Mentoring Employees is Key to Retaining Talent

Employee Retention
Published on
January 17, 2022

Amidst the current uncertainty in the labor market and society, employers need to take a more proactive approach to attract and retain new employees. Employee retention in 2021 has been exaggerated by the Great Resignation, where workforces across various industries are witnessing an exodus of millions of workers. Peaking in April and July 2021, the ‘Big Quit’ has forced many organizations to re-evaluate their talent engagement and retention practices to maximize their productivity. 

While increasing pay and buffering rewards programs are good ways to improve employee morale and prevent them from looking elsewhere, mentoring employees is a crucial measure organizations should prioritize to keep talent on board. Mentoring is a critical practice that helps set up new workers for success, creates a climate of support throughout the organizational hierarchy, and creates more productive and engaged workers. Mentorship is a foundational aspect of worker culture and companies to be more resourceful by further developing the skill sets of their staffers. How does mentorship tie into employee retention?

What are Mentoring Programs?

Mentoring programs in a workplace typically allow new or younger employees to consult with seasoned staffers who offer them guidance and help them settle into their work environments. 

While traditional mentoring usually focuses on integrating new members, modern mentoring programs establish mentor-mentee relationships regardless of age and career stage. Additionally, the pandemic has forced countless employees to work from home; mentoring programs operate remotely. Further, more organizations are investing in mentoring software programs to match mentors and mentees and track the success of mentorships. 

Mentorship programs boost employee retention, accelerate professional growth, improve work satisfaction and build trust among the employees who participate in these programs. Successful mentorship programs facilitate seamless knowledge transfers, helping workers refine their skill sets to move up in the organization or strengthen their positions as they seek to move up the corporate ladder.

The direct link between mentorship and employee retention is clear. Statistics show that retention rates for mentors and mentees hover around 70%, a significantly higher rate than employees who don’t participate in mentorship programs. Additionally, it’s recommended that organizations assign mentors as early as possible to reduce expensive hiring and turnover costs, fostering a harmonious culture that’s welcoming to new employees while showing current employees you’re willing to invest in their professional and personal futures. 

Why are Mentoring Programs Important?

Mentorship programs are vital to helping employees pave a clear career path

Mentoring programs are valuable for employee retention because they provide purpose and direction for employees who feel undervalued within an organization. Organizations' leadership and development departments facilitate mentorship programs to cater to employees' most significant pain points, whether their struggles to establish relationships throughout the organization, burnout concerns, or financial fears.

Mentoring should always involve employees, seeding staff groups to determine the strongest staff members who exhibit the best leadership traits. Mentoring software programs make the mentor-mentee selection process easier because the programs use quality organizational data to make pairings, favoring pairings that match mentors and mentees with the most potential to learn from their interactions. 

Executive leadership must fully be on board with the structure of the mentoring program and the software facilitating the program. Mentors within an organization should also assemble regularly to discuss the approach, purpose, mechanisms, and training content involved with the program. Monthly meetings should be held between mentors to review content themes, discuss challenges and evaluate the overall success of the mentorship program to determine its effectiveness and make necessary changes if mentees or mentors express concerns. 

Mentoring programs are vital to helping employees determine where they are in their professional journeys and establish their future targets. How far are they trying to reach in the organizational pyramid? Are they concerned about the financial and emotional support they will receive from their employers? These are pertinent questions that mentoring employees will answer to convince employees that they have purpose and worth within the organization, motivating them to improve their work performance. 

Employees have been making it known that they value mentorship programs and prefer having them in place. Around 94% of employees would consider staying at their respective organizations if they have mentoring programs in place, a sign that companies are investing in the career development of their workforce. Mentees will respond favorably to mentoring initiatives once they know mentors and executives are vested in improving their daily working experiences while also introducing them to new networking opportunities. 

Are Mentoring Programs Effective for Employee Retention?

Companies across the board are reaping the benefits of mentorship programs

Major corporations have been seeing the value of mentoring employees and how it enhances employee retention, with nearly three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies implementing mentorship programs.

Also, the retention rates for mentees are around 50% higher than those that aren’t mentored, with mentorship pointed to as a more viable employee retention mechanism than raising pay. Considering the disruptions and alienation triggered by the pandemic, mentoring employees is an excellent way to keep employees invested and help them develop a rejuvenated attitude towards working while striking the kind of work-life balance they crave. 

Unfortunately, many companies with mentorship programs don’t run the programs efficiently enough, causing employees to disengage from work quickly and causing discontent throughout the workforce. Either leadership doesn’t care enough to see through the implementation of mentorship programs, or they struggle to see the benefits mentorship provides. Over the next two years, organizations are constantly striving to change that as they try to replace informal connections that have increased throughout the pandemic with interpersonal relationships, both within departments and cross-functionally. Ultimately, the success of mentoring programs comes down to buy-in from the top level, as that buy-in adds value and confidence to the programs being implemented and, by extension, their success in retaining talent. 


Contact our expert team today to learn more about how MentorCloud helps organizations retain their top talent. 


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