How a Mentorship Program Can Be Your Company’s Competitive Advantage

Modern companies have a problem – a people problem.  According to Gallup, a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged.[1]  Meanwhile, as the Millennial generation takes over as the majority of the workforce, they are also three times as likely to switch jobs as previous generations.[2] Employee turnover is costly, both in terms of the cost to recruit and retain and in the cost of corporate knowledge and moral lost.  Businesses have to spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train their replacement, while some studies show higher numbers.[3]   Today, nearly all organizations, or 79 percent of businesses, are seriously worried about engagement and retention, according to Deloitte.[4]

Corporate sponsored mentorship programs may hold the answer.  Although mentorship programs have traditional footings, new programs are being designed to fit generational preferences, offer flexibility, and incorporate modern technology.  The fastest growing organizations are beginning to take notice.  Beyond the big names of Google, Facebook and Apple, 70% of Fortune 500 companies practice formal and informal mentorship programs.[5]  Case studies of companies such as Google, demonstrate successful mentorship programs in conjunction with some of the lowest turnover rates world wide.[6]  Why do mentorship programs suddenly seem to hold the keys to success?

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Compared to previous generations, today’s workforce has immediate access to information and training via technology.  What they do desire, however, is frequent communication with corporate leaders, feedback, and a corporate culture that supports more than the bottom line.[8]  Strategically structured mentorship programs have the opportunity to offer these benefits to the Millennial workforce and employees of all ages.  In return, corporations have the opportunity to retain a greater portion of their workforce, their associated knowledge and training, and increase engaged productivity overall.

How to Organize a Successful Mentorship Program

Mentorship programs created without expert guidance or strategic structures have the opportunity to create more harm than benefit.[9]  Meanwhile, mentorship programs run correctly can be the key solution to the most pressing challenges of a corporation.  Today, mentorship programs can take many forms, including:

  • One-on-one Mentoring – to allow individual support and personal connections to develop between the mentor and the mentee.
  • Group Mentoring– to help employees to become more familiar with their work environment and their fellow employees.
  • Peer Mentoring– to provide a support network among fellow employees who share a similar rank.
  • Reverse Mentoring – allows younger generations to teach older generations about modern technology or perspectives of current corporate challenges they might not otherwise have insight to.
  • “Speed Dating” Mentoring– Cross-Company/Functional mentoring can give mentees objective insight, as well as an outside opinion of their work at a glance.
  • Expert Mentoring – to provide coaching for individual needs and personalized advice from leaders in the field.

While these are basic layout options for a modern mentorship program, strategic details and program organization such as a mentor selection and participation incentives will help your program succeed.  We now have decades of case studies, collaboration technology and research to help you design a mentorship program tailored to succeed and fit your unique company culture and goals.

Be sure to download our e-book for comprehensive details on how to structure a successful mentorship program, including the:

  • Benefits of a company sponsored Mentorship program
  • Varied Mentorship Structures
  • Pros & Cons of each
  • Qualities of a good mentor
  • How to recruit & train mentors
  • How to ensure mentee participation
[1] http://www.gallup.com/services/190118/engaged-workplace.aspx
[2] http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/191459/millennials-job-hopping-generation.aspx
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-kantor/high-turnover-costs-way-more-than-you-think_b_9197238.html
[4] https://www.inc.com/magazine/201412/paul-keegan/the-new-rules-of-engagement.html
[5] http://www.bu.edu/questrom/files/2013/07/Forrester-Research-Report-Drive-Employee-Talent-Development-Through-Business-Mentoring-Programs.pdf
[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-kantor/high-turnover-costs-way-more-than-you-think_b_9197238.html
[7] http://www.gallup.com/services/190118/engaged-workplace.aspx
[8] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10869-010-9172-7
[9] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/corporate-mentorship-programs/528927/