Ellen Ensher gives an overview of her research on the benefits of mentoring, including increased retention, satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior.
- I'm going to start by asking you to dream big about what you really want out of your formal mentoring program. Do you want to build a mentoring program so that employees will be happier, more productive, treat each other better, and stick around for the long term? If your answer is yes, the good news is these are realistic expectations. The latest data on employee engagement shows that nearly two thirds of the US workforce is disengaged, which, I know, is kind of depressing.
But the good news is that mentoring can serve as a driver to engage and energize your employees. Some benefits of formal mentoring programs include greater employee retention, increased organizational citizenship behavior, which means people treat each other well and help one another, better employee satisfaction. Also, formal mentoring programs can help with employee onboarding, they can serve as a tool to develop high-potential employees, and formal mentoring programs are often employed as a key strategy to bring more diversity into top management.
Let's look at a couple of real life examples. The popular ride sharing company Lyft has an innovative formal mentoring program that they use for onboarding new drivers. Lyft mentors are chosen to apply to be mentors based on their top ratings. If they choose to become mentors, then it's literally pay for performance. Mentors earn $35 per mentoring session and become part of a mentoring meet-up community. It's a great way for mentors to share their knowledge, get recognized and rewarded, and help train and retain the next generation of drivers.
Another example is Sun Microsystems's Sun Engineering Enrichment and Development Program. At the conclusion of this program, researchers found that retention rates increased to 69% for mentors and 72% for protegees, while the retention rate among non-participants was just 49%. These higher retention rates translated into a savings of $6.7 million.
Formal mentoring programs allow your employees to thrive and develop new skills, whether they serve as program administrators, mentors, or protegees. Mentoring matters, as it can make your organization more profitable and your employees more engaged.
- The benefits of formal mentoring programs
- The types and purpose of mentoring programs
- Designing a framework and a needs assessment
- Creating a mentoring culture
- Ensuring organizational support
- Choosing participants
- Training essentials for mentors
- Concluding and celebrating your program
- Evaluating your program
- Making your mentoring program last