Being able to support employees through their career with development opportunities can set an employer apart from the crowd, future-proof their business and help position them as industry leaders.
There are many ways to help employees develop and hone the skills they need to strengthen your business and drive success. You may consider outside training schemes to improve specific soft or technical skills or providing an e-learning hub with access to different resources. However, one method that stands out for prospective candidates and current employees is employee mentoring.
Over 97% of employees with a mentor say they are invaluable for their progression and learning and over 93% of small and medium sized business believe that mentoring schemes help them succeed.
What is mentoring in the workplace?
Workplace mentoring is an increasingly popular method of supporting the training and development of employees. Its purpose is to utilise the existing knowledge and experiences of senior staff and, by encouraging partnerships with junior colleagues, allow it to spread throughout the organisation.
Traditionally this process has been allowed to occur naturally and is known as ‘informal mentoring’ with senior employees taking junior staff under their wing by choice. However, this model is often elitist or biased as mentors often choose mentees based on personal preference rather than potential or need.
Businesses increasingly understand that the mentorship process should have more formal oversight to overcome bias and give employees equal opportunities to develop. A formal mentoring scheme has numerous benefits for the employees who take part as well as the wider business.
Benefits of mentoring in the workplace
Mentoring programmes in the workplace offer benefits to the mentor, the mentee, and the business alike.
For the mentee
For mentees, workplace mentoring schemes are not just a way to develop core skills and competencies needed for the role but are also a way to strengthen their confidence, offer support and create valuable networks they will come to rely on in their career. With the aid of a mentor, they will be able to become effective team members quickly. Other benefits include:
- Teaches to receive constructive feedback
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Offers insight into management skills
For the mentor
Senior employees who become mentors gain opportunities to build their communication and leadership skills. It also affords them a level of responsibility to the future of the business and a chance to show their commitment to the industry by nurturing the next generation of leaders. Other benefits for mentors include:
- Builds self-belief and increases job satisfaction
- Gains a better understanding of the hurdle’s junior employees face
- Improves interpersonal skills
For the business
Mentoring schemes are cost-effective methods for businesses to train employees by circulating the skills already available in senior employees to junior staff and new starters. It places development as central to the culture of the business which makes employees feel more supported leading to reduced turnover and makes the company more attractive to potential talent. And:
- Increases employee satisfaction and reduces turnover
- Improves talent acquisition
- Reduces costs
- Helps with succession planning and development goals
The many benefits of mentoring programmes in the workplace are clear but how can you go about implementing such a scheme?
Creating a mentoring plan for new employees
Over 70% of new starters feel unprepared in their new role. New employees can benefit enormously from a mentorship programme as part of their onboarding. Here are some key steps for creating a workplace mentoring plan for new employees.
- Set out your goals
How will your business benefit most from a mentorship programme? Is your focus on integrating new employees into workplace culture, improving performance, developing specific skills, or training future leadership candidates?
Set clear, quantifiable objectives based on these needs.
- Outline the process
Consider the practicalities of the programme. How will participants enter the scheme? Will the scheme be group, project or individual based? What is the timescale? How will you measure success?
Outline the critical steps of the process from start to completion and evaluation.
- Match participants
How you match mentees with mentors will be determined by your project goals as well as the experience and strengths of the participants. Be mindful of what makes a good match. Consider the skills, similarities, and expectations of each participant.
- Provide resources
Encourage mentors to create development plans to map their mentee’s progress or work together to create a development agreement which sets out the parameters of their relationship and their expectations.
Providing other resources such as reading material, discussion ideas questions and even webinars and talks will help guide participants.
- Get feedback
Put in place methods for gathering feedback once the scheme has come to an end or at waypoints throughout the relationship. Use any feedback to adjust and develop the scheme for future participants.
How Davies Resourcing can help you upskill your employees
We believe that innovation starts with finding the right people. Davies Resourcing can help you develop your employee mentoring scheme and find the future leaders in your industry.
Contact us now for advice or support in sourcing top talent.