What to Know About Employee Mentorship Programs

By Robert Half on June 5, 2019 at 2:06pm

Mentorship programs have become an essential staff development tool for businesses of all sizes. A strong mentor-mentee relationship can help new and existing employees learn the ropes from a veteran, while also helping the more seasoned worker see solutions and approaches to company initiatives from a fresh perspective. The purpose of a mentorship program is to provide an additional source of support during an employee's orientation — but mentorship can also come later in a worker’s time with the company.

A trusted guide

A mentor is a member of your team who teaches or gives help and advice to a less-experienced staff member. Mentors act as a new hire's guide to your workplace and allow newcomers to gain valuable, real-world experience and skills that are difficult to grasp in a classroom setting or workshops.

A company-culture ambassador

The one-on-one quality of the relationship cultivated within mentorship programs helps a new hire integrate quickly into your firm's culture and become a productive member of the staff.

  • These pairings supplement your onboarding efforts, helping fill in the gaps.
  • Mentors can introduce newcomers to individuals in other work areas and serve as a sounding board for thoughts, ideas and concerns.
  • Good mentor-protégé relationships also nurture an inviting culture, demonstrating to newcomers the benefits of an open environment where people are constantly sharing knowledge, generating ideas and are mutually committed to building a successful company.

Mentorship programs benefit both sides

Mentoring is not a one-way street. Individuals who become mentors stand to benefit as well. Serving as a mentor can help even the most accomplished long-term employees improve his or her management skills. In addition, new employees often bring fresh perspectives that can benefit a tenured employee.

Who makes the best mentors?

The key to an effective mentorship program is to choose mentors who are temperamentally suited to the task.

  • Mentors are not supervisors. They typically don't oversee the mentee's day-to-day work performance.
  • They don't necessarily need to be your most senior managers. They should, however, be naturally empathetic and enjoy the role of helping, listening and sharing information with others.
  • Typically, a mentor who willingly steps up to be part of a mentorship program is better suited for the role than a worker who has to be persuaded about its value.

Learn from Robert Half’s expert recruiters so you can build a talented team of employees or advance your career. Operating in over 300 locations worldwide, including our recruitment agency at Bankers Hall West in Calgary, Robert Half can provide you with assistance where and when you need it.

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