Benefits of Workplace Mentoring
Workplace mentoring programs help employees do the right thing by exposing them to senior employees that know how to do the right thing. This helps the employee perform more effectively and gives the employee more satisfaction. The benefits to the employee are obvious, but what are the benefits to the organization?
- Onboarding - Speed up the process of bringing on new hires and speed up the process of redeploying existing employees into new lines of work. Bring them up to speed quickly and effectively. Studies have shown that the first month of a new hire or new assignment is critical to the overall success of that employee's tenure with the organization. Mentoring provides a key resource to these employees during this crucial learning phase.
- Employee Satisfaction - Studies have shown that employees that participate in mentoring programs have a higher job satisfaction. Higher job satisfaction leads to increased productivity and reduced turnover.
- Employee Retention - Studies have shown that employees that are mentored stay on the job longer than those that are left to sink or swim. A high percentage of turnover is directly caused by employees not knowing how to do their job. Give employees the ability to do their job correctly and effectively and they will stay longer and give better results.
- Employee Productivity - Employees participating in mentoring programs have an effective mechanism for getting answers quickly, allowing them to move on quickly. Employees that have to rediscover or re-invent solutions to common problems not only waste time that could be better spent but may also introduce new and costly problems into the organization when they solve their problems incorrectly. What makes this worse is when the new 'solution' is left in place and then taught to other employees.
- Career Growth / Succession Planning - Mentoring programs provide an effective way to provide a career growth path to your employees. Growing your employees into more senior positions is an effective way to reduce hiring and turnover costs and keep employees continually striving to be the best that they can be. Mentoring is an effective mechanism for grooming employees to fill key roles as part of your organization's succession plan.
- Knowledge Management and Retention - For many organizations, the knowledge retained in key individuals is the most valuable part of the organization. When these key individuals leave, this valuable information leaves with them. That is, unless your organization has an effective mentoring program that allows and encourages these key employees to share their knowledge and skills with other employees. Not only does this benefit the organization by reducing the risk of loss of key skills and knowledge, but it also helps reduce the load on the key employees. Freeing up key employees from day to day crisis management allows them to do what they do best, whether that is innovating, generating sales, or any of the other crucial features of a successful organization. Key employees are key because they are good at what they do and would rather do what they do well than constantly manage crises created from others that are less skilled. Spread their knowledge to others and it frees them from this burden.
- Quality - Dr. W. Edwards Deming has shown that organizations that actively care about the quality of their organization are more profitable. The first step to improved quality is making sure everyone is following your current internal process. You cannot improve your internal processes if everyone is ignoring them. The best way to insure consistency is to make sure junior employees are taught the right way in the first place.
- Synergy - Mentoring gives employees, both mentors and mentees the opportunity to be better and more productive than either could be individually. Mentor - mentee teams accomplish more than individual contributors because the highly skilled mentor can focus more effectively on the high skilled areas of his work while off loading the less skill-intensive work to the mentee. The mentee preforms more effectively because he is working within his current range of expertise and does not get stuck or road blocked trying to handle things outside his skill level. As a member of the team, the mentee not only learns how the mentor handles the highly skilled aspects of the job, but also gets credit for the successes of the team, leading to increased enthusiasm and performance in the job. As an added benefit to the mentor, when senior employees mentor others, they hone their own skills more effectively in the process.
- Reduce Frustration - Employees that don't understand their jobs and don't know where to go for help become frustrated. Frustration leads to morale problems beyond the individual employee and lead to higher turnover. Mentoring provides an avenue for employees to find resources and answers to problems, to empower employees to resolve their problems themselves.