Why Workplaces Should Offer Mentorship Program
Mentoring is a rewarding experience. For mentors, it offers professional development, the platform to refine interpersonal skills, greater authority and recognition, and an opportunity to share their experience with the next generation of leaders. Mentees benefit from the wisdom of established professionals, an unbiased perspective, tangible support, and networking opportunities.
But should mentoring be the responsibility of the employer, or arranged outside of the workplace? There’s a compelling case for the former, which we’ll explore in-depth here.
Mentoring and Job Satisfaction
Mentorship programs are known to improve job satisfaction – for mentors and mentees. There are many reasons for this. For experienced professionals, being asked to participate in a mentoring program is a form of recognition that strengthens their position as an authority figure. This can reinforce commitment to their organisation, making them feel more satisfied in their current role.
Mentees have a similar experience. The opportunity to develop their career with the support of a senior figure within their organisation improves job satisfaction. Mentees feel valued by their employer, and a stronger sense of belonging.
Both parties in a mentoring relationship benefit from improving their interpersonal, organisation, communication, and other soft skills. Refining these abilities has a positive impact on day-to-day work, which in itself boosts achievement, favourable feedback, and so, job satisfaction.
Mentoring and Employee Retention
According to a research by Diane Kostrey Horner, “[Mentoring] can provide a positive environment, which can lead to increased job satisfaction. In turn, a higher level of satisfaction in the work environment can be associated with reduced turnover and improved retention and patient outcomes.”
It follows logically that better job satisfaction encourages employees – whether they are mentors or mentees – to stick with their employer.
Let’s say that an employee is considering a move to another organisation. If the role or salary is similar to their current situation, other factors such as company culture, scope for promotion, and a sense of belonging will help them to decide whether a move is right.
Where mentoring programs are already in place, an employee who is at risk of leaving can be offered a mentoring opportunity. This may prompt them to reconsider a move, and re-dedicate their career development to their current company.
Likewise, if an employee is not feeling confident in their current role – which can be a particular issue for women in the workplace – a mentor can help them to unlock their self-belief, be more assertive, and ultimately improve their happiness at work.
Mentoring and Career Development
Good mentoring tends to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on a young professional’s career trajectory. At the start of a mentoring relationship, it’s common for the mentee to share their immediate and long-term objectives, which the mentor uses as a framework for their custom program.
A mentor will draw on their experience to give the mentee potential routes to achieving their professional goals. They’ll also provide feedback on progress and constructive advice on improvement.
One of the most beneficial aspects of working with a mentor is that they may offer networking opportunities. Even the most innocuous of encounters with senior figures in an organisation can result in a giant leap towards reaching career goals – whether that involves training, expansion of responsibilities, or recommendation for a promotion. Every meeting counts.
Mentoring and Gender Equality
Legislation and training have improved the outlook for women in the workplace, but gender inequality still exists there. Women are paid less than men, they are overlooked for promotions, and in some industries, an old boys’ club still effectively operates. While the door might officially be open to women, in practice it’s locked shut.
It’s important for women to have visible role models, especially when they can interact with them on a one-to-one basis. The confidence gap between men and women stunts the careers of females who would otherwise develop into leaders. Good mentoring can prevent them from dropping away, instead empowering them with self-assurance, resilience, and the right skills to excel.
Female leaders get results. Companies with women in top roles hit financial objectives, improve employee retention, and attract top candidates. With effective mentoring, women take a leading role in the success of their companies.
It’s time to embrace mentoring for female employees. Find out how The Mentor Institute can support your organisation.