Why the Time to Invest in Mentorship Programs in the Workplace Is Now

Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
June 8, 2022

In an article for Harvard Business Review, HR experts at the helm of the Gartner HR Practice identified many pressing issues that will shape work in 2022 and beyond. Two issues that are most relevant to human resources and people managers? “Employee turnover will continue to increase as hybrid and remote work become the norm for knowledge workers” and “DEI outcomes will worsen in a hybrid world without intervention.”

These are critical people and growth issues, and if they go unaddressed, they will have serious impacts on a company’s culture and bottom line, as well as employees’ career development.

One solution is investing in systemized mentorship programs that will curb some of the negative effects of the remote work era, including high turnover and failure to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. That’s because mentorship helps new employees expand their knowledge base, define a career path, and connect with colleagues and leaders in ways remote work wouldn’t otherwise permit.  

Employees are leaving their jobs at record rates (and looking for better ones)

HR managers are desperate to get top talent to stay at their organizations and attract new ones in the hyper-competitive job market.

Recent employment numbers in the U.S. are staggering. The number of people who quit their job in March of 2022 rose to 4.5 million, and the number of open jobs rose to 11.5 million. This is a consistent trend in the labor market since 2020, with both resignations and open jobs going up. There is a pressing need to offer benefits that attract workers for the long term, like mentorship programs.

Experts often point to mentorship as a meaningful way to attract and keep talent. According to Training Magazine, retention rates are 50% higher for those with a mentor than those without. The author argues that the mentoring relationship can have a greater impact on employee retention than salary increases.

And the impact successful mentoring programs have on enticing new candidates can’t be understated either (especially for younger employees). Low wages, poor working conditions, and unfulfilling roles are all reasons people are leaving their jobs today. Mentorship doesn’t fix those problems, but it can increase the quality of a person’s professional development and create a work environment that is highly attractive to candidates. People want clear progression in their careers, and a mentor can provide them with the insight and vision they need to grow.

In a 2022 survey conducted by McKinsey, about 30% of workers who recently accepted a new job said career development and advancement potential were top factors in their decision. Mentorship can help them hone their existing skills, gain new ones, and climb the corporate ladder.

Workplace mentoring programs promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

The HBR article mentioned above warns that DEI objectives could be increasingly difficult to achieve as hybrid and remote work become the norm. The authors point to the fact that managers are more likely to give raises to employees who work in person rather than those who continue to work from home. And this is a DEI problem because women and people of color, for a number of reasons, from parenting to persistent in-office microaggressions, tend to say they prefer working from home.  

Mentorship is a critical tool in an organization’s arsenal to boost the hiring and retention of diverse employees in the workplace, and is a way for them to meet their DEI goals. So, in addition to an early-in-career mentorship program for a broad group of new employees, it’s worth implementing mentorships that cater to underrepresented employees, especially in remote and hybrid settings.

If you’re looking for resources on virtual mentorship, check out our eBook on online mentoring in the workplace. It has insights into goal setting, prepping the program, and getting feedback.

Research from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations found that workplace mentoring programs increase promotion and retention rates for women and minorities from 15% to 38% higher than for non-mentored employees. They also found that mentoring improved representation for people at the management level from minority groups by 9% to 24% and was more effective than other DEI initiatives. The data is clear that a mentoring relationship is a critical tool to help underrepresented employees grow and succeed in a digital workplace.

Mentorship programs keep remote and hybrid workplaces connected

According to research from Gallup, between 18% and 26% of people who worked fully from home in 2020 and 2021 reported feeling lonely.

Regular mentorships can help employees feel more connected and a part of an organization. Monthly or bi-monthly meetings create the opportunity to chat with a senior teammate or leader about everything, from career goals to daily work happenings. While the meetings should have set agendas to make the mentorship purposeful, informal chats at the beginning or end of meetings can also build stronger bonds between co-workers and satisfy the human need to socialize.

Another benefit is knowledge sharing. The information exchanged at these meetings helps break down silos and lets teams operate more efficiently. Let’s say the mentee works in IT, and the mentor is in data analytics. Each person learns how the other does their job, which can inspire greater collaboration and insight into each other's roles. Connectivity remains a pressing issue in the remote and hybrid work eras. For more information on why it’s so important and how companies can implement intentional connectivity strategies and solutions, download our guide to developing and engaging your workforce.

Use Ten Thousand Coffees to jump-start your corporate mentorship programs in the workplace

Ten Thousand Coffees makes it easy for companies to implement mentorship programs that promote career development. Our SmartMatch algorithm pairs mentors and mentees based on their goals and interests, sets up meetings through your company’s preferred video conferencing tool, and provides a guided curriculum with talking points to keep the conversation flowing. If you’re interested in learning how Ten Thousand Coffees can help your team, reach out to us for a demo.

