Mentoring programs are a powerful way to engage and retain top employees, especially millennials. Especially as the competition for talent continues to intensify, companies would do well do strengthen their mentoring programs. Studies show that emerging leaders prioritize personal growth and purpose over their paychecks.
Now the largest generation in the U.S., millennials have a desire to work for companies that do more than offer cushy compensation and flexible vacation time. They want to work for companies that value their personal growth and help them advance in their careers.
Mentorship is a great way to help cultivate emerging leaders. It’s inexpensive, effective and delivers solid results for protégés and mentors alike. In fact, employees who are mentored are five times more likely to be promoted and 44 percent less likely to leave the company.
There are many benefits that mentoring can provide emerging leaders. Here’s four reasons to get started today.
Mentoring provides millennials professional growth opportunities.
If there’s one thing millennials care about, it’s having mentoring programs and advancement opportunities. The lack of personal development opportunities plays a major role in an employee’s decision to leave a company. In fact, employers often overestimate the importance of salary and benefits and underestimate the impact of professional development.
Unlike previous generations, where workers were known to stick with a company for decades, millennials have no qualms about leaving if their needs aren’t being met. A lot of young talented professionals, studies show, keep their options open. They actively seek out new jobs, send out resumes, and attend job interviews. On average, they quit a job after just 28 months.
Mentors help their protégés advance in their careers by serving as a sounding board. They can help millennials and young leaders cultivate their leadership skills and nuture promising employees for future leadership opportunities.
Mentoring breeds effective learning.
Mentoring plays a crucial role in cultivating effective, long-term learning experiences for employees. While training by instructors and elearning courses are a great way to get employees up to speed on regulations and day-to-day job functions, they fail to deliver the personal attention, close rapport and long-term learning that mentoring offers.
Many traditional training programs lose their efficacy as time passes. In fact, studies show that participants usually only remember about 10 percent of what they’ve learned by the time they return to their jobs. This is part of the reasoning for the 70/20/10 model for learning and development. It suggests that 10 percent of an employee’s learning should come from course-based learning, while the rest should come from coaching and mentoring (20 percent) and day-to-day practice (70 percent).
Mentoring boosts retention.
While companies continue to train their people many employees report a lack of formal mentoring and coaching programs.
Mentoring is crucial to retaining millennials, who are three times more likely than other generations to leave a job if their needs aren’t met, studies show. Salary and benefits are important, but millennials prioritize personal growth more than compensation.
Mentoring programs encourage employees to stick around because they give them a sense of purpose and boost job satisfaction. And millennials have no qualms about leaving. In the last year, 21 percent of millennial workers left their current job for another opportunity—more than three times higher than other age groups.
Mentoring creates well-rounded employees.
At the end of the day, what company wouldn’t want to fill their ranks with happy employees?
Because they’re more likely to be focused and productive, they stand a better chance of stepping into leadership roles. Plus with less stress, there’s a higher probability that they’ll stay healthy, handle stress better and maintain a favorable work-life balance.