Benefits of a Structured Workplace Mentoring Program

Mentoring programs in the workplace use existing resources and key personnel to help employees grow and thrive. It’s no secret that Mentorship programs are key for employee retention and satisfaction.

In fact, in a survey of millennials by Deloitte, employees who said they plan to stay with their employer for more than five years were twice as likely to have a mentor (68% with a mentor, compared to 32% without a mentor).

Here are five ways that mentorship programs can benefit both employers and employees in multiple measurable ways. 

  1. Improved career development and acceleration

Mentorship programs empower employees to take ownership of their own personal and professional development, rather than feeling stagnant in their roles. Employees exercise growth through their relationship with a mentor and have a trustworthy resource with whom to consult for advice . This helps to improve retention and create cost-effective and scalable programs for career development.

  1. Improved Retention & Progression

Since mentors are typically employees who have seniority and experience within the company, they serve in leadership positions - mentees experience faster progression in their growth. Additionally, at the same time, the mentor deepens their sense of purpose and strengthens their leadership legacy within the organization.

An in-depth case study at Sun Microsystems is a good illustration:

  • Employees who participated in the program were five times more likely to advance in pay grade, and mentors made even more progress.
  • Mentees were promoted five times more than those not in the program, and mentors six times more.
  • Retention rates were significantly higher for mentees (72%) and for mentors (69%) than for employees who did not participate (49%).

  1. Builds diversity and inclusion within the organization

A 2016 study by the American Sociological Review found that mentoring, in comparison to other corporate tactics (such as mandatory diversity training, grievance systems, or job tests), increased minority representation among managers in the workplace anywhere from nine to 24 percent.

Mentorship programs can help improve diversity in leadership by sharing opinions, knowledge, and ideas — not to mention these programs have the best track record at making diversity a reality. The sole existence of a successful program can serve to better attract, and retain employees from all different backgrounds and walks of life.

  1. Allows for reverse mentoring

A key factor to remember with mentoring is that it’s a two-way street. The communication goes both ways, so mentors can learn from their mentees through knowledge sharing. 

For example, employees across generations will be paired together, which means that more seasoned generations can share best work practices and help navigate the internal political landscape while the younger generations/newer to the workforce can teach about new technology and upcoming trends.  Through these programs, there is a deepened and fruitful connection between employees and management.

  1. Supports and inspires a learning culture

Intra-organizational personal relationships are built between the bonds that people develop through mentorship programs. They inspire a collaborative learning environment and knowledge sharing between departments and employees. This in turn translates to more well-rounded employees who can grow their skillset and increase their expertise. 

Because mentorship programs aren’t one-size-fits-all, it may take several iterations to get it right. Regardless of how long it takes to get the most efficient program established, you can rest assured that mentorship programs offer employees and leaders benefits and satisfaction that increase the sense of belonging and inclusion in the workplace 

If you are looking to start a mentorship program at your company, team, or ERG or are wondering how to improve your existing mentorship program, we’ve got ideas for you! Contact us to jump on a best practice sharing call or for a demo of our mentorship learning platform and certification program.


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