“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” - John C. Maxwell
In the contemporary business world, mentorship programs are much talked about than ever before. Mentoring in the workplace is now deemed as an essential component of a progressive and high-performing organization. However, it is also true that businesses like to invest in only those strategies that have tangible benefits to offer.
This is where the merits of mentoring programs in the workplace are slightly unexplored. Most people view mentoring as offering benefits only limited to employee learning and development. However, the spectrum of business advantages that mentoring programs have, goes far beyond that. From driving high retention rates to making employees feel more comfortable, there are multifarious upsides of mentoring.
To further elucidate, this blog underlines the most vital business benefits of introducing mentoring programs in the workplace. The idea is to help employers and managers understand the little-known benefits of mentoring programs that can propel organizations to new horizons of business growth.
Worthwhile merits of mentoring programs for business success
1. Mentoring promotes active employee engagement
From the perspective of employers and HR managers, employee engagement is a key result area. In fact, contemporary businesses lay great emphasis on devising effective employee engagement strategies. As per Gallup, companies with active levels of employee engagement prove to be 22% more profitable than others. This explains the significance of driving high employee engagement in any organization, irrespective of the industry.
However, the global scenario of employee engagement is quite dismal. Gallup’s latest findings conclude that not more than 20% of the global workforce is actively engaged in work.
Speaking of the United States, only 36 percent of the US workforce exhibits the desired levels of engagement. This implies the fact that ordinary or traditional strategies for high engagement have had a limited impact. The need of the hour is to work on novel and inventive ideas for engaging employees, and this is where mentoring programs can offer high returns.
To elaborate, there are various factors that play a vital role in determining the levels of engagement in an organization. Among these, employee motivation, happiness, and satisfaction are the prominent ones. A work environment with virtues of thoughtful mentoring can deliver on these prerequisites of engagement with distinction.
To substantiate, employees feel highly motivated when their seniors guide them effectively and add value to their development. Moreover, it also leads to greater satisfaction among employees as they see their organization investing in them via mentoring programs. To add, employees will be happy to be a part of a mentor-mentee setup rather than a boss and subordinate equation at all times.
All in all, mentoring programs will have a positive impact on the overall motivation and morale of the employees. These positive contributions will further pave the way for higher engagement and retention in the organization. Therefore, mentoring initiatives can be a simple answer to the complex problem of high disengagement in the global workforce.
2. Mentoring fosters a natural environment of learning
Learning and development in the workplace is a key concern for both employers and employees. From the viewpoint of employers or managers, they want employees to be effective at learning about the organization and the competencies required for organizational success. Companies invest extensively in employee learning and development so that employees can evolve to be assets of the organization.
Besides, from the perspective of employees, they view workplace learning as an opportunity to grow their professional capabilities and skills. In fact, millennials and Gen Z professionals would rather not apply to organizations that do not invest in employee development. They have high ambitions of continuous learning in the workplace to advance their careers. To explain, as per Lorman, workplace learning is one of the top priorities for 87% of millennials.
The new working generations prefer companies that commit to continuous learning in the workplace. For that, meticulous mentoring programs would give organizations a massive competitive advantage in terms of the professional development of their employees.
To elucidate, mentoring programs will ensure optimized knowledge sharing in the workplace. Senior executives will be able to share their expertise and knowledge with subordinates in a more conducive environment under the umbrella of mentoring initiatives. It will further promote more worthwhile and faster skill development and knowledge management in the workplace.
Subordinates or new employees will have great value to drive from the continuous learning in the workplace and will evolve professionally at a better rate. Moreover, as seniors commit to mentor duties, even they will have a great opportunity to build on their leadership capabilities.
To add, with mentorship programs promoting workplace learning, organizations will have a great advantage in attracting the best of millennials and Gen Z talents. The sincerest professionals among them will gravitate to organizations offering attractive mentoring programs. This explains why people dream of working for Google or Microsoft that have excellent mentoring programs.
3. Mentoring cultivates better working relationships
As stated above, employees will feel happier and more comfortable in mentor-mentee arrangements in the workplace. They will no longer be intimidated by their seniors or managers when they have the privilege of approaching them anytime as mentees. Such a culture will offer enough breathing space to employees for understanding things better and acting on the same.
To add, the bonding that mentoring programs will promote will lead to better working relationships and enhanced collaboration in the workplace. Needless to say, collaboration and teamwork are essential pillars of success in any organization. Having said that, mentoring programs will serve as the perfect ground for effective grooming of working relationships.
