Assigning a new starter a mentor is a wise move, and for many different reasons. It helps the newbie to settle and gives them a solid point of contact in the organisation. In so doing, it makes the recruit feel cared for and creates a bond between them and the company.
“Mentoring is very important in the company,” says Nutbourne’s Marcus Evans. “Having someone that your new and existing employees can look up to is so valuable. We have a member of staff that is an outstanding first line manager. He talks to our new employees to make sure they know to go to him with any problems – he’s brilliant at that. He makes people feel they are cared for, that they can go to him for a one on one.
‘If you can get that in place, along with a good management structure, not only do your employees feel a personal attachment to the company and a camaraderie with their employees, they feel empowered, understood and backed.”
There’s a hidden value to mentor schemes too. Because of the relationship built between mentor and mentee, the former will have an intuitive understanding of how the latter will react to feedback and criticism. Delivering those messages in the right way makes for a happy and positive working environment. It also helps to create empowered and loyal employees.
Regular conversations between mentor and mentee give the mentor an inside track on issues between staff or departments. This helps to resolve problems before they take hold. It also tests the mentee’s resolve, problem solving and diplomacy, meaning they develop from the relationship too.
The mentor wins don’t stop there either. Research has shown that, above and beyond talent development, mentor schemes significantly improve employee retention. It has also demonstrated that two-way mentorship helps to transmit company cultures and values too.
“My advice, if you're thinking of becoming a mentor, seeking a mentor or starting a mentorship program at your company, is to do it,” says Marcus. “The wins for each are definitely worth the effort. What’s not to like about that?”