Should you establish a mentoring program in your workplace?

Moving up the company ladder is a critical goal for many employees throughout their career, yet the road is often fraught with obstacles and hard work.

Getting inside advice can be very valuable for ambitious employees and, with the right help, this be translated into an internal workplace relations scheme.

How effective are mentoring programs?

Businesses are often reluctant to put mentoring programs in place, as they require a large time investment and effort to build the required skills in potential mentors. However, a report from the Australian Human Resources Institute revealed that the payoffs can be substantial for companies that devote themselves to this venture.

Out of the firms who had mentoring initiatives in place, 60.6 per cent of participants stated that they had gained more confidence as a result of the program. The same proportion said that they gained a better understanding of complex social matters and relationship building. 

Mentors can give their trainees more confidence in the workplace.Mentors can give their trainees more confidence in the workplace.

As the phrase goes; in teaching others, we also teach ourselves and business mentors are no exception. In fact, 66 per cent of firms surveyed stated that their mentors had seen reverse benefits from participating in programs. Passing on knowledge can bring a significant sense of fulfilment to an individual, as well as building strong relationships within the workplace. 

Which groups can benefit the most?

The University of California recently undertook a case study that explored the effect of business mentoring on a US-based company in China. According to the findings, women stand to gain more social capital than men through these schemes. 

Women stand to gain more social capital through mentoring.

A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also stated that mentoring initiatives were particularly important for attracting women in traditionally male-dominated industries such as ICT and economics. This is where recruitment services can play an important part in building your mentoring program.

The exact nature of the relationship and the resulting connections it creates are important factors in success within a company.

"In this company, as in many other comparable companies, technical employees tended to build relatively small networks, mostly within their own groups," explained Assistant Professor Sameer Srivastava.

"Senior leadership believed that the people who did well in the organisation were those who had not only depth but also breadth of social capital."

Implementing your own mentoring program can be a challenge. However, with the help of HR consulting, companies can reap the benefits that come with these initiatives.