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Benefits of mentorship programs for businesses

As almost every organization gets on the hunt for lifelong learners, workers devoted to growing and improving, mentorship programs have become a top priority for employees and employers alike.

For employees, opportunities to improve their skills are now amongst the most sought-after benefits. But, still, many organizations do not provide sufficient career planning or development guidance for their employees.

At Mentorcruise, an online mentorship platform, we understand that mentorship programs are essential for professional and personal development, employee retention, and satisfaction, all of which are vital components for every company’s success.

Therefore, If you want to change this trend within your company culture, creating a strong mentorship program can be an excellent way to begin. In this article, we’ll show you how. You’ll learn;

  • What are mentorship programs?
  • How mentorship is valued.
  • Types of mentoring.
  • How to start a mentorship program.
  • Things to avoid.
  • Unique benefits of mentoring programs.

What are mentorship programs?

Mentorship programs link people looking to gain more experience with seasoned experts, learn and develop skills, and advance their careers.

These programs are usually available via universities, organizations, and online platforms that promote professional growth and development. Both people concerned in a mentor protégé relationship typically benefit from sharing their goals and values in a respectful and supportive way.

When an organization invests in a mentorship program for its workers, it shows its responsibility/commitment to those who desire to learn and improve their skills.

A robust program can generate more opportunities for success among people of all skill levels and ages. Entry-level workers can learn a lot from those at higher levels in their careers, but this learning does not stop at the protégé.

Mentors usually discover that they can learn from those they offer mentoring services to, mainly when working with individuals from different generations.

Students worldwide take it to social media to find suitable mentorship programs, yet - one-third of people never have a mentorship figure in their lives. One reason for that is simply the lack of mentors on the market. Not a lot of people decide to become a mentor one day.

They get approached by someone in need of mentorship and grow into the role. But finding these people is difficult, and plenty of people are thrown off by the idea of becoming a mentor - in the end, what value is there in being a mentor? Why does everybody want to have a mentor in the first place?

How mentorship is valued.

The stats speak a clear language. When applying mentorship to young people, they were much more likely to enroll in college, volunteer in communities and interested in becoming a mentor too. Apart from that, they were also twice as likely to end up in leadership positions. This is incredibly valuable, especially in younger people that have an enhanced risk of falling off-track.

But mentorship is not only valuable in communities and schools but also in business. Research has shown that people participating in a corporate mentorship program were 5x more likely to receive a pay raise and be promoted. It increased retention rates slightly, and most participants agreed that the mentorship had benefited them in one way or another. People in a long-term mentorship are also again more likely to mentor themselves, giving back to the community, and enhancing culture drastically.

Therefore, it’s clear that businesses, schools, and communities should be interested in building a mentorship program. It’s proven to be valuable for everyone. But what is the best way to approach it?

How to start mentorship programs

When creating a mentorship program, you can follow these steps to maximize your chances of success.

#1. Clarify the objective of the mentoring program:

The initial step in creating a thriving mentorship program is to define your objectives. These objectives depend on your organization’s goals and the employees who want to be mentors and mentees.

Often, the overall objective of a mentoring program is to enhance professional development and growth. Narrowing down the aim to meet your specific organization’s needs can make the program more beneficial to those who take advantage.

#2. Identify who will use the program

Once you establish your objective, you may want to take the next step to outline the organization’s employees who are most likely to use this resource.

Those who want to work with a mentor are typically lower-level employees who are enthusiastic about their work and look for openings to advance their careers. The employees who employ the program will probably feel invested in their work, organization, and goals. Create a list of people you manage that might be interested in this mentorship.

#3. Set mentoring goals

Your mentoring program must have specific goals that you can readily track. For example, you can set a goal to assist in establishing six mentor-protégé relationships in your organization in the first year of the program.

These goals will depend on the organization’s size and the number of enthusiastic mentors you have. Still, it’s essential to devise goals that you can continue to monitor to define the program’s success.

#4. Select a mentoring model.

Several mentorship programs employ the one-on-one model. But this is not the sole option open to you. You can equally set up a program that supports group mentoring, whereby a mentor works with a group of people who desire to learn and perfect a particular skill.

Self-directed mentoring is another model you could consider, empowering individuals to seek a mentor on their own instead of being matched up by a program manager. If your organization takes pride in hiring motivated self-starters, a self-directed mentoring program may fit your organization in that cultural aspect.

Besides, peer-to-peer mentoring can benefit employees as they learn from one another instead of working with someone more advanced in their career.

You may even employ a blend of model that incorporates different styles to render a more efficient experience for every individual.

#5. Ask for assistance from inherent mentors.

A successful mentorship program should have intentional mentors. Therefore, the next step you’ll want to take is to request support from those in the organization who can share what they have acquired with others.

Typically, mentors are high-level professionals who have achieved in their careers and acquired different skills and abilities. A good mentor must possess good communication skills, dedicate time to their proteges, and teach others skills.

You may request this support through email or fix a meeting with those you believe would make good mentors. MentorCruise has a wide range of mentors that you can readily tap into.

#6. Establish a communication system

Mentors need an easy method to communicate with those they are working with. So it’s crucial to establish a smooth and efficient communication system for those involved in the program. Some organizations use email to communicate, while others employ software programs that enable people to request support, set meetings, and mail follow-up information.