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Why the Time to Invest in Mentorship Programs in the Workplace Is Now

In an article for Harvard Business Review, HR experts at the helm of the Gartner HR Practice identified many pressing issues that will shape work in 2022 and beyond. Two issues that are most relevant to human resources and people managers? “Employee turnover will continue to increase as hybrid and remote work become the norm for knowledge workers” and “DEI outcomes will worsen in a hybrid world without intervention.”

These are critical people and growth issues, and if they go unaddressed, they will have serious impacts on a company’s culture and bottom line, as well as employees’ career development.

One solution is investing in systemized mentorship programs that will curb some of the negative effects of the remote work era, including high turnover and failure to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. That’s because mentorship helps new employees expand their knowledge base, define a career path, and connect with colleagues and leaders in ways remote work wouldn’t otherwise permit.  

Employees are leaving their jobs at record rates (and looking for better ones)

HR managers are desperate to get top talent to stay at their organizations and attract new ones in the hyper-competitive job market.

Recent employment numbers in the U.S. are staggering. The number of people who quit their job in March of 2022 rose to 4.5 million, and the number of open jobs rose to 11.5 million. This is a consistent trend in the labor market since 2020, with both resignations and open jobs going up. There is a pressing need to offer benefits that attract workers for the long term, like mentorship programs.

Experts often point to mentorship as a meaningful way to attract and keep talent. According to Training Magazine, retention rates are 50% higher for those with a mentor than those without. The author argues that the mentoring relationship can have a greater impact on employee retention than salary increases.

And the impact successful mentoring programs have on enticing new candidates can’t be understated either (especially for younger employees). Low wages, poor working conditions, and unfulfilling roles are all reasons people are leaving their jobs today. Mentorship doesn’t fix those problems, but it can increase the quality of a person’s professional development and create a work environment that is highly attractive to candidates. People want clear progression in their careers, and a mentor can provide them with the insight and vision they need to grow.

In a 2022 survey conducted by McKinsey, about 30% of workers who recently accepted a new job said career development and advancement potential were top factors in their decision. Mentorship can help them hone their existing skills, gain new ones, and climb the corporate ladder.

Workplace mentoring programs promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

The HBR article mentioned above warns that DEI objectives could be increasingly difficult to achieve as hybrid and remote work become the norm. The authors point to the fact that managers are more likely to give raises to employees who work in person rather than those who continue to work from home. And this is a DEI problem because women and people of color, for a number of reasons, from parenting to persistent in-office microaggressions, tend to say they prefer working from home.  

Mentorship is a critical tool in an organization’s arsenal to boost the hiring and retention of diverse employees in the workplace, and is a way for them to meet their DEI goals. So, in addition to an early-in-career mentorship program for a broad group of new employees, it’s worth implementing mentorships that cater to underrepresented employees, especially in remote and hybrid settings.

If you’re looking for resources on virtual mentorship, check out our eBook on online mentoring in the workplace. It has insights into goal setting, prepping the program, and getting feedback.

Research from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations found that workplace mentoring programs increase promotion and retention rates for women and minorities from 15% to 38% higher than for non-mentored employees. They also found that mentoring improved representation for people at the management level from minority groups by 9% to 24% and was more effective than other DEI initiatives. The data is clear that a mentoring relationship is a critical tool to help underrepresented employees grow and succeed in a digital workplace.

Mentorship programs keep remote and hybrid workplaces connected

According to research from Gallup, between 18% and 26% of people who worked fully from home in 2020 and 2021 reported feeling lonely.

Regular mentorships can help employees feel more connected and a part of an organization. Monthly or bi-monthly meetings create the opportunity to chat with a senior teammate or leader about everything, from career goals to daily work happenings. While the meetings should have set agendas to make the mentorship purposeful, informal chats at the beginning or end of meetings can also build stronger bonds between co-workers and satisfy the human need to socialize.

Another benefit is knowledge sharing. The information exchanged at these meetings helps break down silos and lets teams operate more efficiently. Let’s say the mentee works in IT, and the mentor is in data analytics. Each person learns how the other does their job, which can inspire greater collaboration and insight into each other's roles. Connectivity remains a pressing issue in the remote and hybrid work eras. For more information on why it’s so important and how companies can implement intentional connectivity strategies and solutions, download our guide to developing and engaging your workforce.

Use Ten Thousand Coffees to jump-start your corporate mentorship programs in the workplace

Ten Thousand Coffees makes it easy for companies to implement mentorship programs that promote career development. Our SmartMatch algorithm pairs mentors and mentees based on their goals and interests, sets up meetings through your company’s preferred video conferencing tool, and provides a guided curriculum with talking points to keep the conversation flowing. If you’re interested in learning how Ten Thousand Coffees can help your team, reach out to us for a demo.

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