They say that nothing beats experience. What better way to gain experience than to receive guidance from someone else who has a deeper knowledge of the industry? Mentorship was much more common in the last generation. Often, a boss viewed their employees as their protege and passed down wisdom, hoping to help steer their careers. While that mindset has become a thing of the past, there are now new companies seeking ways for their workers to form meaningful connections that will provide professional development opportunities.
More than half of Fortune 500 companies now have some sort of mentoring program in place. Mentorship is on the rise. Organizations that want to bring out the best in their employees and retain top talent should consider building a program that allows coworkers to form mentee/mentor relationships. These programs allow people to grow not only professionally, but personally as well.
By implementing a mentorship program in the workplace you can help your employees improve with things such as goal setting, job satisfaction, and overall work performance. It’s a great way to introduce new people to their coworkers and the industry they are entering. While shadowing is a common part of the onboarding process, it may not be the most effective approach. Through mentorship, key information can be transferred in a much more natural way. Knowledge of the company’s procedures and systems can be passed along and the information may stick in the minds of the mentee more than sitting through an orientation or following someone around.
Try to make a mentoring program an integral part of the organization. Promote the program during the recruitment process and have new hires fill out a questionnaire that can help match them with mentors. It’s important that everyone is on the same page and the program is clearly understood. A mentor offers support, advice, and guidance to the mentee, never to be confused with being a supervisor. There should be regular check-ins with one another. Emails and phone calls are perfectly fine, however, at least once a month the pair should meet in person. The director of the program should check in to ensure that everything is going smoothly. Of course, every participant is different which means every mentorship is a bit different.
The benefits are plenty when a mentoring program is implemented successfully in the workplace. Being a mentor provides senior employees with opportunities to gain leadership skills and feel more engaged with their work while new hires can better adjust to the environment. With increased job satisfaction there will be increased work productivity. The success of the program will reflect in the success of the business, which makes mentoring programs an incredibly powerful tool.
Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a process; working together is a success.” By accepting outside help and different perspectives, one can always yield greater results.