#7. Create an awareness campaign for the program

The ultimate step in developing a successful mentorship program for your company is to ensure that everyone knows about it and can benefit from the resource. To achieve this, you can post flyers in employee break areas, send a company-wide email, and talk to employees in person about the opportunity.

As individuals sign up to work with mentors, you can request feedback to improve the program further and warrant that it meets the needs of those who will utilize it.

Things to avoid

You’ll encounter challenges on your path as you start and run a mentorship program for your organization. You’ll require consistent work to keep it running effectively and smoothly. Make sure to evade these common mistakes:

  • One-sided mentoring.
  • Wrong choice of mentors.
  • Poor matching of mentees and mentors.
  • Absence of a realistic approach.
  • No referee or somebody to evaluate the process.
  • Making it seem like a quick fix instead of a well-thought-out plan
  • Utilizing it to substitute poor performance
  • Poor mentoring participation
  • Inadequate preparation for mentors
  • Absence of structure for mentoring discussions

The rise of mentorship platforms and their use for businesses

A quick google search is all it takes. Google something like “Find JavaScript Mentors,” for example, and you’ll see a collection of platforms offering help in various forms. MentorCruise for long term help, Codementor for quick sessions, voluntary Reddit groups, and a limitless amount of schools and boot camps with a mentorship program.

It’s no surprise that these platforms can succeed in this space. Mentorship is highly asynchronous. When an experienced professional decides to become a mentor, it’s challenging to find someone to mentor.

On the other hand, if a student or young professional is looking for a mentor, it’s difficult to find one. A formal platform like MentorCruise brings both parts together and has the advantage that the relationship is always clear:

  • The mentor is ready to mentor.
  • The mentee is ready to put in the work.
  • There is a clear value and goal proposal upfront.

This makes these programs interesting for businesses as well. As data from these platforms show, most users are not interested in finding a career change mentor. Many want an accountability partner or guide when it comes to improving and extending skill sets. Even today, a small number of mentees will get their mentorship fees reimbursed by their employer through an education stipend, so it can be a good choice to advertise it as a benefit upfront.

Types of Mentoring

There are many ways to establish a mentorship program based on choices. Below is a glance at the various kinds of mentoring:

  • Group mentoring – One mentor with several mentees
  • Peer mentoring– A mentor matched with a mentee that is on the same level in the company.
  • Reverse mentoring – Here, an older employee serves as the mentee, and the younger employee serves as the mentor.
  • Team mentoring – Here, one mentee has many mentors
  • Supervisory mentoring – A more experienced employee serves as a mentor to a younger mentee

Unique benefits of mentorship programs

The benefits of mentoring cannot be overemphasized. It goes way beyond positively influencing the mentors themselves to the mentee’s self-development and the companies they work for.

For personal development, we have the following benefits.

  • Boosted confidence: People with mentors often benefit from higher confidence in themselves, from sharing ideas conveniently in meetings to standing up for themselves in a challenging situation. Also, mentors experience a boost in self-confidence as their mentees thrive, reaffirming their abilities.
  • Exposure to unique ways of thinking: For both mentors _and _mentees, the mentoring process opens fresh ideas and revelatory modes of thought or problem-solving. This can produce long-lasting impacts on both individuals in the partnership, promoting innovation.

For career development, we put together the following benefits.

  • Promotions: Individuals who take mentoring programs are often promoted several times more often than those who do not have mentors.
  • Job satisfaction: Attaining your goals gives you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. As mentors secure that mentees realize their career goals, job satisfaction typically increases.
  • Unique network: Individuals with mentors benefit from developing their network out of their colleagues. Your mentor can introduce you to a wide range of inspirational and famous people who may influence your career later down the line.

For mental health, we put together the following benefits.

  • Sustaining isolation: People having mental health concerns often feel isolated and can experience critical anxiety about their abilities and future. Mentalhealth.org.uk lists mentoring among the methods to support mental health issues in the workplace for both the mentee and mentor.
  • Self-confidence: An increase in self-esteem can undeniably impact mental health, especially as mentees feel supported in their decisions and career path. Mentors also experience increased self-esteem and confidence from assisting others to reach their goals, leading to improved mental health.

For an organization, mentoring will result in the following benefits.

  • Positive business culture: A thriving mentoring program promotes a culture of knowledge, training, and growth. This will influence the whole organization and build teams of individuals who feel satisfied and happy at work.
  • Experience sharing: Mentoring is a powerful and low-cost approach for senior employees to transmit knowledge of the organization and industry to younger staff.
  • Employee commitment and retention: With mentors and mentees feeling more fulfilled at work than other employees, typically, mentoring positively impacts employee commitment and retention.

Mentorship programs are not a one-size-fits-all strategy

Considering that mentorship programs are not a one-size-fits-all strategy, it may take some redundancies to get it right. But mentorship programs grant employees benefits and satisfaction that is contrarily unachievable.

By building synergy among different people across an organization, satisfaction, diversity, and retention will increase.

Therefore because the compelling benefits of mentoring impact everyone involved, if you do not have a mentor yet, talk to your company regarding programs they can put in place.

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