This is Why Your Employees Need Mentoring – More Than Ever

your employees need mentoring

Employee mentoring has always been an important asset of any organisation – both on the supply-side (mentors), and the demand-side (mentees). Today, it is equally beloved, with the latest studies pointing to the fact that 66% of millennials want a workplace mentor – and that 75% of the millennial demographic consider mentoring critical to their success. On the other side of the mentoring equation, 75% of executives credit their mentors with helping them reach their current positions, a stat which makes it obvious why so many experienced employees choose to give back in the form of mentoring.

So we know that the desire for mentoring is there. But mentoring today is a lot more important than that, because it serves as an insurance policy in an increasingly precarious workplace.

If mentoring was ever just a nice-to-have – it no longer is today.

An uncertain future

A mentor is arguably most helpful at crossroads; a point in time when an individual or employees feels uncertain of which road to take at a pivotal juncture.

These cross-roads are becoming more and more frequent as the world evolves ever more quickly. 10 or so years ago, a graduate could choose their career path and make incremental progress in the knowledge that they had a decent runway. Today, recent graduates – and all employees – are being told that the profession they have spent 4 or 5 years studying – or 10 or 15 years working in – is about to be redundant, with various studies pointing to the fact that 40% of all jobs are at risk of automation by the year 2025.

While most mentors can’t explain to their mentees what the future will look like, they can provide guidance on sensible steps to move forward and mitigate the chances of failure. A mentor can also provide reassurance against uncertainty – a priceless benefit of mentoring – that rapid change has also been happening during their whole careers (even if at a slower pace), and that change is good so long as you’re proactive in adapting to it.

The rise of services

As more and more jobs are lost to automation and increasingly sophisticated products and technologies, it will become increasingly important for employees to focus on and develop soft skills; skills like leadership and communication.

We have seen what happens when manually laborious jobs like manufacturing are taken away; service jobs take over as people have more time – and more money – to spend servicing the needs and wants of other people. Managing and collaborating in this new people-to-people economy requires skills which are developed through channels like mentoring – not online courses. Mentoring provides employees with the universally applicable skills to overcome the inevitable upheaval headed our way. 

mentoring soft skillsThe remote workforce

Companies and work teams are becoming more fractured every day. Flexible and remote work are becoming the norm, with 34% of business leaders saying more than half of their full-time employees will be working remotely by 2020. Most employees appreciate these changes – but fail to fill the old void that workplace interaction and cross-departmental discussion historically added to their lives. Modern mentoring solutions i.e mentoring software, enable these people to stay connected to their professional network – even when working in different timezones and continents.

Remote mentoring enables employees to maintain strong and productive human relationships with others at the company, which is extremely important in maintaining strong company culture – but also in improving the mental health and retention of each and every employee.

A sense of belonging

Millennials get a lot of attention when it comes to their workplace traits. But most observers fail to see the root cause of these traits – and the underlying thread.

Millennials are simply looking to make their work a deeper part of their lives. They care about progress in the workplace because their identity is more closely aligned with their job than ever before; they care about purpose in the workplace because they see this as purpose in their lives; and they want to have strong connections and engagement with the people who they work with because they see work and their fellow employees as their second home and family.

Mentoring plays a pivotal role in these needs, and will continue to do so as the workplace continues to veer in this direction. It provides young professionals with another channel for the progress they deeply desire; it allows them to act on and pursue the purpose they crave; and allows them to develop the professional connections they need in an increasingly disconnected world.

Mentoring has always been an incredible tool, which is why people have always wanted to experience it – and why companies have often offered it.

But it’s no longer a nice-to-have. Your employees – and all of us – need mentoring. More than ever.

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