A survey undertaken with 500 organisations by the American Productivity and Quality Centre (APQC) on workplace mentoring practices found that 89% said they use mentoring and apprenticeship to help employees develop their skills and competencies. Mentoring ranked as one of the top two ways to accelerate employees’ learning and development, with 59% rating it as effective or very effective.

The APQC report highlights examples of how mentoring programmes help people develop expertise in their fields, develop their leadership and communication skills, and build their careers and professional networks.

I decided to build on this by adding a few extra (well, quite a few) solutions that mentoring provides in relation to common challenges faced by organisations today.

What strategies is your organisation using to manage the myriad challenges of today? Is mentoring one of them? Here’s my take……

Common Challenges for Organisations

  • Monitoring and managing performance
  • Recruiting the right talent
  • Retaining talent
  • Growing revenue
  • Technology
  • Developing the right skills and competencies
  • Reducing costs
  • Managing rapid rate of change

Mentoring as a Solution

  • Guides career choices and supports people making transitions within the organisation
  • Supports effective and efficient onboarding of new employees: People adjust and assimilate into the organisational culture, systems, and their job role much quicker
  • Influences high and long-term retention – people feel valued, supported, and understand where they fit in and how they contribute to the organisation’s strategic purpose and goals
  • Attracts the people you want in your company
  • Involves ongoing evaluation through regular scheduled meetings so the employee (mentee) isn’t left floundering in their job, waiting until the next performance review
  • Develops soft skills which enhance a person’s contribution to the organisational culture and improves overall workplace performance: Communication, leadership, managing conflict, navigating change, handling workplace relationships
  • Increases employee performance: Mentoring focuses on helping an individual acquire skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to do their job and potentially further their career
  • People receive feedback on a regular basis which enables them to review, revise, adapt and change or improve their actions and job performance quickly and productively
  • Reduces training costs as employees are supported by their mentor to understand, transfer and implement their learning in the workplace
  • Provides a vehicle for succession-management
  • Provides a mechanism for transferring job-specific or discipline-specific knowledge from one person to another
  • Prepares people for job/career advancement over time
  • Mentoring new employees and others new to a job role decreases time to competency, minimising costly training
  • Builds expertise and capability within the organisation
  • Increases job satisfaction and engagement, minimising attrition in the first few years of a person’s employment
  • Builds leader capability: Impacts at multiple levels in the organisation, from developing emerging leaders to embedding mentoring as a leader attribute in senior leaders. And in between, helping employees develop self-leadership skills. Ineffective leaders are reasons why people leave the organisation
  • Fosters commitment
  • Fosters collaboration, collegiality, cross-discipline and cross-departmental networking and sharing of knowledge and resources

What else would you add?