When implemented and maintained effectively, mentoring programs deliver several benefits across the workforce. From supporting employee engagement and growth to fueling business evolution, take a look at some of the top benefits of workplace mentoring programs.
Increase Employee Engagement
The top three drivers of employee engagement, according to Gallup, are purpose, development, and a caring manager (or mentor) to coach them — all of which a mentoring relationship provides to mentees.
Workplace mentor programs can effectively engage by highlighting learning moments in an employee’s current role and prompting thoughtful action toward long-term career development.
Conversations with mentors give employees a chance to think out loud about their goals and collaborate with a senior employee to bring them to life. Typically, mentors and mentees discuss specific skills and knowledge the employee needs to qualify for the next stage of their career journey. Mentors also can help employees find opportunities, within their existing role, to practice and perfect the skills they need.
If an employee wants to make a lateral move from engineering to project management, for example, their mentor can help them identify ways to practice communication and collaboration in their engineering role.
Mentor programs can fuel engagement for mentors, too. Offering colleagues guidance and support to build their careers infuses their daily work with a greater sense of purpose. Being part of something bigger than themselves provides mentors with meaningful and rewarding experiences that motivate them to continue contributing their time and expertise to the program.
Help Employees Grow Personally and Professionally
Personal growth at work focuses on someone’s growth as an individual, helping them achieve the self-improvement, skills, and abilities they need to move forward on their career journeys. Mentoring conversations provide an opportunity to talk through things, and employees gain clarity on their career goals and objectives. Mentors can help employees grow personally by identifying their strengths and aligning them to their career goals, creating a roadmap to success.
Professional development refers to an employee’s career trajectory within your organization — improving their performance, sharpening their job skills, and achieving higher levels of responsibility. Mentoring programs provide employees with the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals who can provide coveted access to valuable resources and advice. Since mentors tend to be employees who have been with the organization longer, they have valuable institutional knowledge they can pass on to mentees to help them navigate their path forward.
Mentors also learn important skills from the mentoring experience — such as active listening, emotional intelligence, and organizational awareness — that they can bring back to apply within their primary role.
Identify and Develop Future Leaders
One of the greatest benefits of mentoring programs in the workplace is the succession planning pipeline they can create. Since senior leaders often serve as mentors to junior colleagues, they can provide insights into which employees have the most leadership potential and even begin priming them to take on the role.
Mentors can help leadership candidates develop critical skills such as decision making, communication, problem-solving, and managing conflict. As mentees “graduate” from the program, you can follow up with their mentors for recommendations into where those employees might be the most successful leaders.
Mentoring allows emerging leaders to gain valuable insights into leading teams and organizations. Mentors can provide insights into what leaders do and what their lives are like, so promising employees can make informed decisions about whether leadership is right for them.