a Culture Focused on Learning
Culture is an important aspect to any organization. Millennials and Gen Z are well-known to contemplate company culture when considering a job offer. And while culture includes diversity, corporate social responsibility and professional development, it also includes mentoring programs that promote learning.
A mentoring program publicizes and encourages continued education. By pairing employees with a mentor who can help them with their career development, through support and guidance, you’re building a stronger overall culture, and facilitating better communication and collaboration.
2. Provides a Greater Onboarding Experience
We talk a lot about onboarding because it is one of the most importance aspects in the hiring process. A positive onboarding experience sets an employee up for success in their new role. It also eases the transition from new employee to integral team member, and leads to better overall rates of retention.
Recruitment and onboarding are the perfect time to plug your mentoring program—it highlights your company’s commitment to learning and education, and to ongoing employee development, all things we know are important to both Millennials and Gen Z.
3. Supports Diversity and Inclusion
Millennials and Gen Zers are known for their strong beliefs in diversity. Research shows that a diverse workplace is more likely to retain the loyalty of its Millennial and Gen Z employees. Further to this, a study by Deloitte demonstrated that when employees work for organizations with a diverse senior management team, the overall employee population establishes strong ethics, emotional intelligence, creativity and innovation.
Diversity in the workplace is known to encourage more open-mindedness, broaden your talent pool, and even enhance financial performance.
The best work places are those that encourage discussion, variety of thought and ideas, and support multiple viewpoints.
4. Boosts Motivation and Productivity
Corporate mentoring programs build confidence. Positive mentorships are based on communication and trust. When mentees feel secure with their mentor they are unafraid to ask questions and to tackle new, foreign concepts and skills.
It’s important to note that mentorship is a form of professional development, and professional development is known to increase employee motivation and productivity. When employees feel secure and knowledgeable in their roles, they work harder.
5. Builds Managerial Skills
Mentoring programs don’t just benefit the mentee. Mentors learn managerial skills—they learn how to provide guidance, how to educate and how to lead.
Mentoring also provides opportunity for long-term employees to gain new insights about changing industry standards. Mentors will learn (what good senior managers already know) that there are always new skills to develop and learn about from younger and newer employees, who undoubtedly will be bringing in new skills.
Mentoring and Technology
Mentorship programs are important. They help companies develop a strong workplace culture cemented in knowledge, education and innovation.
To create a mentoring program you need strong leadership, strategy and technology that enables you to identify areas in or organization that could benefit from growth and further development.