The Importance of Mentoring in the Workplace

Mentoring
11/20/2019
Nicola Cronin

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to nurture and retain their best people. Fortunately for them, the majority of people also want to get fulfilment and satisfaction from their work.

That's where mentoring in the workplace comes in.

What is Mentoring in the Workplace?

Mentoring in the workplace is an established partnership between colleagues for the purposes of learning and growth.

Having a mentor at work can traditionally be seen as senior and more experienced employees giving advice and support to younger employees earlier on in their careers. This dynamic is known as ‘informal mentoring’, as it often comes about from the mentor taking a liking to the mentee and taking them ‘under their wing’, rather than a formalised relationship.

There is a lot to be said for informal mentoring, and many successful people refer to these kinds of relationships as helping them get to where they are today, such as Yves Saint Laurent and his formative mentoring from Christian Dior.

However, the issue with informal mentoring is that it’s often exclusive and elitist, with people choosing to mentor individuals they see themselves in (not doing anything for diversity in the process).

These kinds of relationships are also down to sheer luck a lot of the time. How many successful entrepreneurs have you heard say they were "in the right place at the right time" when they met a crucial person who took a chance on them?

As a result of these biases, mentoring in the workplace needs to be established as ‘formal mentoring’ in order to give employees equal opportunity to develop.

Mentoring in the Workplace Statistics

Firstly, let's look at the numbers:

  • 71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.

  • 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow.

  • 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring.

  • 55% of businesses felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits.

  • Mentoring programs boosted minority representation at the management level from 9% to 24%.

  • Top reasons for millennials wanting to quit their jobs are 'Not enough opportunities to advance' at 35% and 'Lack of learning and development opportunities' at 28%.

  • 71% of people with a mentor say their company provides them with good opportunities to advance in their career, compared with 47% of those without a mentor.

  • More than 4 in 10 workers who don’t have a mentor say they’ve considered quitting their job in the past three months.

  • 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships and have developed greater confidence.

As shown in the numerous studies into the positive effects of mentoring in the workplace, it's one of the simplest things organisations can do to keep their employees engaged, productive and motivated.

We've written a more detailed guide into Mentoring Statistics if you want to explore more research.

Benefits of Mentoring in the Workplace

Mentoring comes with a whole host of benefits throughout organisations, from personal development, to mental health, to employee retention.

Again, we've written a longer guide into the benefits of mentoring, but here is a quick overview:

Benefits to the Mentee

Those with mentors at work will benefit from an increase in:

  • Self-confidence

  • Self-awareness

  • Job satisfaction

  • Aspiration

  • Likelihood of promotion

  • Loyalty to their company

  • Fulfilment at work

89% of those who have been mentored will also go on to mentor others, and so contribute to this cycle of learning and development within an organisation. (Source

Benefits to the Mentor

There are also many positive benefits for those doing the mentoring. With studies having shown an increase in:

  • Self-confidence 

  • Communication skills

  • Job satisfaction

  • Loyalty to their company

  • Fulfilment at work

Harvard Business Review conducted a study researching the positive effects mentoring can have on the mentors themselves, and found that that people who served as mentors experienced lower levels of anxiety, and described their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor.

Benefits to the Organisation

The positive outcomes of mentoring stretch far beyond personal development for the people involved in the partnerships. Mentoring in the workplace has huge benefits for the organisations themselves, increasing: 

  • Employee engagement

  • Employee satisfaction

  • Employee loyalty

(All of which contribute to employee retention)

  • Diversity in leadership

  • Knowledge sharing 

  • On-boarding ease

  • Strong company culture

Not to mention reducing learning costs

Another benefit for organisations offering mentoring in the workplace is recruitment opportunity. Studies have shown that 79% of millennials see mentoring as crucial to their career success, and so organisations offering it are far more appealing for young people.

This ought to be a top priority for businesses of all sizes, considering millennials will comprise more than 75% of the workforce by 2025.

How to Implement Mentoring in the Workplace

Now we’ve established how important mentoring in the workplace is, you’re probably itching to find out how you can implement an effective mentoring program within your organisation.

Luckily we've put a full guide together 👇

📖 Read: How To Start A Mentoring Program.

Guider is revolutionising the way organisations support and develop their people through AI powered mentoring. Get in touch to find out how we can establish impactful mentoring in your organisation 👋