How to Implement Employee Mentoring Programs

by Mary Jezioro

Jan 21, 2016 7:00:00 AM

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For companies seeking to place themselves among the leaders of their industry, one key component is having a highly trained and confident staff. Many companies fail to make their employees feel valued and important in the day to day business operations, which leads to lower retention rates and uninspired workers.

However, the use of an integrated mentoring program can be the ticket to higher employee satisfaction and better profits. 

Why Mentorship Works

Mentorship is a facilitated training process that pairs employees together so that they can work side by side to learn all the different facets of a particular job. What makes mentorship great is that it can be used at all levels of the organization to build positive working relationships.

Unlike cut and dry training programs where a single trainer stands at the front of a classroom and lectures the new hires about their responsibilities, mentorship allows trainees an opportunity to get their hands dirty through hands on experience. It also allows them to form trust with their co-workers, and ask important questions in a more direct way.

Even employees who have been with an organization for several years can be mentored by managers or team members above them, which gives all parties fluid access to communicate effectively throughout the tiers of your business. 

Staying Ahead of the Competition

A well trained mentor will be able to lead and motivate their students by engaging them in the tasks at hand. This process is often the place where new ideas are formed and employees feel they are able to make a contribution to their company's success in a meaningful way.

Whenever a new employee can ask questions about why things are done in a specific way, and can relate ideas about how to improve the process, they will become more loyal employees. Recognition of employees is a primary means of keeping them loyal and increasing productivity.

In addition, these new ideas may be the thing to keep your company ahead of the competitors because you will prove you have the insight and ability to implement more effective strategies. 

Building Your Mentorship Program

Implementing employee mentoring programs should begin with a clear cut set of goals. Start by asking yourself which core values are most important to your operation. How can those values be accentuated as the mission of your training, and how do you foster a regard for those values in new employees?

If you are able to extend a personalized and complete vision to everyone coming on board, and show your commitment to that vision by pairing them with the most qualified team members, you will be able to create better retention from top to bottom.

You may also find that employees are more willing to mentor one another and create cross training opportunities for a more integrated work force. This makes for a wider range of skills and abilities available to your entire team. 

Conclusion

The true value of a well designed mentoring program is hard to measure, but many organizations see an immediate improvement in their employee productivity upon implementation. 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer professional mentoring programs to their employees.

Mentors and students alike stand to gain by creating a much closer bond to their working environment and placing more meaning in their work than just the simple completion of one task after another.

The team building that occurs naturally throughout the mentoring process will have a huge payoff in the end.

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Topics: Business Growth

blog author

Mary Jezioro

Mary Jezioro is the Vice President of SHIELD Security Systems. As the Marketing and Sales lead at SHIELD, she is focused on strategic planning and company growth. Mary is involved with the UB School of Management as former CELAA's Vice Chair, SCORE, WPO (Women President's Organization) and is also coached youth soccer. She and her husband, Ken, are proud parents of five children.