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Does Mentoring Improve Employee Retention? Should You Invest?

Are you considering implementing an employee retention strategy at your organization for 2022? With the high financial and cultural costs associated with voluntary turnover, it’s worth developing a strategy for keeping employees at your organization. The real question is which employee retention strategy delivers the best results? All employee retention strategies are not built the same, but one that has shown to work is mentoring. 

Great resignation 

In 2021, employees across all industries made the decision to leave their current employment that they held onto throughout the pandemic. Food service, accommodation, and retail saw the largest number of exiting employees. Yet the greatest increase of resignation rates were with mid-career professionals in the tech and healthcare industries. 

Some of the reported reasons for the departures were:

  • Overworked
  • Underpaid
  • Under-appreciated
  • Under-challenged
  • No means of advancement

Employee retention trends to watch for in 2022

With such large numbers of resignations to contend with, employers are looking to their employee retention strategies for a solution. Replacing an employee costs about 6 – 9 months of the employee’s salary, according to Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Replacing an employee making $60,000 a year, could cost the company up to $45,000.

Companies need to take notice and act.

Employers will, if they haven't already, evaluate the real reasons employees are leaving their organization and adjust their strategy to match. Some top trends in employee retention strategies for 2022 we will see: 

  • Remote or Hybrid Work– A growing number of employees expect flexibility to work from home over returning the the old days of daily commuting.
  • Recognition programs– Employees work hard and are asking for more acknowledgement for a job well done.
  • Priority with DE&I– Staff everywhere are focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion with hiring, promoting and opportunities for all representing groups.
  • Mentoring programs– Employees desire a supportive employee culture with means to grow professionally.

Why mentoring is a good employee retention strategy

One of the many reasons employees leave their current job is that they no longer see opportunity for growth in their present role with the company. Most people are not satisfied to do the same job day in and day out and year in and year out. They have their eyes on the next step that will give them fulfillment and meaning to their occupation. They desire career development and one great way to give this to employees is through a mentoring program.

What is mentoring in the workplace?

Not to be confused with employee coaching, workplace mentoring is the creation of a relationship between two people where the need for knowledge sharing is recognized. A mentor is not a certified teacher or a professionally trained coach. Mentors are more like a guide and an advisor to the mentee who seeks to develop their skills within their career.  

Benefits of workplace mentoring

Mentoring is mutually beneficial to the mentee, mentor, and organization. Participants experience benefits like increased job satisfaction and fulfillment at work. 67% of business surveyed reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring. Mentoring is also an effective way to support cultural and strategic initiatives including diversity and inclusion and leadership development programs. 

 

6 tips for improving employee retention with mentoring

  1. Formalize your mentoring program. Informal programs usually lack an objective and the ability to track effectiveness and ROI.
  2. Start from day one. Around 30% of new hires leave their jobs before their first 90 days of work. Part of onboarding should be introducing the new employee to their mentor who will help orient them to the organization.
  3. Avoid making the program required. It is human nature that if we are told we “Have to” do something, it becomes a chore. Market the program to potential participants. Well-developed messaging will help all parties understand the purpose for the program and how they will benefit from participating.
  4. Get matching right. Poor matches are counterproductive. Matching criteria ensures matches support the program objective, that pairs are likely to communicate well, and will naturally enjoy each other's company - leading to positive results.
  5. Define expectations. Training is key to the success of individuals in a mentoring relationship. Inform participants about what mentoring is and isn't and how to get the most benefit out of the engagement.
  6. Track the data. Without knowing what’s working, you cannot make improvements. This is made easier with mentoring software.

Ways mentoring software improves the success of a mentoring program

As we all know, when correctly implemented, technology can reduce time with a process and make it more effective. Your organization's mentoring program is no exception. Here are ways mentoring software improves the success of mentoring programs:

  • Technology connects the right mentee with the right mentor. Much like a dating app, mentoring technology uses algorithms to match people up, avoiding manual matching that is not always effective. Our users report a time savings of up to 93% when matching using our P3 Power Matching technology.

    Mentoring tools can provide other matching options too including putting matching into the hands of the participants.

  • Location becomes a non-issue. Mentoring software supports a strong connection even when the mentee and mentor are miles away from each other. The participants can enroll easily using the online platform. Communication features embedded in the solution enable participants to conduct their mentor meetings within the portal.

  • Once the participants are engaged with the mentoring program, they may find themselves at a wall. A content library provides training and on demand support to participants throughout the mentoring relationship.

  • Mentoring software provides mentoring plans and structure for sessions so the participants can stay focused on the mentee's goals.

  • Mentoring technology assists program administrators with participant check-ins and collecting program feedback through features like automated surveys. This leaves more time to focus on program strategy and improvements.

  • When it comes to reporting, mentoring software provides data on a scheduled basis in an easy to understand format. Having program metrics readily available is key to understanding the impact of your mentoring program on employee retention.

 

At Insala, we've assisted many organizations implement effective mentoring programs supported by software that have improved the employee experience. Book a demo today to see how Insala can help you see fewer resignations and happier employees.

Judy is the Director of Consulting and Mentoring at Insala. She has over 30 years of experience providing customized human resources consulting services to medium to large organizations across a variety of industries. In the area of mentoring, Judy has designed and delivered workshops, training, and a complete mentoring methodology. Judy’s mentoring process is the foundation of Insala’s mentoring solution we know today. Her thought leadership articles have been published in journals such as The Diversity Journal and Industrial and Commercial Training and she has spoken at many conferences throughout her career.

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