Mentoring should be a right, not a perk

People at a meeting

The topic of what creates a great company culture is well covered but still not well understood. With all the options and opinions out there it is clear there is not one silver bullet. However, as we enter the age of automation, the companies that are going to succeed are those that build a people-first culture. The swiftest, cheapest and most effective way to do this is with mentoring.

For too long companies have been viewing mentoring as a perk, or something nice to have. Something that should be left to the individual to drive – ‘hey, if you want a mentor, who’s stopping you?’ The fact is mentoring favours the bold. Those who have the confidence, networks and aptitude to make it happen. This is not the majority of your workforce.

Mentoring, when deployed correctly, increases retention, engagement and productivity. So why would you leave it up to the individual? Mentoring should be ingrained in your company culture. It should be something that is woven in from the get go, something that is positioned as the status quo, rather than an employee perk.

As organisational structures become flatter, career development opportunities are limited.

In turn, individuals are now waking up to the fact that if you aren’t developing yourself you are falling behind. That’s why over 75% of millennials deem mentoring critical to their success and if organisations fail to facilitate this opportunity, they can expect lower engagement and reduced tenure. We hear all the time from our clients that their people can’t get enough learning & development. But the challenge for business & people leaders becomes how do you deliver a bespoke program, that your people will love, at scale?

Mentoring delivers on all these requirements. The hardest part is changing what you think mentoring is and who you think it’s relevant for. The reality is mentoring is relevant for all of us and therefore, is something everyone should have access to. Mentoring is like water – it’s critical to your survival in this new era of work.

But people need help and guidance in order to make meaningful mentoring happen. Too often organisational mentor programs fail to deliver value for both the company and the individual, therefore being relegated to an initiative that’s viewed as ‘non-critical’. But flip that on its head and provide your people with outcome and purpose driven mentorship and it quickly becomes critical people infrastructure.

At Mentorloop, we believe the right connections can change a life and it’s our mission to make these connections more accessible to more people.

In 2018, we’ve made over 5000 quality matches.

How do we know they’ve been quality connections? Well they’ve told us. Participants from organisations such as AMP, Xero, the BBC and Melbourne Water have rated their mentoring match a 4 out of 5. It’s the Mentorloop Quality Score™ and it’s how we keep ourselves accountable to ensure we deliver quality mentoring outcomes at scale.

So as we approach the new year, think about how mentoring has been done or is currently being done at your organisation and how you could position mentoring as not only an opportunity accessible to all, but something that just becomes, ‘this is what we do around here’, that’s how you create culture.

Put your people first and create an accessible mentoring program for all, book your demo today. 

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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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