Learning and development programs can sink vast budgets in order to boost employee engagement. By offering development opportunities, staff can cultivate the hard skills that groom them for leadership roles, or a promotion. It’s the well-trodden path to stimulate engagement, and for good reason.
A Gallup poll found that 87% of millennials (and 69% of non-millennials) view professional or career growth opportunities as important in their jobs.
But people do their best work, when they feel their best. When you drill deep into the data, what employees want most is to feel worthwhile, connected and appreciated.
According to PayScale’s survey of over 500,000 staff, appreciation mattered most for employee satisfaction. They want managers to invest in building their personal and professional skills, they want to be fulfilled by their role and they don’t want to feel invisible.
So, what if you could achieve this by embracing a culture of mentoring in your organisation?
Whether it takes the form of traditional, peer, or in groups, mentoring builds happy, productive and inclusive workplaces.
Mentoring, by its very nature, is a reciprocal relationship in which each person has a genuine desire to see the other succeed. The opportunity to connect and learn from each other fosters collaboration and inclusion, which can bring company values to life. Mentoring is a platform with equal opportunity for every person within an organisation.
And when people work on their personal and professional goals, they feel more connected to their work and a sense of achievement. The result is employees that feel more positively about the organisation they work for, and their career.
The opportunity to be mentored by senior staff can be also hugely empowering to emerging talent. This can pay dividends in engaged staff because they feel more positively about their organisation’s senior leadership. It also reinforces the belief that the organisation is providing opportunities for career growth, which supports employee retention.
Mentorship enables staff to tap into a mentor’s experience and expertise in order to development ‘soft’ or strategic skills which they might otherwise take years to cultivate on their own. These skills support employees to work smarter while nurturing talent for leadership roles.
It’s little wonder that employees who receive mentoring are promoted five times more often than those who did not.
On the flipside, mentors get to groom talent while learning about emerging technologies. It can also re-engage senior staff to master core competencies that build better leaders, like how to motivate individual employees, and have conversations about performance and compensation.
The benefits of mentoring flow beyond cultivating engaged employees.
Mentoring makes effective use of company resources when compared with the cost of formal training. Organisations spend an average of $1200 per person per year on learning and development. Building and managing your own mentoring program using Mentorloop can dramatically improve people outcomes and in many cases, for less than $29 per person per year.
And while skilled workers are leaving jobs faster than ever before, mentoring provides learning and development opportunities that have a big impact on reducing employee turnover.
Implementing a mentoring program is just one step towards creating a culture of mentoring. A true mentoring culture mindset begins to emerge in an organisation when mentoring takes root as a personal and professional development best practice. This happens when mentoring is part of an organisation’s overall culture.
Find out how you can build a culture of mentoring at your organisation, with Mentorloop.