Research has shown that businesses that run well-structured mentoring programmes have lower turnovers and are more resilient; producing a proactive and engaged workforce. There’s a reason for this: mentoring is incredibly valuable as a strategic and measurable way to develop and motivate people at all levels of the business.
What could mentoring do for your business?
A business that introduces a strong mentoring programme is demonstrating a commitment to:
Developing skills – where your existing workforce already has good levels of skill and understanding, it is far more effective and cost effective to ask them to share through a mentoring basis than putting newer staff through formal training situations.
Engaging with staff at all levels – get rid of the ‘departmental’ mentality and give staff in all parts of the organisation the opportunity to learn from each other.
Promoting good leadership qualities – listening and understanding are two of the qualities that are vital for successful leadership. Learning these skills via mentoring means your future leaders are already prepared for their role.
Sharing knowledge across the organisation, regardless of hierarchy – assume that everyone in your business has something valuable to share, and give them the opportunity to share it.
Improving career opportunities within the business – retention is becoming increasingly important to businesses and HR departments. By allowing people to see how and where they can develop their careers within your business, you build loyalty and keep your best people for longer. You can also create a much better recruitment environment, making your business the first choice for those who want ongoing development to be a part of their working life.
Creating a more productive working environment – mentoring helps people to create positive relationships, and it gives them the confidence to work smarter and more productively.
Building a culture of knowledge expansion – imagine a business where knowledge is freely shared as a matter of course. Don’t you want that business to be your business?
How can you get started?
There are some key elements required for a good mentoring programme:
Great Preparation – focused training and internal buy-in are vital to a successful programme. Be ready to sell your mentoring scheme to your senior management and throughout the workforce, explaining the benefits both to the people and to the business. Then provide the right training to make sure everyone knows what’s in it for them, and what they can bring to the programme.
Effective relationship matching - the best mentoring relationships are built around a clear understanding of the mentor / mentee shared ground and objectives. Taking the time to get this part of the process right is the key to long-term success.
Feedback – gathering feedback and learning from mentor relationships throughout the programme helps you to make sure everyone is staying connected and relationships are still adding value.
Dedicated time – an internal mentoring programme can be easily managed by the HR, Learning and Development or Training function, but you will need to dedicate an ongoing proportion of your time to matching mentors and mentees and monitoring progress and results. A good programme requires tracking, chasing progress and answering questions from mentors and mentees, so a dedicated resource is essential. And it is particularly important for those people who want to collect CPD accreditations as their programme progresses.
A mentoring partner – whilst you can manage your programme completely independently, it’s always a good idea to work with an external mentoring partner who can offer support, training and, like Wisetree, a dedicated platform to help you run your programme seamlessly and effectively.
Create an open, collaborative company culture with Wisetree.org - a fuss-free digital platform designed to embrace workplace mentoring. We provide your teams a sense of belonging, purpose, recognition and reward to empower and retain your teams. Find out more at Wisetree.org.