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Why Mentorship Programs Are a Competitive Advantage


February 6, 2020  |  Hassina Obaidy


“The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.” – John C. Maxwell

Mentorship encourages motivation, finding the strength within an individual to become the best version of themselves, no matter where they are. As new generations are coming into the workforce, coaching and mentorship programs are in demand. According to an Emtrain Client Survey, coaching and mentoring is one of the top 3 priorities for workplace culture training in 2020.

To set your employees up for success and create a competitive advantage in the market today, organizations must focus on creating the right environment that empowers and encourages employees’ growth and retention and to be the best version of themselves.

Mentorship Advances Career Development

Organizations that invest in mentorship get an opportunity to positively impact the most important and desired skills of their employees. When you hire top talent, it’s not enough to just onboard them, give them a company handbook, and expect them to perform their jobs correctly and stay motivated. Mentorship is crucial to truly empower your employees and help them advance in their careers. Organizations that have not considered or implemented mentorship programs see a higher turnover rate. Meanwhile, other companies are putting all kinds of programs in place to keep employees happy and retain their talent.

Caterpillar, a construction machinery and equipment company with over 114,000 employees offers a variety of impressive mentor programs for professional development. The program allows employees to rotate throughout different departments over two to three years. Each department enables employees to immerse themselves within the field. Employees get hands-on learning and develop relationships with senior management and other experienced professionals who are part of the program.

Consider a mentor program that focuses on professional development as newer generations are emerging into the workforce. That way, you’re retaining top talent and ultimately increase business ROI.

Mentorship Promotes a Learning Culture

Promote a learning culture in your workplace by establishing an internal mentorship program. Mentorship programs don’t need to be taken place in college style theater rooms with a lecturer speaking about workplace skills, for example. They can be small, one-on-one engagements with another employee or team-level mentoring activities, depending on the topic. Different types of mentorship that occur in the workplace.

Thanks to the millennial workforce, mentoring employees have become nontraditional, also known as modern mentoring. In a previous blog post on HR and workplace culture trends in 2020, we’ve illustrated the different types of mentoring that occurs in the modern workplace:

  • Group mentoring: Formal, structured group setting with multiple (internal) experts and multiple learners who are learning from each other. Use the experts and senior members of your organization to become the mentors of junior employees.
  • Micro-mentoring: Informal, smaller opportunities such as asking a teammate for help, using LinkedIn to get career advice, or asking a leader for their overall guidance and perspective on company goals. Employees may feel a sense of gratification when guiding others on how to get their job done.
  • Reverse mentoring: Younger employees mentor seasoned executives on topics such as technology, social media, and current trends. This is an opportunity for junior employees to hone in on and practice their mentoring skills with others and also feel a sense of satisfaction.

Every organization has key employees who are experts in different subject matters. The subject doesn’t always have to be about work-related or career-related skills. It can be any similar topic that individuals might have an interest in, another opportunity to bring your employees together, and empower them to be each other’s mentors.

Mentorship Thrives in Diversity and Inclusion

Mentorship programs in diversity and inclusion are an excellent channel to instill workplace culture values, engage with underrepresented workplace groups, and ensure everyone feels they are included and belong in the organization. The most successful diversity workplace programs, according to Harvard Business Review, are those with continued engagement and accountability, such as diversity managers and mentoring programs. One study found that women and minorities find mentoring programs more valuable to their career development.

When mentorship is applied to diversity and inclusion, you’re allowing employees the opportunity to build valuable relationships and connections with each other. An opportunity to understand who each employee is without any bias. Ultimately, this is part of the foundation of cultivating a positive workplace culture.

What’s next?

When crafting a mentorship program in your organization, ensure stakeholders understand the objectives for the program, and come to an agreement. It’s important to have your key executives aligned and on board with your mentorship program. Consider coaching and mentoring managers on how to become a mentor. Coaching and Mentoring training provides managers with a few easy-to-remember models for coaching and mentoring career advancement that will help enhance performance and productivity while building positive employee relationships. Remember, influence and change always begin at the top.

To learn more about our training programs, check out Emtrain’s library of online training programs.


career developmentEmployee empowermentmentorship

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