In a time where the average employee is likely to change careers ten times before the age of forty, retention strategies have never been more important. In this article we will be examining one of the more popular ones – corporate mentorship programs and how they can both benefit the business as well as the individuals involved.
Over the past ten years, implementing mentorship programs has become increasingly popular. According to a study by the American Society for Training and Development, 71% of Fortune 500 companies have instituted a corporate mentoring program. There’s a reason why the investment is considered worthwhile – in the same study, 75% of executives credited their mentors with helping them reach their current position.
General Electric, one of the world’s most profitable companies believes so strongly in the powering of mentoring, they have created the GE Global Leadership Institute. 250 individuals from around the world spend a week learning from GE’s top executives in both group seminars as well as one-on-ones coaching sessions. Their motto? A great leader is a great learner.
GE aren’t the only company who benefit from a corporate mentorship program, but they’re certainly one of the first to talk about it.
Let’s examine some of the benefits:
Benefits to the Mentee:
- Mentee’s receive personalised career advice and guidance from someone who has been a similar position previously.
- Through mentoring, employees extend their networks within the organisation and receive greater recognition for good work, developing self-confidence.
Benefits to the Mentor:
- Managers who willingly give away their knowledge in corporate mentorship programs enjoy extended networks and increased connectedness within the organisation.
- Mentors have the opportunity to develop their own leadership skills, become known as a thought-leader or subject matter expert and add to their professional development record.
Benefits to the Business:
- Mentorship encourages both employee engagement as well as a culture of learning within an organisation. That’s hugely beneficial for overall retention according to a study by Right Management (2012) that found opportunity for learning and development placed first on the employee wish list for their employer, above compensation, culture and leadership.
- Mentorship incentivises higher performance by providing employees with the opportunity to network and receive personalised guidance from executive management regardless of their place in the hierarchy. It also gives managers the opportunity to better identify future leaders within the organisation.