Attract, Engage & Retain Millennials with Mentoring Programs

December 04, 2019

Did you know that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025? Thatís only a few years away.

This shift in the workforce allows organizations to gain top talent by capitalizing on millennials looking for work. This means you want to position yourself as an attractive place for these potential employees. To do that, your organization needs to devise a strategy that addresses the needs of these potential employees.

Our recommended strategy for meeting these demands is implementing a mentoring program.

Benefits of Mentoring for Your Millennial Workforce

There are many benefits of mentoring for the entire organization. For millennials, mentoring will not only attract them to your organization, but will engage and retain them once they are hired. 

Attracting Millennials

53% of hiring managers report difficulty in attracting millennials. This difficulty often stems from the differing expectations millennials have for their workplace. Millennials expect to feel valued in their positions at a level higher than their predecessors. They also demand development opportunities from their employers.

The hiring process is further complicated by the age gap that is often present between hiring managers and millennial candidates. Hiring managers that belong to other generations can find it difficult to advertise the proper benefits that millennials are looking for. Even worse, sometimes the benefits are not present in the organization at all. 

Meeting the high expectations of this generation is pivotal to attracting the top talent in the market. This is where mentoring comes in. Mentoring provides excellent career development opportunities for any level of employee. In fact, 79% of millennials believe that mentoring programs are crucial to their career success.

With such high levels of attractiveness, mentoring should be used as a tool to attract the top millennial job-searchers. Let millennial candidates know that your organization offers mentoring programs focused on developing them as individuals. This is a great selling point when recruiting the generation, as it provides visible career development opportunities to candidates.

Engaging Millennials

Employee engagement is a commonly known challenge for many organizations. In fact, only 29% of millennials are engaged with their workplace. Addressing this issue is top priority for organizations because of the increasing percentage of the generation in the workplace. Mentoring does this withÖ 

Recognition

Millennials want recognition, and they want it often. 41% of millennials prefer recognition monthly, if not more often. Unfortunately, only 40% of millennials are happy with the recognition and rewards system provided at work.

This dissatisfaction may result in high turnover of your millennial talent if recognition programs are not adjusted. However, if millennials receive recognition often, in return, your organization will see more motivated millennial team members.

This makes mentoring the optimal solution to provide millennials with the required amounts of recognition. Frequent mentor meetings and checkups will give one-on-one, personalized feedback to the millennials when they need it. Satisfying their need for recognition and feedback is a vital step in engaging and retaining millennial employees.

Collaboration

88% of millennial employees prefer collaboration over competition. A collaborative work environment is attractive to millennials because it compliments their attributes as creative and critical thinkers.

Promoting a work environment that encourages collaboration leads to increased engagement and quick problem solving. Because collaboration is an integral part of mentoring relationships, a mentoring program will provide this requirement seamlessly.

Mentees collaborate with their mentors regularly, and further their partnership can extend beyond the traditional mentoring sessions. Mentors can introduce their mentees to all of their connections, encouraging collaboration across the organization.

Retaining Millennials

Millennials have a reputation for switching jobs often. This is one of the reasons why employee retention, especially among millennials, has become an important challenge in the workforce. Many millennials were raised with the idea that their beliefs and contributions are very important.

Understanding why millennials leave will help your organization choose the best strategy to retain them.

Implementing Your Mentoring Program

Millennials like customization, and they are generally more interested in things that directly apply to them. This applies to mentoring as well, so millennials are looking for a mentoring program that works for them.

To fill this need, donít confine your millennials by assuming that one type of mentoring program fits all. Give them options, and in return you will see increased success within your program. Consider the following types of mentoringÖ

Reverse Mentoring

In reverse mentoring, the traditional model of senior-level mentor and junior-level mentee is reversed. This gives younger employees the chance to demonstrate their knowledge that senior-level employees and executives often donít have. This approach allows millennials to not only learn, but also teach.

When millennials are in the role of a mentor, they are given a window into the higher levels of the organization. They ultimately get a better understanding of the business. This is extremely beneficial to an organization because when those senior execs retire, the younger generation will be filling their positions. 

The knowledge they gained while simultaneously teaching will be indispensable once they are in leadership positions. This makes reverse mentoring a great succession planning strategy for your millennials. It also provides a good platform for long-term career development, even if there is no desire to become a leader.  

Group Mentoring

In group mentoring, also known as team mentoring, several mentees are assigned to one or more mentors. The mentees are often similar in job function or career level, and as such have similar backgrounds. However, the mentors often differ in job functionality or career level.

Group mentoring really gives millennials the feedback that they crave. Not only can the individual receive advice from a mentor, but they can also learn from other mentees in the group. The British Telecommunications firm found that 78% of their employees preferred to learn from their peers. Group mentoring gives them the opportunity to do just that.

Meeting this need for peer-to-peer learning will give millennials what they want and result in higher satisfaction. This means that the organization will see an increase in employee engagement, leading to increased productivity and employee retention levels.

Speed and Flash Mentoring

Along with flexibility in types of program, millennials need room to learn and develop within the program. This means that your program should not be overly formal.

Using mentoring as an engagement strategy requires some prep work. First, consider where millennialsí competencies are. These are areas that often donít need development, or else minimal amounts to refine the skills.

Then, create a mentoring program to help their weak areas by recruiting associated mentors that can help. This will provide optimal benefits to your millennials enrolled in the program. 

Mentoring Software

You can also supplement your mentoring program with features such as technology integration. A solution that allows mentees to find potential mentors will draw in your millennials and get them excited about the program. This dashboard is possible with integrating mentoring software with your organization.

Other technological integrations that will benefit your millennial mentees are options like virtual mentoring. Millennials grew up using technology, so implementing virtual mentoring will embrace their skills and allow them to connect with mentors globally.

If you are interested in learning how our mentoring solutions can benefit your millennial workforce, request a demo today.

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