As baby boomers retire, with them they take incredibly valuable human capital that is not easily replaced. It is well known that this generation is exiting the workforce at increasing rates and behind them millennials are coming in the door, just beginning their careers. Capturing all of the internal company knowledge, skills and experience in your seasoned employees is a very difficult task and can sometimes be viewed as a potentially high-risk situation. No matter how well you have succession planned within your organization, you are bound to run into a shortage on experienced employees at some point. More and more companies are implementing mentorship programs for their employees to capitalize on the transfer of knowledge opportunity and mitigate organizational risk. These programs pair their seasoned employees (mentors) with their junior employees (mentees) and allow for a free exchange of human capital from mentor to mentee. Both parties reap tremendous benefits from these programs and they can also give your organization a competitive advantage.
- Benefits to the mentor – As senior level staff progress into the later stages of their career, they often find it highly rewarding to share their knowledge with junior level staff and help them grow in their career. On top of feeling useful and an increase in job satisfaction, offering them with an opportunity to mentor and build a relationship with their mentee can increase their confidence, coaching and supervisory skills.
- Benefits to the mentee – Junior employees are very keen to grow their skills and progress within their chosen profession. A mentor can help their mentees navigate their career, advise on the best ways to achieve career growth and make recommendations on development opportunities. Mentees absorb the knowledge transmitted from their mentors and generally have a stronger vision about their career direction.
- Benefits to the employer – Staff participating in mentorship programs report increased job satisfaction and greater productivity, resulting in a more positive work environment. Mentors and mentees are much more engaged and invested in their employers, which helps decrease turnover and increase retention. Additionally, the mentor-mentee relationship ensures the transfer of knowledge from mentor to mentee and results in more highly developed skills.
No matter the size of your organization, mentorship programs provide many benefits. They are a very inexpensive way to capitalize on your internal knowledge pool at the senior level and ensure the dissemination of knowledge to your junior level employees.