Bring Mentoring into the Future

Video conference at office

If you’re here, it’s likely that your company already has a mentorship program. In fact, according to a recent article in the Atlantic, over 70% of Fortune 500 companies have some type of mentoring system. Unfortunately, these programs do not always work. As we mentioned in a previous post, they don’t run themselves. Mel Jones notes that they often “don’t have the buy-in they need from executives to succeed, and many people find them to be formulaic and pointless.” But this problem isn’t new. It’s a result, in fact, of outdated approaches to mentoring. Modern mentorship means customization, creativity, and technology.

What are the advantages of modern mentorships?

  • Retention – According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost of recruiting and training a new employee is half of that employee’s salary. Keep your talent around!
  • Networking
  • Knowledge Transfer – As Jones states, companies often “risk losing a wealth of data and information as millions of people exit the workforce without passing much of it on.” By being proactive about knowledge transfer, you can ensure that your executives’ wisdom makes its way to the new set.
  • Succession planning
  • Onboarding – Especially in a competitive marketplace, smaller companies have to work harder to acquire and retain talent. By committing to an investment in training, education, and development from your employee’s first day, your small firm can stand out from its bigger competitors. Offer mentors for new employees as part of your recruitment branding!
  • Diversity and inclusion

Okay, so are you convinced? Here are a few examples of mentorship programs that need to enter the 21st century. I’ll bet they sound familiar.

Scenario 1: You’ve managed a mentoring program manually for years, but it’s grown bigger as the company has expanded, and now it’s too monstrous for you to handle yourself. How should you modernize?

Scenario 2: Your executives read a blog post about the benefits of mentorship, and decide they need to implement a program. You’re in the HR department, but already spread fairly thin. Not that they noticed! Suddenly, they’ve “gifted” you with the responsibility of running a mentorship program. How will you get it all done?

Scenario 3: You’ve started what you think is a pretty straightforward mentorship program. You’ve sent out reminders via e-mail and mentioned it in the break room. At first, mentees seemed excited about getting involved, but then you find out that the mentors never responded to their requests, and they gave up on bugging them after a few weeks. How can you keep track of so many people’s inter-communication?

One solution for all these problems? Let’s try a game. I say modernize, you say?

Technology!

Now you’re getting it. Don’t wait to bring your company’s mentorship program into the digital age. In order to avoid complacence and confusion, get feedback from your employees and use technology to customize the program to fit their needs. eMentorConnect’s KNOX® platform will match participants, remind them of meetings, keep track of deadlines, and measure participant success. Show your team you’re thinking forward and thinking of them.

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Kate Mason
kate.mason@ementorconnect.com

Kate Mason is a writer, historian, and stand-up comic living in New Orleans, LA. She is the Programming Coordinator for the New Orleans Film Society and an avid enthusiast of pop culture. She approaches mentoring challenges with a witty, creative mind.

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