A new-age mentorship program in progress
A new-age mentorship program in progress

Image courtesy: Pexels

Did you know?

  • 98% of US Fortune 500 companies run mentoring programs.
  • Employees participating in mentoring programs have an average 9% turnover rate, while their counterparts who don’t, have an average 19% turnover rate.
  • The profitability of companies with mentoring programs surpassed those without them.

Mentorship is a fundamental part of professional growth. But did you know mentorship programs can help you retain employees? If not, it’s time to focus on creating a mentorship program template and implementing it to help your employees reach their full potential while benefiting your company in the process.

Traditional vs. Contemporary Mentorship Programs

Traditional mentorship programs typically involve experienced and older workers playing the role of mentors, where they teach and advise their mentees. These programs are still run by businesses where the mentees learn in a top-down, one-way transfer of information.

Unlike traditional mentoring opportunities that are usually hierarchical, formal, and prescriptive, contemporary mentorship programs are more diverse, collaborative, and asynchronous. In today’s work environments that need to be more flexible and agile, new-age mentorship programs ensure two-way learning and focus on broader goals like networking, skill-building, and mentees’ professional development needs and career goals.

Additionally, modern mentorship programs help participants get greater organisational exposure, focused training, and expert insights in real-time, and bite-sized educational and actionable chunks. While the aim of both traditional and modern mentorship is to provide guidance and support to help employees, the latter’s ambit is much wider.

If your company plans to implement contemporary mentoring programs, you can consider the following to decide how you want to adopt and roll out your own program.

5 Contemporary Workplace Mentorship Programs to Consider

1.      Team Mentorship

Unlike one-to-one mentorship programs where there’s a solitary mentor and mentee at a time, team mentorship programs involve a group of mentors and mentees. You can use team mentoring for a group of mentees with a shared goal or working on a common project.

A number of mentors can guide mentees with developmental goals to work together and learn from one another as well as the mentors. This type of mentorship program promotes inclusion and diversity as it brings a motley group of employees with different opinions and perspectives together.

Team mentorship is effective for teamwork and eliminates any potential of elitism or favouritism that could sometimes become noticeable in one-to-one mentorship programs. Apart from facilitating diverse ideas, thoughts, and voices, team mentoring creates a broader sense of combined wisdom with a diverse array of opportunities and feedback to develop a stronger team alignment.

2.      Peer Mentorship

This is where two employees from a similar job level come together in a mentorship program. Since not all organisations can assign more experienced professionals as mentors, they pick an individual with expertise in a specific area and ask that individual to mentor peers.

Peer mentorship programs can work well as part of a targeted program, say for onboarding new employees. Your new hires will learn faster from peers who have walked in their shoes not long before. Since these mentors have been around longer, pairing your new employees with these professionals can help them share about the company, the role, tips and tricks, and insights.

This helps build confidence in the new hires and lets them adapt to the company’s work culture while improving their performance. In peer mentorship, participants may take turns acting as ‘mentors’ and ‘mentees’ or arrange sessions more fluidly. The goal is to learn together, share experiences and expertise, and hold each other accountable.

3.      Reverse Mentorship

You can call this traditional mentorship in reverse where a junior employee mentors a senior employee in a company. This could involve training seniors on advanced technologies, exposing them to the most recent digital media platforms, etc.

Reverse mentorship programs recognise the learning opportunities and skill gaps that are present on both sides of a mentoring relationship. By using younger employees for upskilling senior employees, say on digital technology or DE&I initiatives, reverse mentoring can help bring more senior and older employees up to speed.

If your company already runs a one-on-one mentorship program, you can modify it to include reverse mentoring as there’s always plenty that your people can learn from one another, especially the seniors from their juniors in this case.

4.      Flash Mentorship

If your workforce needs speedy and deep skill acquisition and less of career guidance, flash mentorship programs could be just right. These quick one-off mentoring sessions involve employees willing to upskill connect with a mentor for just a single session or two.

The idea behind such mentorship programs is to learn a key skill or piece of information. For impactful knowledge sharing without committing to a long-term relationship, flash mentoring can be useful. From providing better organisational exposure and greater networking opportunities to quick insights for solving common challenges, flash mentoring can do them all.

You can even use flash mentorship programs to introduce new mentors and mentees or as trials for new mentoring relationships where your employees can expand their networks before making commitments for a longer-term mentorship.

Flash mentorship programs can be used with other types of mentoring sessions as well, say with team mentoring, thus reaching a larger number of employees and helping them make the most of these sessions.

5.      Digital Mentorship

You can choose from several online software platforms and apps for digital mentorship that are suitable for modern hybrid and remote workplaces. If you have employees scattered across branches, states, or countries with different time zones, you can use digital mentorship programs. They help your employees learn from each other, network, share experiences and values, and foster meaningful relationships.

These programs aim to establish deeper connections between mentors and mentees and between employees and the company. Additionally, they can help decrease anxiety and loneliness while driving a greater sense of purpose, connection, and loyalty to the company.

Final Words

With immense competition for talent and a widening skills gap today, it has become essential to retain your employees. Well-planned and executed contemporary mentorship programs can play a significant role in boosting your employee retention rate. You can take your pick from team mentorship, peer mentorship, reverse mentorship, flash mentorship, and digital mentorship programs.

It’s important to remember that a mentorship program won’t work alone. It will need to be complemented by other vital factors like work-life balance, competitive salary, employee engagement, and company culture, among others, to make it effective.

Since retaining your employees is as vital as getting the right talent on board, you must ensure you meet your talent acquisition needs. For help with it, contact us at InHunt World today!

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