An effective mentoring programme can generate material benefits in many areas of working life.
Mentoring is a way to develop leadership skills in individuals. Experienced leaders pass on their knowledge and learning to someone less experienced or who is about to enter a leadership role. Sharing challenges and enabling a support system for leaders is an effective way of training people.
Onboarding and induction
A new job can be daunting, and depending on the size of the company and the number of new starters, the first few days can be challenging, confusing, and disappointing. Organisations can use mentoring to onboard new employees, matching them with someone who can show them the ropes in a friendly and relatable way.
Specific mentoring is a very effective way to ensure graduate entrants feel welcome, supported, and motivated. This is particularly relevant given that some 49% of millennials will leave their jobs within the first two years. Young workers have high expectations of their working lives, and so investing in their development will pay dividends.
Women into leadership roles
There is an acknowledged lack of gender parity in senior leadership roles across the majority of organisations worldwide, efforts need to be made to promote upward mobility for women. Mentorship can guide and inspire women at critical points in their careers, in order to create a more robust career pipeline for women at work.
Diversity, equality and inclusion
Mentoring can be used to support diversity and inclusion efforts within organisations. To tackle diversity imbalance, individuals from an under-represented group can be mentored and supported, which may improve minority representation at management level. Mentorship can help build a culture of inclusion and equality.
Mentoring for succession planning involves identifying high-performing individuals and preparing them for senior roles. This builds a talent pipeline for the business, and potential successors receive first-hand information and support.
As older workers near retirement age, it’s important to ensure their industry knowledge and experience are not lost. A knowledge retention/sharing mentoring program will facilitate the passing down of information and knowledge sharing across the business, and build a community in the process.
Maternity and paternity leave
Preparing for maternity/paternity leave, and the return to work afterwards, can be difficult. Senior working parents mentor new working parents, supporting mental health, job satisfaction and wellbeing. Connecting new parents in groups or peer-to-peer mentoring to share experiences is also helpful.
Up-skilling initiatives, assigning mentors to a group need to improve their skills in a certain area, so benefit from the knowledge and experience of senior colleagues to help them achieve these goals.
Times of transition
During any time of change or transition, whether it’s new management, structural overhaul, down-sizing, etc. mentoring can help establish and build a community culture across the organisation.