A number of top companies have been investing in developing mentorship programs to improve employee retention rates, morale and more.
In fact, about 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a type of mentorship, according to an article by The Atlantic.
Research shows that mentorship programs do change the workplace in many positive ways.
A survey by Deloitte found that younger workers were more likely to stay with an employer if they had a mentor.
“Among those who have somebody acting as their mentor, more than nine in ten describe the quality of advice (94 percent) and the level of interest shown in their development (91 percent) as “good.” Among those with mentors, 83 percent are satisfied with this aspect of their working lives,” the report stated.
Benefits of mentorship programs
For new employees, a mentor can help improve their knowledge of workplace policies and procedures as well as guide them as they hone personal skills.
However, it is not just those being mentored that benefit from skill development. Those doing the mentorship are also strengthened in their leadership and management capabilities, according to Monster.
Examples of Mentoring Programs in the Workplace
There are several types of programs that have been seeing success for a variety of companies and corporations across a wide range of industries. Some of these include:
Boeing has a mentorship program that focuses on career and leadership guidance. It gives participants the opportunity to work on projects in accounting, business operations, contracts, estimating and pricing, financial planning and more.
Caterpillar has a program that helps train workers on the job and lead to skills workers can use to build up their career. The program runs for up to three years.
Intel also has a mentorship program that makes matches in-person or virtually. It is driven largely by the mentees who define the skills they want to learn.
Accounting firm KPMG connects mentees with a peer support community to help them walk through Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) training and exam processes, which can be a daunting process. The help that these accountants in training not only improve their career prospects but also cultivate a sense of loyalty in the participants.
The mentorship focus at Morgan Stanley has been to assist and encourage female employees in sales positions.
Netsuite also runs a mentorship program that is focused on women at the company. By matching women who work in higher levels is done also through structured events for networking. The program helps about 60 mentees on average.
PayPal also offers a female-focused mentorship program. With about 100 mentor pairs involved in the program, it brings together a combination of employees from the same or from different departments and also incorporates a mixed gender matching.
What role does mentorship software play?
Starting and managing a mentorship program in any company can put a strain on resources and hinder productivity. It often requires that a program manager spend time away from their regular duties to focus on organizing, matching and collecting data from mentors and mentees. It can also be time-consuming and expensive if there are errors in any part of the process, such as a bad match.
In fact, one of the major reasons that mentorship programs fail is a bad mentor-mentee match, according to Entrepreneur. Making the right match is not easy, and that is one area where mentorship software helps create a stronger set-up.
Mentorship software has been designed to offer guidance throughout the mentoring matching process and beyond. Starting with refining the registration process to pairing and scheduling, the software can help streamline any mentorship program process.
When it comes to pairing, mentorship software makes it a breeze by using advanced algorithms that match up information on both the mentor and mentee. By matching goals, strengths, personal interests and more mentorship software can help create ideal matches between skilled employees and younger workers. Software can have the capability to track communication between mentors and mentees. It has calendar integration features that can track if and when they meet. It can also send alerts to HR if intervention may be needed.
Another major reason for a program failure is a lack of measuring data. This too is why mentoring software is a critical component in any workplace mentorship program.
It can make the reporting procedure run smoother so that you get data about your mentorship program that can be used to enhance, improve and promote it.
Tips for developing a workplace mentorship program
The first part in implementing a workplace mentorship program it to start with a plan. Build a strategy about what you want to accomplish. Will your program tackle retention rates? Will it help train new employees about your company?
Once you have defined a strategy consider how you can measure the success of the mentorship program. Can you measure retention rates? Promotion rates? Employee satisfaction?
It can be time-consuming for mentors to get involved so companies may need to provide incentives. This will show that management understands many of these employees are taking on mentorship on top of the other workload they have for the company. With some recognition or rewards, it can make it worthwhile for your talent.
Develop a budget
Put money into the program to cover items like communication materials, training, kick-off or other events, incentives or reimbursements.
Define the mentorship structure
Set a timeline for the mentorship program, usually 6 months to a year. How many activities will be required for participants? What are other rules for your program? Eligibility?
Don’t complicate it
A good mentorship program doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, the easier it runs the better it will function. Getting things up and running can be the hardest part of a mentorship program. It can also take away from productivity. But it doesn’t have to. By using mentorship software companies can create a successful program in no time.
Regardless of the industry, research has shown that mentorship programs work to create a more positive workplace for everyone. From enhancing talents to creating stronger teams and more loyal employees, creating and managing successful mentorship situations at work is a win-win for all involved.