If you’re researching mentoring programs for your organisation then I want to say a huge congratulations!
You’ve realised that mentoring programs have many benefits for employees. And you’re about to help others to make exciting contributions as professionals. Both mentors and mentees are going to experience the ripple effect.
It’s exciting stuff!
There are many mentoring programs available, so it’s important that you choose the right one.
We are huge advocates of inclusion and diversity here at Emberin. Which is why we support structured inclusive mentoring programs, which are different from regular mentoring programs.
Let’s dive into the details.
Mentoring programs help to create inclusive workplace cultures
Numerous studies, research, and articles demonstrate that when employees feel they belong and included, they are more:
- Loyal to the organisation
And these, in time, filter down to the organisation’s bottom line.
So, if the facts and figures and research point to the benefits of an inclusion, why do some organisations find it so difficult to foster an inclusive culture?
It’s a complex question that has many layers. One of the ways leaders can make a difference is through inclusive structured workplace mentoring.
What are mentoring programs in the workplace?
Well-designed mentoring programs play specific roles in the workplace. They help:
- New hires find experienced mentors to act as professional guides
- To increase employee retention
- Boost workplace satisfaction
- Foster professional growth
However, despite well-meaning intentions, many mentoring programs, particularly informal programs just flop. This could be for a variety of reasons:
- Mentors and mentees are unprepared for meetings
- Meetings are rushed and unstructured
- Mentors don’t know the “how to” of being a mentor
- Without a process, mentors don’t know what to talk about
- No process means zero accountability
Of course, there are a myriad of other reasons, as to why some organisational mentoring programs fail.
It’s time to think differently about how to support both the mentors and mentees through structured inclusive mentoring.
What are structured inclusive mentoring programs?
Professional development through shared experiences helps with inclusion and diversity because both the mentor and mentee have an opportunity to benefit from the relationship.
Fostering strong workplace relationships helps to increase an employee’s sense of belonging and in the mentor/mentee partnership, this can work both ways.
The secret though is to run structured inclusive mentoring programs because in this way you don’t have to rely on ‘chemistry’ between the mentor and mentee for the relationship to succeed.
When there is a clear process to follow, and the mentor is taught explicitly ‘how to’ mentor, then the relationship is set up for success from the very start.
Implementing a structured inclusive mentoring program will:
- Teach the value of knowledge transfer
- Outline a structure and process to follow
- Provide critical learning and personal accountability
- Return consistent results
- Deliver overall success and ROI
Informal mentoring programs have average success. Our advice from being involved in hundreds of mentoring programs and mentoring over 35,000 people is this: structured inclusive mentoring programs works!
The link between mentor programs and D&I success
Countless research bodies and thought leaders have dived into the role mentorship programs have within a successful D&I strategy.
One of the major findings is that when positive professional relationships are formed then this can lead to an increase in a sense of belonging, which is critical to feeling included.
This report from BetterUp found that: “workplace belonging leads to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% reduction in turnover risk, and a 75% decrease in employee sick days.”
It’s clear to see that employees feeling a sense of belonging is absolutely essential to an organisation.
How to foster a sense of belonging
By investing in a mentoring program that has the principles of diversity and inclusion built in, you are working to foster a sense of belonging for participants.
Our My Mentor: Courageous Career Program is an online mentoring program that enables structured career development and 1:1 mentoring or mentoring circle development as part of your corporate mentorship program – for any employee. We have found that this structured approach leads to sponsorship in over 70% of cases.
Take the chemistry and the awkwardness of difference out of the equation and level the playing field.
Ready to make a start?
Is our mentoring program a right fit for your organisation?
Tell us a bit about your current D&I strategy and what you’re looking to achieve by implementing a structured inclusive mentoring program.
Take our 2-minute questionnaire.