By Miriam Wallack
July 2, 2019
Often overlooked as a method merely too simple for promoting employee engagement, mentorships are one of the most powerful ways to harness your workforce to increase productivity and retain top talent. Existing employees are filled with valuable skills and experiences while most young employees are yearning to learn. Mentoring fosters mutually beneficial relationships that expands the development of all employees, engages top talent, and increases retention.
Employees are the greatest assets to developing your workforce
The skills, experiences, and networks that your employees carry are priceless. After all, no one knows more about what it’s like to be successful at your company than your employees. Employees themselves are one of the greatest resources to developing your workforce. When two employees get together with the purpose of learning and growing from each other, your workforce can only become more connected and smarter. Not to mention, young employees are craving mentorship opportunities at their companies, with a striking 79% of Millennials believing that mentoring is crucial to their career success.
Mentorships promote knowledge transfer and collaboration
Both mentors and mentees significantly benefit from mentorships. Mentees profit from learning directly from a peer who has actually accomplished the experiences and skills that they’re looking to develop, while mentors expand their leadership skills and grow their perspectives.
Mentors can provide mentees valuable insights and expose them to close-knit networks that can expand their support circles and help them build a career path. Mentorships foster unique one-on-one relationships that deliberately give space for peers to connect and focus on meeting concrete professional goals. According to a study conducted by the Association for Talent Development, organizations with formal mentorship programs increased intra-organizational relationships and collaboration by 37%.
Overall, 57% of employees who participated in mentorship programs at their companies believed that it was highly effective at achieving learning goals based on the same Association for Talent Development study. Mentees expressed benefiting the most from professional development (36%), gaining a better understanding of organizational culture (30%), and developing new perspectives (27%). Likewise, mentors ranked the development of new perspectives (59%), expanding leadership skills(49%), and gaining insight into the organization as the top benefits of mentoring programs at their companies (38%).
Mentorships keep top talent engaged
Mentorship opportunities demonstrate to employees that their company is actively investing in their careers. When employees feel more connected to their peers and more supported in meeting their career goals, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and more likely to stay at their company. Based on the Association for Talent Development study, when companies offer mentorship programs employee engagement and retention increased by 50%. Even more remarkable, data from the Emerging Workforce study showed that 35% of employees surveyed who did not receive regular mentoring planned to look for a new job within the next twelve months.
Fortune 500 companies seem to have already caught on to the unparalleled benefits of mentoring. According to a study by the American Society for Training and Development 71% of Fortune 500 companies promote internal mentorship programs. This is significantly more than the average organization, with only a mere 29% of the organizations surveyed in the Association for Talent Development study having formal mentoring programs. Company executives are also conscious of the power of mentorships and even attribute mentorships to their success. Based on the American Society for Training and Development study, 75% of executives report that mentoring has been critical to their career development.
Bottom line, mentorships expand the development of employees no matter their seniority level, facilitates meaningful knowledge transfer, and keeps top talent at your company longer.
InnerMobility by Gloat is an AI-powered internal talent marketplace connecting employees with personalized career development opportunities including part-time projects, full job change opportunities, job swaps, and mentorships.