The Power of An Effective Mentorship Program

By Scott Snyder

There’s a popular saying within the mentorship community that when one person mentors, two lives are changed.

Beyond changing the lives of two individuals, however, mentorship programs can also transform an organization.

But the investment required often seems to be beyond what an organization is willing to pay.

That’s because mentorship is not an easy or quick process. It takes time and effort on the part of supervisors, managers and employees to both set up and maintain an effective program.

I’m here to tell you the payoff is worth it.

Benefiting the company and employee

Effective mentorship programs allow companies and organizations to support professional growth, identify excellence in the delivery of service to clients, and disseminate best practices internally and externally.

Can you see how this alone would transform an organization?

Plus, there’s an added benefit of meeting your employees’ desires. In a recent McKinsey report, which surveyed more than 12,000 individuals globally, 41 percent of employees said that the lack of opportunity for upward mobility was the number-one reason why they left.

Mentorship programs resolve that by creating internal leaders that allow for easy succession and continued internal promotions.

And the benefits for businesses continue beyond that.

I’ve seen mentorship programs help organizations advance and improve their standards, especially at the leadership level.

I’ve also seen firsthand how an effective mentorship program creates a collaborative culture, improves the organization’s reputation and financial outlook, leads to the recruitment and retention of highly-qualified professionals, and increases the standard of services provided, the organizational culture and client satisfaction.

How do you get started?

Developing a mentorship program can feel like a daunting task. But it can start small, with the first step being to identify employees who have potential as leaders.

Before jumping in fully, though, it’s important to have guidelines created. Mentorship programs should also be monitored by a designated administrator, with oversight by human resources professionals and other leaders within the organization.

Within mentorship pairs, a written plan should be developed within the program’s guidelines. This plan addresses the specific needs of the organization and the mentee in a detailed, measurable, and customized format.

Additionally, this plan includes a review of the organization’s mission, vision, core values, and standards of care.

The mentor and mentee then review the plan and the organization’s ethical philosophies, discuss any conflicts of interest, and agree on resolutions as needed.

This mentorship plan also allows the pair to proceed to the next step, which is establishing and documenting a vision plan that includes short- and long-term goals.

Don’t neglect mentorship

While developing a mentorship program is not an easy or quick process, the benefits of doing so more than pay off for the companies and organizations who are willing to make the investment.

Interested in creating a program but unsure of how to get started? Reach out to me, Director of Consulting Scott Snyder, at ssnyder@scclanc.org to start a conversation. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to develop mentorship and teammate engagement and retention programs that deliver long-term success for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

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