In addition to the host of benefits a structured mentoring program provides—including increased retention, innovation, cross-departmental rapport, career development, and more—it can also be used to help organisation members in industry bodies keep their networks alive, thereby increasing networking effectiveness.
Let’s take a closer look at the problems professionals are facing, the benefits mentoring programs provide, and how those benefits can be leveraged for your own organisation.
The Problem: Keeping In Touch
In a recent survey by LinkedIn, researchers found that 38% of professionals globally said that they find it hard to stay in touch with their network, with most (49%) reporting that this was due to not having enough time.
However, the large majority (79%) did agree that professional networking is valuable for career progression, with 61% saying that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead to possible job opportunities.
Despite these agreed-upon perks, less than half of professionals—48% to be exact—say they continue to keep in touch with their network when things are going well in their career—a time when staying in contact may be more important than ever.
The Solution: Mentoring as a Tool for Professional Mentoring
This is why formal mentoring programs can be beneficial: They can provide your professional network with the direction and motivation they need to continue connecting with their peers in a relaxed yet structured environment. And this isn’t the only perk mentoring can provide.
As researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder outline in their paper “Strategic Intervention Brief #3: Mentoring and Networking Activities” in StratEGIC Toolkit: Strategies for Effecting Gender Equity and Institutional Change, mentoring also provides benefits like:
- Communities of support: It provides participants with occasions to develop relationships with colleagues or peers who are more advanced in their careers and who are willing to provide guidance, encouragement, support, and interest, while helping to reduce anxiety.
- Career development: Mentoring can help participants develop satisfying, productive, and successful careers by providing them with opportunities to envision career options, interact with more senior colleagues who can serve as role models, and sharpen their leadership and career-related decision-making skills.
- Problem-solving: Mentoring and networking opportunities can be organised to help participants identify the appropriate options or steps for solving challenges that they may encounter (e.g., handling conflict, negotiating salaries, and assuming new budgetary responsibilities).
To learn about additional benefits mentoring programs can provide—including improving one’s creative intellect, exchanging ideas, developing long-lasting relationships, and more—check out this wonderful article by Forbes.
Mentorloop In Action
So you don’t have to just take our word for it, we wanted to provide you with this video testimonial from Julie Clerc, the Events Coordinator at European Cities Marketing (ECM), the association for tourist boards, convention bureaux, and city marketing organisations in Europe.
The big takeaway from Julie’s experience? Mentorloop’s mentoring platform has helped ECM strategically connect their members via a specific set of criteria. As Julie notes, one of the best parts is that the platform was intuitive and easy to use for all program participants.
At the end of the day, mentoring isn’t only great for employees and/or members or professional networks, it’s also great for their companies and organisations.
Ready to learn more? We’ve assembled a complete—and free—mentoring toolkit just for you. It includes:
- A mentoring program checklist
- A mentoring program tip-sheet
- A mentor-mentee matching questionnaire
- Our favourite pieces of mentoring content
- A mentoring program proposal framework