Bridging the skills gap with mentors

By EverwiseJuly 18, 2018

A mentorship is often thought of as a close relationship between a young professional and a more senior person who can help the mentee grow and achieve his or her career goals. While that’s certainly true, mentorships are also a great way for more experienced individuals to step in and train new employees, bridging the skills gap so that people can start contributing as soon as possible.

Many employers have trouble hiring workers who have the right skills to do the job at hand, whether they’re technical skills or soft skills, but through mentorships, companies can successfully start to bridge this skills gap.

What are the challenges businesses face?

Today’s businesses face a gap between the skills they want employees to have and the actual experience, knowledge and skills they have on day one. In fact, McKinsey found that almost 40 percent of U.S. employers cannot find people with the skills they need, including entry-level jobs. In addition, nearly 60 percent of employers said that the people they hired were underprepared for the job at hand.

As a result, businesses can expect to spend extra time onboarding new hires and getting them up to speed. Depending on the industry, this could translate to poor customer service or hiccups when dealing with clients. Internally, it can be frustrating for employees and dampen morale if they have to devote their already limited time to training their peers.

While technical skills are important, soft skills are equally relevant in the workplace and include personal attributes such as communication style, emotional intelligence and teamwork skills. Many businesses report a lack of soft skills among their people. Around 44 percent of executives say that soft skills are lacking in the workforce. In addition, 93 percent of HR managers say technical skills are much easier to teach than soft skills.

Teaching these kinds of skills is imperative. If businesses want to improve employee retention and secure a stable pool of future employees, they need to teach and mentor their young leaders. Millennials, in particular, want more than technical training and a salary; they want mentoring and career development. In fact, employee retention is 25 percent higher for those who engage in company-sponsored mentoring and coaching.

How can Everwise help bridge the gap?

Everwise mentors help employees grow and establish their own career paths. They also play a broad, important role for companies because mentors often end up transferring organizational knowledge and job-specific skills, which translate to higher employee engagement and productivity.

Everwise’s two-pronged approach pairs software with individual mentoring. Mentees learn best when information comes from people who have been through similar situations. Research also shows that mentors are associated with numerous positive outcomes, such as greater perceived career success, job performance and satisfaction, as well as more perceived connectedness to one’s organization. Having one-on-one social support keeps participants on track to reach their goals and makes them accountable. And since we have the world’s largest network of experts, it’s easy for us to connect mentees with the most appropriate mentor, no matter what level they’re at in their career.

Leveraging an Everwise mentor is an excellent way to bridge skill gaps, especially crucial soft skills that are essential to success in the workplace. Often, managers and leaders are too busy to step in and help their people develop these kinds of skills, such as confidence building. For women, in particular, having a mentor can go a long way in career progression and can help even the playing field, given that men are 46 percent more likely than women to have a sponsor.

Start closing the skills gap today

Mentoring is a smart investment for the most important asset businesses have: their own human capital. Companies using the Everwise platform can tailor their learning and development programs as needed and successfully connect their employees to the right people and resources they need to be successful.
As companies continue to fill their ranks with the best talent, mentorships play a crucial role in onboarding new employees and helping them become strong additions. Through mentoring, companies can help close the skills gap by having their people pass on knowledge to mentees, build valuable bonds and encourage professional development.



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