Returning to work after a long break? A mentor can help you transition back in style

The return to work, after a long absence from things such as paternity leave, can be smoother with the help of a mentor

The start of a new year is a time for natural reflection and resolutions. For some people, it also marks the start of a new beginning. Whether returning to work after parental leave, a career break or starting a new job after a redundancy, coming back to work after a long break can be daunting. Employers are starting to recognise they often have an obligation to their people in these situations through tailored support programs which often include mentoring.

Case study: Employer Challenge – low engagement and high turnover of people returning from parental leave.

In 2018, one of our clients came to us with a problem. They had a disproportionately high rate of turnover for their employees that were returning to work after parental leave. While this did include some males, the majority impacted were of course females. Losing this talent was then having a knock on effect with the number of women moving into leadership positions – the funnel was shrinking.

A suite of tactics was deployed, one of which included a bespoke mentor program.

The mentor program was designed as an opt-in program, enabling those on parental leave to opt-in to a community of peer mentors from the business that had personally gone through this experience and transitioned back to work themselves.

Peer mentoring makes sense

We always say at Mentorloop, often the best mentors are just slightly ahead of you. That’s because the advice is often highly relevant, timely and relatable. The good news for employers too is that you have an untapped pool of qualified mentors to meet the brief. Whether it is people that have returned to work from parental leave, redundancy or a career break – you have people in your organisation that have lived these experiences and are more than willing to share.

The Outcome: More engaged, productive and loyal employees

The great thing about this particular case study is the fact there are clear benchmarks to assess the mentoring program against in terms of its impact.

While we are still tracking the impact on retention for the program, there has been an increase in engagement and how connected people feel to the organisation, all great things that inevitably lead to greater retention.

International Women’s Day

With International Women’s Day fast approaching, now is the perfect time to think about how you could deploy a bespoke mentor program to better support your people approaching or coming back from a period of parental leave. Get in touch with our mentoring experts and see how you can build a mentoring program that supports your team through these periods of change. 

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Heidi is the Co-founder and COO of Mentorloop. She's passionate about all things mentoring, Kenny Rogers and Italian Greyhounds.

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Test user

Nice Article, very helpful