Why Everyone Needs Mentoring In The Workplace

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.

Cue mentoring in the workplace...

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

Before we dive into more detail about how mentoring in the workplace works, here are some statistics to highlight the benefits mentoring can offer to both businesses and individuals:

  • 71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs

  • 79% of millennials see mentoring as crucial to their career success (Source)

  • 63% of millennials say their leadership skills are not being fully developed (Source)

  • 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who did not participate (Source)

  • Of those with a mentor, 97% say they are valuable (Source)

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

  • As well as promotion and retention rates for minorities and women from 15% to 38% as compared to non-mentored employees (Source) 

The numbers speak for themselves – mentoring does wonders in the workplace. 

Benefits of Mentoring in the Workplace

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

We’ve elaborated on these statistics in more detail here:

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, by solving business challenges, and 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 (Source) 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. (Source)

How to Implement Mentoring in the Workplace

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

Click here to read our guide to How To Start A Mentoring Program.

Guider is using AI powered mentoring software to help businesses and individuals reach their goals. Get in touch to find out how we can establish effective and impactful mentoring in your organisation 👋