How Mentoring Helps Employees Connect Meaningfully with Their Work

Developing Employees
Published on
January 10, 2022

You may not know this, but a good mentor acts as a bridge between an individual and their organizational needs, between their extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. When a mentoring program is designed effectively to reach its goal, it has a positive ripple effect that resonates far beyond your desired reach of just employee retention. 

When the individual needs of employees are met within an organization, they are happy, productive, and engaged. All in all, they’re in sync with the organization rather than being a separate extension of it. Sure, one can assume that just offering extrinsic rewards such as salary or job benefits might be enough for employee retention and help them connect meaningfully with their work. Still, it is not enough to have them bring their absolute best to the workplace. Organizations need employees to connect meaningfully with them to bring out their best efforts. Extrinsic rewards are critical, yes, but intrinsic rewards such as the feeling of doing meaningful work that helps employees grow personally while they grow professionally are also equally as critical for their development. 

Employees that feel like they aren’t growing in their workplace tend to quit jobs more frequently. When a startling number of 4 million employees called it quits in April of 2021, it gave way to the Great Resignation, which is essentially the continuation of a trend in the wake of the global pandemic. As the pandemic is slowly receding, people are hesitant to come back to their jobs and are on the hunt for jobs that offer them more value, happiness, and flexibility along with more money. They seek to feel valued in their places of work and how they spend their time. This is where a good mentorship program comes to the rescue, bringing us back to the very first sentence of this post regarding mentorship programs helping employees obtain optimal employee retention levels. 

So, What is Mentoring in the Workplace?

Mentoring in the workplace helps establish a meaningful partnership between colleagues to make way for continued learning and growth in a personal and professional scope. Employees seek to develop their skills, learn new things, and be challenged regularly. And while this takes a degree of devotion and many distractions can get in the way, a mentor that can help guide, advise, and teach employees towards a goal, can go a long way. A good mentor can help accelerate employees’ self-development, overall confidence, and career progression. As such, don’t you think more organizations should invest in a mentoring program? You’d be surprised to find that only 37 percent of professionals have access to mentoring in the workplace, despite the fact that 76 percent of professionals believe that having access to one is important. 

Let’s look at some stats here:

  • Approximately 14 percent of mentor relationships begin with someone asking another to be their mentor. Sixty-one percent of those develop naturally. 
  • Employees who have access to mentors in the workplace are naturally happier at their jobs than those without. 
  • Sixty-nine percent of all women opt for female mentors, and 82 percent of men opt for male mentors. 
  • About seventy percent of Fortune 500 companies have an employee mentoring program in place.

Employees That Need a Little Extra Support

Jobs can be hard, and as an adult, it isn’t always easy to reach out and ask for help. An employee mentorship program can be incredibly beneficial as it can help employees make critical decisions regarding their career development and give them the necessary tools they need to tackle challenges that may come their way at work. When employees have access to anyone other than an HR rep who has experienced similar issues, it is easier for them to reach out for help before reaching a burnout point that causes them to quit their jobs and search for something else out there. 

Organizational Benefits from Mentorship Programs

While the advantages of workplace mentorship programs are more obvious, the organizational benefits are less so. Mentorship programs help employees feel more connected and supported, which increases their workplace engagement, job satisfaction levels and causes them to stay with the company for much longer. How does this benefit an organization, you ask? Well, one can imagine how satisfied, and highly motivated employees impact an organization by giving way to higher levels of employee retention. With early-career millennials job hopping twice as fast as new graduates did two decades ago, it is more imperative than ever to ensure they’re happy in their jobs, so they job-hop less. In order to preserve human capital investments, workplaces must be more vigilant in ensuring that their employee’s intrinsic needs are being met. 

Business Acumen and Soft Skills

With the help of expert employee mentorship programs, employees can also build their “soft skills.” This kind of mentorship is different from focusing on one specific area of expertise and imparts coping strategies and wisdom to employees that will help them in their professional and personal lives. This can include but isn’t limited to:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic thinking
  • Communication skills 
  • Workplace relationship navigation

In more ways than one, an organization can greatly benefit from employees who can lead, communicate, and interact effectively with their peers. These employees can connect with their workplace in a much more meaningful way, knowing that it is more than just a job, but that it is also helping them grow within the personal and professional scope. And it goes a long way in improving employee retention rates within said organizations! 

However, before you form an employee mentorship program within your organization, you must set your goals for it. Ask yourself: what do I want to achieve out of this?

Not sure how to begin? You can always reach out to our expert team at MentorCloud to get all the information and the tools required to start your mentorship program. 

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