employees in a mentoring session

Why Mentorship is Key to Your Employee Retention Program  

It is well-known that the pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the job market. The job openings and labor turnover report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that retention rates are falling as the amount of employee turnover is increasing. The number of job openings at the end of June was at a record high of 10.1 million jobs.  

Why are so many employees leaving? Well, the short answer is the pandemic was a time of personal financial uncertainty. If they had an idea of switching pre pandemic, a lot of individuals chose to keep their jobs instead of continuing a search for a new one.  

The long answer is now that the economy and businesses have opened back up, vaccinations have been received, and mask mandates in some areas have been lifted or relaxed, business is booming. That means the job market is booming. Many job openings are available, and recruiters are on the hunt. This gives workers an opportunity now more than ever to leave their current jobs for other opportunities if they were previously seeking to do so.  

What are effective employee retention strategies?  

No doubt you want to keep your high performing and knowledgeable top talent. Especially when the average loss of one of those employees is around 6 to 9 months of their salary.  It’s important that you choose the right retention strategies to ensure a favorable response from your employees. 

Through 25 years of experience in the talent sector we’ve found that the following strategies are the most effective for increasing and maintaining employee retention. 

  1. Create a better work life balance. 33%of workers cite work-life balance as an important aspect of their jobs and another 51% state they have missed important life events because of work commitments. There are other important risks such as the mental health of individuals like fatigue and burnout.  
     
    To combat these issues, it is encouraged that leadership as well as the individuals promote and practice tips to improve their work life balance. Setting mandatory breaks, asking for flexibility, and communicating boundaries are some key ways for a better work life balance.   
     
  2. Provide a flexible work environment. Work life balance and a flexible work environment can go hand in hand. Now more than ever a flexible remote work schedule is almost mandatory as many shifted to working from home during the pandemic. In fact, 67%of people say their work-life balance improved once they began working remotely.  
     
    Flexibility in the work environment can range from allowing employees to work remotely at their discretion or providing flexible work schedules. These practices are a retention must as employees became dependent on them during the pandemic.  
     
  3. Improve your company culture. Building a better company culture isn’t just having a happy hour every Friday or providing a fun break room with social activities. The core values of a business should be aligned with those who are currently employed and who are recruited in the future.  
     
    It’s important that your values are communicated to the entire workforce and that any deviation from the expected culture is addressed immediately.  You must maintain your company culture at all costs if you want to ensure employee retention.  
     
  4. Implement a mentoring program. There are a variety of reasons that an employee makes the decision to leave. Whether that decision is personal or professional, it leaves your company with a lack of resources and a loss of valuable time. Addressing why employees are leaving is important when looking to implement a mentoring program to increase employee retention.  
     
    We’ve discovered that there are typically 3 reasons that employees leave… 
  1. A lack of personal career development opportunities 
  2. Inexperienced leadership and management teams 
  3. A clear career path within the organization 

You may already know that these are the reasons your employees are leaving. However, it may come as a surprise that implementing a mentoring program can help you address these issues.  
 
An effective mentoring program will allow you to increase employee retention by addressing the need for development across your entire organization. Providing mentoring helps to immediately improve an employee’s perception of your organization and their role in it.  
 
Showing employees that you are willing to invest in their future helps you to establish long-term employee engagement. This engagement and the ability for employees to see a clear path for success will undoubtedly lead to higher retention rates. 

What can mentoring provide to promote an effective employee retention program?  

To fully understand what mentoring can do to improve your employee retention program, we must breakdown what the benefits are for each type of individual at an organization.  

  • New Hires 
    By giving the guidance of a mentor from the beginning of their tenure, new employees are given the resources they need to be productive and proficient from the start. Mentoring provides these individuals with immediate relationships and networking opportunities, feedback, and a first-hand look into the company culture.  
     
  • Current employees  
    Many organizations make the mistake of not providing mentoring for their existing workforce. Though you may believe these employees are easily retained, the fact is that every employee can benefit from career development.  
     
    Allowing your existing employees to develop mentoring relationships gives them the opportunity to improve in their current role and learn new skills for advancement. This helps these individuals stay actively engaged and leads to a higher likelihood of increased retention. 
     
  • Leadership   
    By giving personal attention to the leadership of your organization and its top talent, organizations are able to improve the future of the organization. This also empowers your leaders.  
     
    Empowering leaders in their roles will not only make them more engaged and productive but will reflect on the individuals who work with these leaders. Not to mention assist in retaining these individuals. With clear leadership objectives in mind, and top talent being trained by mentors to achieve them, mentoring will help your organization reach the desired goals.  

Mentoring is actually multiple strategies in one that increase employee retention. As you have just read, mentoring helps with increasing engagement, networking, creating a work life balance, and introducing/building on the company culture. Therefore, mentoring should be a key element to any employee retention program.   

At Insala, we can help you improve your employee retention program by implementing a mentoring program for your organization. Not only do we have mentoring software, but with over 30 years of experience, we also have the knowledge to help develop the process and strategy specific to your organization’s mentoring program. For more information about setting up a mentoring program, setup a meeting with one of our experts. 

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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