The benefits of a workplace mentoring program for employers 🙌
What is a workplace mentoring programme? 🤔
A workplace mentoring or a career mentor scheme is a scheme set up within a company/organisation, often designed for experienced employees to spend some time training and offering guidance to new employees.
Mentors will guide new hires on their professional journeys and help with their onboarding process as they settle into the company.
Workplace mentoring programmes are useful in allowing new employees to gain valuable information and learn from an experienced employee, helping to give them the tools they need and shape them into becoming a valuable employee at your company.
“It’s really important for all new starters to have a ‘go-to’ person within the business from day 1, in order for them to feel supported and to also ensure that their first few days are a little less scary!
When new people start at Give a Grad a Go, they are assigned a buddy who is there to help and guide them during the onboarding process.
The buddy is usually someone who has been in a similar role to them within the last few months, so can relate to the thoughts and questions that they may have at the start of the new role.
Alongside an assigned buddy, we encourage all staff to act as mentors and support networks to anyone and everyone in the business. It’s important that everyone feels they have someone to go to for advice and support at any time- whether to discuss work or a general pick-me-up!”
What does your business aim to gain from a mentoring scheme? 💭
Every business is different, with its own unique goals and ways of working, so before you set up a workplace mentor program at your business, it’s important to ask ‘what do you hope to gain from a mentoring program?’
Are there specific areas of your business that aren’t meeting targets and need improving?
Do you want to train and improve the management skills of a specific team?
Or do you have new hires starting in an area which needs great training from the beginning?
It’s useful to set goals and aims for your mentoring program, this will help ensure the scheme adds valuable and needed improvements to your company.
The benefits of workplace mentoring program for employers 👍
Workplace mentoring programs have many benefits, here are some of the main objectives of workplace mentoring and how a mentor scheme could improve your company:
The first few months of your new hires time at your company are crucial.
This is your chance to set expectations and standards to establish what you expect from an ideal employee.
Mentors are great role models for new graduate hires, and can help ensure they meet the standard you expect from the beginning.
Graduate mentoring schemes can be an incredibly valuable tool for helping to increase employee satisfaction.
For new employees, especially those in their first or second job, the opportunity to gain new knowledge and improve existing skills can be hugely beneficial in terms of both professional and personal development.
Increasing employee satisfaction also leads to another great benefit – helping to retain your new hires.
A well-structured business mentoring programme will enable your recent graduates to make new acquaintances in the team, build team resilience and help them to feel more comfortable in their role.
All helping to retain your new hires and see them committed to staying at your company and climbing the ranks.
Check out our blog for more employee retention strategies.
And the benefits don’t end there.
Setting up a mentoring scheme at your company can hold great value for your more experienced employees too – as taking on a role as a mentor can increase confidence and communication skills, encourage them to face a new challenge that might be outside of their comfort zone, and prepare them for possible future managerial positions.
Mentoring can provide better communication between members of staff and between different teams, as well as the opportunity to hear feedback on areas of the business that could be improved, helping to create a stronger company structure overall.
What’s more, mentoring really is a fantastic way to show concern for your employee’s wellbeing.
Satisfied workers make for a successful business – and if a recent figure showing that 83% of workers say they would benefit from mentoring is anything to go by, it’s something that you should invest in now.
How to set up a successful graduate mentoring scheme 📢
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your workplace mentoring, here are some workplace mentor training tips to follow and tips for setting up a mentoring scheme:
First of all, it’s important that you define the objective of the programme.
Be specific from the very start about what you are looking to achieve – whether this is supporting the professional development of your employees, increasing satisfaction and commitment to the company, or retaining new hires.
By speaking to employees about what they hope to gain from the venture, and thinking about what you want to come out of the mentoring scheme, you’ll be able to establish a clear end goal that will help to provide structure to the process.
There are a few different types of mentoring at work schemes, mentoring circles and peer mentoring.
Mentoring circles are led by an experienced member of staff with multiple mentees.
Mentoring circles are great if you have a large intake of new hires and want to create a community where new hires can talk about common issues such as their career development, share their experiences and discuss challenges they are facing with both a supportive peer group, as well as a more experienced member of staff.
Or, if you have one or a few new hires starting, peer mentoring schemes may be a better option for your new hire to gain real insight from an experienced member of staff.
If your current employees have never managed or mentored before, they will need to be trained and guided on how to best train and guide their mentees.
It’s useful for senior members of staff who manage teams to run a few sessions training new mentors on the processes and skills of mentoring, including content such as how to best train mentees, when to check in with and how to make sure a mentee is on track.
Mentees also need a briefing about organisational aspects of the program, such as when they should meet with their mentor, what they will gain from the program and how to get the most out of their mentor.
Once you are clear about the aims of your programme, you can begin to decide on a clear structure.
This will include things like whether the mentoring scheme should be obligatory or something that employees can opt-in to if they so wish.
The organisers of the scheme will also need to decide when and where meetings should take place, and allot specific times for mentors and mentees to meet.
Your company might also like to put a small budget behind the scheme, to be used to fund meetings off-site, or to pay for events, prizes or certificates for those who are involved.
Only once you have established a clear structure should you begin to pair mentors with mentees.
With your ultimate aim in mind, decide which pairings would be the most effective.
Perhaps if you want your employees to develop their role-specific skills, pair them with someone who is a more senior member of their own team.
If you’d like the mentee to learn new skills, and be taken outside of their comfort zone, their mentor should be someone who is on a very different side of the business altogether.
Once your mentoring scheme is well underway, it’s important to review how the process is going.
Though you don’t need to be too involved in the meetings themselves, try to get feedback from both the mentor and the mentee.
As the programme develops, remember to keep note of their feedback and report back to the wider business on how successful the scheme has been.
Finally, if the programme has been trialled on a small-scale and has produced some really positive results – consider how it might be rolled out to the whole company.
Whether you’re looking to engage with your employees or fast-track the development of your graduate hires, the stats show that setting up a mentoring scheme in the workplace can be a hugely valuable tool for a number of reasons.
How to make mentoring schemes work remotely 💻
With many new hires onboarded remotely and many employees now working from home, this doesn’t mean your mentoring program should come to a halt.
You can still efficiently run mentoring schemes remotely, here are a few ways to do so:
Structured regular weekly check-ins
- To maintain contact with mentees, it’s useful to have regular weekly check-ins, to receive updates on how your mentor is doing and to see if they need any additional help.
- It’s useful to put a recurring event in the company calendar so both parties are aware.
Offer extra support
- It may be hard for some of your new hires to adjust to working from home, without other employees around them to learn from and ask questions to.
- It’s useful during this time to offer extra support and be on hand to answer any questions a mentee may have.
- Running workshops and extra training sessions are great ways to give additional guidance to your new hires who may be struggling.
Setting up a workplace mentoring program can benefit your business in many ways.
Follow our workplace mentoring program guide to successfully implement a scheme in your workplace and help boost your current and new employees’ working lives.
If you’re looking to add exceptional candidates to your business, get in touch via the form below and find out about our graduate recruitment services:
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