Organizations of all sizes struggle to retain top talent and improve performance of those at all skill levels. A mentoring program is one way to deal with both of these issues. Internal mentoring programs have a number of benefits for employees throughout their careers, though the greatest benefits are for new hires. Here are three reasons your business needs an internal mentoring program.
It Increases Retention
Mentors do not specifically train new hires. However, they share their experiences with mentees and provide guidance. This shortens the learning curve for new employees and increases the odds they will stay with the firm. For example, they get feedback from someone other than their supervisor and tips on how to improve well before their next performance review. They have someone to talk to about problems and potential solutions other than their manager. You reap the same benefits when you offer mentoring to people who move into a new role, increasing their effectiveness and improving the odds they remain in that role.
It Improves Productivity
Corporate mentoring programs increase the productivity of your team in multiple ways. A program fosters knowledge sharing, especially for employees who have been with the organization for a long time. It encourages them to share their subject matter expertise without feeling like they’re training their replacement. And, it gives the mentor a sense of personal validation and accomplishment, increasing their sense of purpose and value in the organization.
It also proves that the organization recognizes them, and it does so in a much more effective manner than handing them a plaque at an awards ceremony. Then your most experienced staff aren’t simply going through the motions. Furthermore, the knowledge transfer can go both ways. Mentoring can connect mentors with younger employees who teach them new things.
It Is Cost-Effective
Forget sending potential managers to expensive seminars. When you set up a mentoring program, you’re relying on existing talent to foster potential leaders and advise new ones on how to do better. You can develop and fast-track potential talent from inside the firm instead of hunting for executives to hire.
When you promote from within the organization, you show everyone that there is a future with the company. This increases the odds they stay with the firm and will work hard to earn a promotion themselves. You can also use a mentoring program to build the soft skills of potential managers. They can be partnered with a mentor to teach them how to mentor as they take on mentees. They learn how to nurture talent instead of simply handing out assignments and giving orders. You can try out potential leaders in this role and enhance their skills before giving them a higher position.
Another benefit of mentoring is that it facilitates efficient knowledge transfer on the job as mentees seek answers from mentors as required. This can reduce the need for formal training programs and continuing education. Note that you need to monitor the effectiveness and return on the investment when setting up an internal mentoring program. Don’t simply assume you’ll see these results. If you set up a mentoring program without clear goals, expectations and plans, you won’t see them.
Internal mentoring programs can be a cost-effective way to increase retention, transfer knowledge, and improve productivity at all levels of the organization.