Think back to your first internship or job experience. As a young professional, you were probably eager to learn everything there was to know about your industry. During those early years, there was likely someone along the way who mentored you and helped guide you. You probably never forgot that relationship and the people who made an impact on your career.
I am a big advocate of implementing training and mentorship programs within an organization. New team members should be encouraged to take advantage of the resources that the company offers, including ongoing training, excellent support staff, and a welcoming and open office environment. How an employee blends in with the company culture is not only a good sign of how they will perform, but also how long they will stay.
Starting a mentoring program allows a company to strengthen its greatest asset: its employees. Concentrating on developing employee talent contributes to the company’s growth, and its overall bottom line. It also shows that management supports employee’s potential within the company.
Not only do mentorship programs increase retention and improve job satisfaction, they also tend to bridge generational gaps. However, this requires work from both younger and older participants. Here, mentors need to be well trained so they are willing to give constructive feedback more responsibly and train mentees in a way they are able to understand it.
When senior employees share their wisdom and years of experience with their juniors, their knowledge helps new employees develop their skills more quickly. When that mentor retires, their mentee can carry on their knowledge to avoid miscommunication and service disruption.
Peer mentoring has a role to play in onboarding, also known as organizational socialization. The onboarding process helps companies to develop an employee who feels content, and at the same time conveys its brand and values, explains culture and provides the tools for the employee to successfully acclimate into their position. A sound mentorship program during the first 3-6 months on the job provides the employee with constant communication, feedback, and performance measurement.
With the right leadership and planning, your company can meet its goals like recruitment, renewal, and engagement. A good rule of thumb when implementing a mentorship program is to make sure you get periodic feedback from mentees so that you can measure and make changes to the program accordingly.