Moreover, enhanced working relationships will further foster better coherence in the workplace. Employees will display a better alignment of objectives with each other and the strategic plans of the organization.
The better the alignment of individual objectives in the workplace, the greater will be the success. Mentoring programs have a quintessential role to play in fostering shared responsibilities in the workplace in the best interest of the organization.
Probing further, it is noteworthy that, in the booming culture of remote work, interpersonal relationships and collaboration are getting eroded. Remote employees are vulnerable to social isolation that can impact their productivity. In such a scenario, effective digital mentoring sessions will have a huge role to play in sustaining collaboration and effective working relationships. Mentoring sessions can be the key to filling the gap in interpersonal connections that are likely to exist in remote working arrangements.
4. Mentoring can reduce recurring training costs
Employee training is a core component of human resource management in corporate organizations. Different organizations have different approaches to training their employees to acquire professional expertise. In any case, organizations need to invest exorbitant amounts of financial and other resources for training programs.
To substantiate, as per Statista, the average expenditure companies endure for the training of each employee is around USD 1300 per annum. So, if an organization has more than 100 employees, employee training costs become too large to bear. However, training is indispensable and companies cannot ignore the need to offer training to employees.
Although training modules cannot be completely eliminated, mentoring can lead to reduced spending on training modules. Mentoring will cater to effective on-job training of employees across a wide range of training modules. Supervisors and managers will share practical knowledge with subordinates in real scenarios, unlike classroom training. Overall, mentoring programs will cover most aspects of employee training in a practical manner.
Further, they will reduce the need for extensive training programs that involve high logistics costs and other costs. Corresponding to effective mentoring initiatives, companies would require only a limited number of training modules to be conducted separately. Therefore, while employees get great value from mentoring programs, employers can save big on training costs. It is a clear win-win situation for both.
Also read: How do I Start a Mentoring Program at Work?
5. Mentoring programs can enhance performance management scenarios
The effectiveness of organizational leaders and the top management is put to test every day in terms of performance management. Acquiring the most qualified and talented employees and managing their performance are two completely different things.
Performance management requires greater precision and there can be different ways in which leaders can ensure success in this vertical. However, one of the most prominent ways of managing performances in a worthwhile way is to cultivate a culture of continuous feedback. Some vital statistics linked to the need for continuous feedback in the workplace are listed below.
The employee turnover rate is 15% lesser in companies that execute regular feedback sharing with employees
40 percent of workers tend to get highly disengaged in the absence of proper and regular feedback from their superiors
43 percent of actively engaged employees report that they receive feedback from their managers at least once a week
- More than 65% of corporate employees will appreciate more frequent feedback from their leaders
The above employee feedback statistics by HubSpot justify the need for promoting continuous feedback sharing in the workplace. Speaking of continuous feedback sharing mechanisms, mentoring programs can be massive game-changers. Meticulously devised mentoring programs can incredibly enhance the virtues of performance management in an organization.
To explain, in the course of mentoring programs, managers will not only get the chance to share knowledge on a regular basis but they can also share constructive feedback consistently. Mentoring programs will promote high trust among employees for their supervisors. Subsequently, they will be more receptive to feedback coming from their superiors and will have great diligence to act on the same.
In this way, facilitated by mentoring initiatives, feedback sharing will become a part of the natural culture of an organization. Moreover, learning about the areas of improvement in real-time through feedback will help employees evolve better. As supervisors reinforce a sense of purpose and direction in the form of knowledge and feedback, performances will only get better.
In the ultimate sense, the overall performance of any organization will witness a massive boost owing to regular feedback sharing in the form of mentoring.
In addition to feedback, mentoring programs will also add to the confidence of both mentors and mentees. They will be able to relate to a greater sense of belonging in the workplace. While mentors will embrace the sense of responsibility given to them, mentees will feel more optimistic when they are backed by their mentors. These positive developments will further add to the optimization of performance management in the organization.
To encapsulate, mentoring programs have multifaceted business benefits to offer ranging from high engagement to a reduction in training costs. Ultimately, the success of mentoring programs is subject to the effectiveness of their planning and execution. When thoughtful and intelligible mentoring programs are implemented in an efficient manner, businesses will relish benefits going beyond employee development. There are some amazing benefits of mentoring programs to reap if companies get them right.
About the author
Jessica Robinson is a charismatic corporate leader, a selfless educator, and a versatile content creator. Despite a management degree, her vision behind blogging is not only to follow her passion, but to create more informed societies. Her selflessness reflects in every piece of her work on The Speaking Polymath.