When it comes to your onboarding program, it’s no longer enough to simply introduce a new employee to their coworkers, give them a few things to review and learn, provide them access to all the necessary assets, and call it a day.
No, it’s time to step up your game! We are in the midst of the Great Resignation after all, and first impressions count. If you don’t make the onboarding effort, those new hires may simply walk out the door.
This can cost you, big time. Why? Because losing an employee in the first year can cost as much as three times that employee’s salary.
So what can you do to prevent this? Focus on onboarding. And remember to be patient—it’s been estimated that it typically takes eight months for a newly hired employee to reach full productivity.
How Mentors Can Benefit Your Onboarding Program
Mentoring is a great addition to your onboarding program because it can get your newbies up to speed on company processes and culture quickly. This means you can get them on the fast track to being productive sooner. Here’s exactly how a mentor can help.
Guide New Hires
A mentor can guide new hires on the ins and outs of how things work. After all, no two companies are alike. Different organisations have different SOPs and ways of working that might need some getting used to, and that’s where mentors come in. Instead of having to learn by trial and error—and losing lots of valuable time in the process—new hires can learn the intricacies of their new workplace faster with a mentor.
Get Them Comfortable Quicker
On a similar note, mentors can help new hires get more comfortable in their new position and company quicker. Newbies can feel quite alone and awkward when starting out in a new organisation. Knowing they have someone they can chat with about anything relating to their new workplace—like the best and/or cheapest lunch spots, Slack channel recommendations, best person to contact for a specific request, etc.—can be comforting and ease some of those newbie nerves.
Navigate Company Culture
A mentor can also help new hires learn about and navigate company culture. If you’re a seasoned pro at your current company, sometimes it can be hard to remember that there’s always some adjustment to be made when joining a new workplace. Having somebody share with you what the culture is like and how to best navigate it can make new hires feel welcomed and supported from the get-go.
If you think implementing a mentoring program as part of your onboarding process is right for your organisation, here’s what we recommend:
Make It Informal
Start with a more informal, peer mentoring setup. In our experience, this is a more-friendly approach that puts less pressure on the participants.
Use New-To-Your-Company Mentors
Mentors don’t always have to be team members who have been at the company for five years or longer. Sometimes, it’s actually beneficial to have a mentor who maybe only joined the company in the last 12-24 months because their experience with being a newbie is still fresh.
Provide A Loose Structure
Provide a loose structure to guide participants, but don’t make it too prescriptive. No one likes being held to a strict program, especially when it comes to something that should be fun and beneficial like mentoring.
Want to learn more? Schedule a 15-minute chat with one of our mentoring specialists now to learn how to get your mentoring program off the ground, get advice on whether mentoring software is applicable to your organisation, learn about our platform and the right program design for your organisation, and more.