Companies that have mentoring programs often experience a variety of benefits, such as employee retention and increased productivity. Through an effective mentoring program, employees see themselves as an important part of the organization as they’re met with support and encouragement. However, mentoring isn’t a one-size-fits-all program. There are different types of mentoring programs that may or may not work for a particular organization. Three examples of such programs are mentioned below.
- Mentoring for Leadership Development
Good leaders are valuable assets to any company, but once their value is realized, they may be difficult to retain. It is important to engage and reward your leaders once appointed, so they don’t look outside of the company for other opportunities. An effective mentoring program can provide guidance to potential leaders by connecting them with existing leaders and top performers. Leveraging internal resources instead of hiring externally keeps costs to a minimum and keeps employees engaged.
- Diversity Mentoring
A diverse workforce stimulates innovation and cultivates creativity. Therefore, some companies develop diversity mentoring programs that group people of different backgrounds together. An environment where people of diverse backgrounds are given an equal playing field to share their opinions, ideas, experience and knowledge fosters an inclusive corporate culture that makes people feel needed within the company. The effects of diversity mentoring help companies stand out from their competition as well.
- Reverse Mentoring
Reverse mentoring is different than traditional mentoring because, instead of a senior employee being the mentor, the new employee is the mentor. The reason for this is because it shows that the company believes that every single employee has something of value to share. For example, a senior member of the company might be accustomed to doing something a particular way, and may not realize that his or her methods are outdated. A new employee may have knowledge of more up-to-date technology or trends that could be shared with the senior employee. Through their meetings, they can discuss whether or not those new ideas are worth trying.
While some senior employees may not be receptive to a newcomer telling them what to do, it is all in the approach. Reverse mentoring should be viewed as a two-way street that involves a partnership between the two employees. The new employee gets a chance to see the bigger picture while the senior employee gets to see things from another angle.