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Successful companies large and small use mentoring to tackle complex human resource challenges such as increasing employee retention, enabling company succession plans, and improving workforce productivity. In fact, corporate mentoring is on the rise with 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies offering professional mentoring programs to their employees.

In today’s volatile business world, it’s extremely important for organizations to engage employees both intellectually and emotionally. Through mentoring, employees identify themselves as a vital part of the organization while creating a heightened level of ownership. By improving employee engagement and retention along with other company initiatives, mentoring helps the company’s bottom line while also ensuring that employees feel committed to accomplishing their work in accordance to the vision of the organization.

1. Employee Career Development

To retain skilled employees and develop future leaders, it’s critical to understand employee career objectives and align them with organizational goals. Opportunity for learning and development is a top driver of engagement, and is more important than leadership, culture, and compensation. By encouraging a learning culture through mentoring, companies ensure that employees take an active role in spreading knowledge and best practices throughout their organization. The collaborative nature of mentoring develops individuals and interpersonal links between individuals, which increases engagement. Corporate mentoring enables both career development and leadership development to help employees develop new skills and feel engaged within the organization. These factors all lead to happier employees and a better retention rate for a stronger, more effective organization.

2. Leadership Development

High potentials are an incredibly valuable asset to any company, but they’re often difficult to retain. With careful cultivation, companies can increase retention to ensure they’ll be able to appoint suitable leaders at the top when needed—which is crucial to the health and future of every organization. However, because high potentials are so important, it’s imperative to engage them while also exposing them to different areas of the business, developing their leadership skills, and ensuring they’re learning what they need to excel in prospective new roles. Professional mentoring programs are an effective strategy to reward high potentials with personal attention and guidance, which leads to nurturing an organization’s leadership chain. By connecting high potentials with leaders, top performers, and each other across the company, high potentials learn faster and are ready to take on leadership positions sooner. This results in improved engagement and a faster time to productivity, while leveraging internal resources, to keep costs to a minimum.

3. Diversity Mentoring

A diverse workforce is required to stimulate innovation, cultivate creativity, and steer business strategies. Mentoring empowers a diverse range of employees to share their opinions, ideas, knowledge, and experiences on a level playing field. Through diversity initiatives, employees learn cultural awareness to create an inclusive corporate culture and learn of their own importance to their company. Mentoring creates an environment of trust, belonging, understanding, support, and encouragement for a diverse workforce. It gives employees an opportunity to voice their concerns, overcome hurdles, and find solutions. As a result, it inspires employees to perform to their highest ability. Mentoring not only helps organizations develop and retain diverse talent, but it also helps build a robust community of diverse talent for the future. The effects of diversity mentoring help corporations differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain new clients while providing long-term support for their employees.

4. Knowledge Transfer

Helping employees acquire necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise is essential for any organization. Mentoring is an effective approach to organize, create, capture, and distribute knowledge. It supports short- and longer-term situational as well as topical
learning between individuals and groups. Mentoring empowers learning in ways that manuals, intranets. It shortens the learning curve, enhances productivity, and helps employees align to business strategy. In addition, knowledge transfer fuels succession planning, ensuring that once executives retire, someone with plenty of company knowledge will be ready to step into place.

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