Through our employee loyalty program here at Walker this year, a priority that was identified was an increased focus on mentoring. As such, we have charged an internal team to re-energize our mentoring program. There are three primary objectives for this:
- Stay Competitive: increased competition drives the need for continuous learning, and talent development can yield competitive differentiation in a crowded market.
- Stay Connected: increasing remote/virtual communications, social media, etc. are decreasing human connections and relationships, and mentoring offers proven ways to share our knowledge, experiences, and best practices (often in face-to-face, personal methods).
- Stay Ahead: mentoring is shown to improve leadership elements such as retention rates, employee morale, individual self-confidence, trust, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, accelerated leadership development, reduced stress, stronger/more cohesive teams, and heightened learning.
A 2011 Sun Microsystems survey (a study conducted over 5 years) cited additional statistics to support the advantages of mentoring:
- Mentors are promoted 6x faster than those not in a program of this type
- Mentees are promoted 5x faster than those not in a program of this type
- Retention rates for both mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) are significantly higher than those who did not participate in mentoring (49%)
In addition, our own exit interviews and employee survey results show people want to stay when they are invested in relationships within the company. With its impact on employee satisfaction and loyalty, mentoring contributes to the Service Profit Chain linking internal development investments to business success:
As the diagram depicts, mentoring can be a contributor to higher Employee Loyalty, which translates to better customer service and customer experiences, which influence stronger Customer Loyalty, which aligns with and impacts a company’s improved financial performance leading to success of the business.
Bottom line, not only is the decision to invest in mentoring reap internal benefits (such as retention, morale, trust, stronger teams, and deeper talent), but it also is strongly related to external advantages that give a company a competitive edge and a leadership advantage.
Please share your own experiences where being mentored or mentoring someone else led to a positive outcome for you in your career.