Employees are thinking about return to office policies and managing their hybrid work schedules. However, they are also thinking about growth and how their role can help them achieve their career goals.
Employers can help employees improve their skills through career development programs. Through skill building and mentorship programs, employees will be able to feel their employer is invested in their advancement. Additionally, employers will benefit from having a skilled workforce.
According to Gartner employee experience is top priority for 47% of HR leaders. One of their recent surveys about career preferences states only 1 in 4 employees were confident about their career at their organization.
Does your organization have a mentoring program? Read our blog to learn more about the benefits of thoughtful career advancement programs.
Mentoring in the workplace, why is it important?
Mentoring at the workplace has many benefits for businesses. Mentorship programs can have a positive impact on turnover, mentor and mentee learning, output at the organization, as well as create a more connected, inclusive workforce.
A CEO and Fast Company writer stated they believe mentorship programs helped them maintain a low staff turnover with an annual churn rate of only 5% at their organization.
Benefits of the Relationships
The benefits of mentorship for mentors, mentees, and the organization are noted by the Association for Talent Development.
Creating mentorship programs can help the mentor improve their teaching skills as well as their employee relationships, by meeting different people and helping them grow. Additionally, it may improve morale if they enjoy volunteering to help others grow and learn.
Mentees benefit from learning from someone experienced at their organization with knowledge and skills gained from experience they might not have.
Additionally, for both groups, mentoring creates relationships with employees at the workplace. This can help with networking, communication across teams, and generally feeling connection with your work.
In Mining for tech-talent gold: Seven ways to find and keep diverse talent, published on McKinsey, the authors noted that "Providing opportunities to build skills and structured guidance on their professional development can help ensure that diverse employees have the skills they need to advance.”
They state that investing in career development can help with efforts to be a workplace that is more inclusive. Offering these resources can help bridge the gap between employees who may not have access to resources or networking opportunities that their peers do.
The piece makes an encouraging point for organizations to support mentorship programs, affinity groups, and sponsors with funding and status. They have seen that affinity groups help early-tenured technologists “seek advice, get targeted microtraining in a topic, get help with setting goals, and generally feel cared for and connected to the broader organization.”
As the authors demonstrate, intentionally creating opportunities and programs for employees to grow allows them to thrive and feel connected to their organization.
Creating a Path to Career Advancement
Beyond creating a mentorship program, companies should establish a path for individuals to grow in their role. This means they need to include opportunities for growth in their plans with employees.
How can they do this? They can be clear on the skills and expectations they want met for potential roles the employee can be promoted to. Additionally, they can ensure that employees have access to resources and tools that can help them build skills as they move on to new roles.
What are these tools? For some this may be access to online courses, college courses, or even allowing employees to work part-time to take a specialization or master’s course.
This may also include working rotationally across teams to build skills and relationships or having a mentorship relationship with someone in the role you hope to advance to.
Investing in the career development of employees has the potential to improve retention, morale, and productivity.
It can be meaningful for employees to know they have purpose and future at their organization.
Furthermore, in a competitive labor market, it might be difficult to attract top talent.
Investing in your workforce can help eliminate potential skill gaps while staying competitive as an employer that cares about their employees.
Embracing Digital Career Development Resources
Digital tools are now available to help employees develop their careers while eliminating the administrative burden of establishing mentorship programs.
Some organizations may want to match employees with coaches, and create courses to become a coach or a mentor.
At WorkEQ, we feel there are benefits to all methods. Our approach is to reduce the strain on HR to plan and employees to participate in a mentorship program.
We want to create a social experience for employees that makes it easy to connect with others at their organization.
With our tools, employees will be able search for mentors with specific skills and experiences and book time directly with mentors who volunteered their support.
It only takes a few steps in the app to sort out the working arrangement for the day, see possible meetup opportunities, and set up time with a mentor/mentee.
Interested in learning more? Click here to watch our solution in action.