Mentoring Programs - The Unique Approach to Employee Retention

October 02, 2019
mentoring for employee retention

Knowing someone who is unhappy in their career is not uncommon. In fact, 53% of Americans are unhappy in their current position. That means 1 in 2 people at your organization might consider leaving due to their discontent. These statistics speak directly to why many organizations have been experiencing decreasing employee retention. 

Employee retention is a challenge that must be addressed. Low employee retention can result in lower productivity, decreased employee engagement, and a negative company culture. Luckily, there is a great approach to employee retention: mentoring.

Mentoring and Why Employees Leave

Individuals today have unique wants and demands for their workplace. Not meeting these can be detrimental to employee retention. The Harvard Business Review says that there are three persisting reasons why individuals exit organizations:

  • Lack of Career Development Opportunities
  • Current Leadership or Management
  • Better Job Opportunities

Mentoring can directly address the first two reasons, and indirectly influence perceptions of the third.

Mentoring addresses a lack of career development opportunities, whether perceived or real. This is done by matching the employee with a mentor who can navigate their personalized career path. Through the tenure of the mentoring partnership, the employee works on developing targeted competencies unique to their selected career path.

Mentees are introduced to their mentor’s professional network to create new career opportunities. Mentoring can also be used to explore and develop competencies related to the habits of a good manager. In this type of mentoring, mentees are managers who need to develop their leadership skills.

A more experienced leader who displays leadership characteristics valued by the organization serve as the mentor. In this way, specific managerial issues can be discretely addressed and remedied. Once these issues are addressed, your employees will be less likely to view another company’s job offer as “better”. 

Generally, mentoring increases employee engagement throughout the organization. This directly leads to improved productivity and employee retention. 

Five Steps to Launch a Mentoring Program for Employee Retention

Insala’s expertise has resulted in the steps of making a world-class mentoring program into an employee retention strategy.

  • Employee Attitudes Survey. An employee survey can identify how to retain employees. Questions can include how people feel about their role and their intention to leave or stay in the future. Results can help you choose the best types of mentoring programs to address retention. Some example programs can include Onboarding, Career Development, and Leadership and Management Development. Additionally, make a note of your current turnover rate, so you can compare it to the rate achieved after the program.
  • Identify and Train. Recruit mentors and mentees based on your program's objectives and survey results. Consider qualifying your mentors to ensure they have the competencies to be a good mentor. If your survey and objectives suggest a career development focused mentoring program, be sure it is open to all employees.
  • Create a Mentor Matching Questionnaire to Address Employee Retention. One example question could ask why the mentee needs mentoring. The answer could be improving leadership skills, career development, etc. Also consider adding matching questions that span experience, career level, skills, competencies, and department or location.
  • Set Goals and Launch. Set your program goals so you can measure your success. Market your program internally to really sell the program to participants and express the value of mentoring. Finally, you are ready to start your mentoring program.
  • Re-survey. When mentorships end, you should take some time to re-survey your employees. The questions in the survey should be the same as the first employee attitudes survey. This is done so the results of the two surveys can be fairly compared. 

When you finally crunch the numbers, you should be able to communicate the retention progress with your leadership team. This will ensure program longevity. 

How Insala’s Approach Benefits You

Insala’s unique approach for every step of mentoring implementation allows for a successful and sustainable mentoring initiative to bloom within your organization. 

  • Before Program Creation. The M*O*R*E Workshop analyzes and builds your organization’s mentoring initiative, process, and goals. This develops an informative Gap Report to position your organization for mentoring success.
  • During Program Implementation. Our surveys blend seamlessly in the online portal. The results can be reported alone or blended with other important data points in your system. Additionally, our matching experts will consult with program leaders and key stakeholders to develop matching criteria. These criteria will connect to your organization’s strategic mentoring goals.
  • Mentor Training. We offer on-site or virtual mentor training conducted by a mentoring professional with over 20 years of experience. This training is developed for mentors, mentees, and managers.
  • Program Matching. Our secret behind our exceptional matching experienced by end-users is exclusive mentor matching software. In conjunction with a seasoned program implementation specialist, you control exactly how important matching questions are for a good match. 

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