Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Does Your Company Culture Need a Mentorship Program?

Could your company culture benefit from mentorship? A great mentorship program might just be what your company needs in order to improve employee engagement. It will foster a company environment of learning and professional development, while allowing your workers to bond and help each other. It could be just what your corporate culture needs to keep great people within the organization instead of spending their off hours working on their video resume.

Why start a mentorship program?
So just why should you start a mentorship program? The biggest reason is to keep talent on the inside of your company. By embracing mentors, your company is expressing an interest in the professional development of your employees.

You don’t just want anyone in your organization, you want employees who want to learn, grow in their roles, and pass on their knowledge. This will help identify your company culture as a place where employees can learn new skills while simultaneously forming connections with their coworkers and superiors.

Plus a mentorship program could be just the thing you need to attract the great Millennial candidates your company needs. Surveys have shown 75 percent of Millennial employees seek mentors in their working life. A further 89 percent seek some variety of professional development on the job. If your company has a well-oiled mentorship program, interested Millennial candidates might be more likely to consider your company during their job search.

Make your program a recognizable part of your company culture and brand.
If you want candidates to associate your corporate culture with your mentorship program then you’ll need to make this program a strong aspect of your employer brand. Use your company career page and social media channels to get the word out about your mentorship program. Don’t make this program merely a hidden gem of your company culture. Instead, put it on display.

Maybe include testimonials from employees and mentors about their experiences in the program. You could even record a recruitment video to put up on your career site with your mentorship program as the star. The most important aspect is to make sure this program is a recognizable part of your company culture and employer brand. This will help your organization attract the top-tier candidates you need.

Match up compatible employees
An important aspect of your program should be to make sure mentors and proteges are matched up based on compatibility. If you match up incompatible employees it’s likely you’ll be dealing with more fights than professional development.

You might want to develop a metric to gauge the personality and skills of employees before matching them up for a mentorship relationship. You can even let employees pick their own mentors and proteges to ensure the workers sharing knowledge will mesh well.

Incentivize the program for your mentors
It’s pretty obvious why employees would want to be mentored, especially entry-level and Millennial employees. Mentorship provides the opportunities for growth, networking and learning these employees might otherwise not have come across outside your corporate culture. But what’s in it for the mentors?

You should spend some time considering this before starting your program. Think about what will make mentors consider joining the program and sharing their skills with the next generation of employees. This could be something as simple as a special lunch for the mentors to something more performance-based like mentioning their mentor duties on an annual review. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a corporate culture perk your mentors will enjoy.

A good mentorship program can really improve your company culture and help your organization develop the next generation of talent. If you can provide opportunities for learning and growth, great employees will be more likely to stay within your company and eventually take on leadership responsibilities.

What are some ways you can use a mentorship program to improve your corporate culture? Share in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Anuraj Singh.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).