We recently polled our People Experience community, and the results are in: 49% of people have no mentoring opportunities available at their company.
This is especially interesting because a 2022 Randstad study discovered that employees involved in mentoring were 49% less likely to leave their company.
What is clear is that mentoring is a retention goldmine. So here are some ways you can dig in…
In a traditional mentoring scheme, one employee with more experience, mentors another with less. In a reverse mentoring scheme, the more junior employee mentors upwards. Why is this a good idea? It encourages knowledge and skills sharing that might not have occurred, breaks down communication silos, and it increases visibility for the more junior employee - a fantastic diversity and inclusion opportunity!
Another model that removes the traditional hierarchy of mentoring. A peer mentorship exists on the value of give-and-take. Each person in the mentorship acts as both teacher and student, and can gain a lot from the experience. In order for peer mentorship to work, it’s important to consider what unique experiences and skills each person has, and what the other would stand to gain!
During the onboarding process, a mentor can provide some much-needed clarity. Pairing a new employee up with a designated mentor or buddy will ensure they have guidance and access to the right tools - it also takes some of the teaching weight off their line manager.
But none of this counts if you don’t also…
Create an informal culture of mentoring
Structured mentoring programmes alone aren’t enough. If the value of mentoring is knowledge sharing, increased visibility and clearer mobility, this has to be echoed in all parts of the company. Harvard Business Review suggests that mentors-of-the-moment, people who take time out of their days to uplift, acknowledge and inform their colleagues outside of formal programmes, are the key to a true mentoring culture.