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Given that employee satisfaction in under-25s has fallen to just 35.7%, it’s now become clear that attracting, engaging and developing your new employees has never been more important.
More and more businesses have recognised the importance of mentoring, so we’re here to explain why having a graduate mentoring programme in place can benefit your business – and showing you just how easy it is to set up a graduate mentoring scheme at work.
Graduate mentoring schemes can be an incredibly valuable tool for helping to increase employee satisfaction and retain top talent. For new employees, especially those in their first or second job, the opportunity to gain new knowledge and improve existing skills can be hugely beneficial in terms of both professional and personal development.
From enabling recent graduates to make new acquaintances in the team, to helping them to feel more comfortable in their role, offering a structured and well-defined mentoring scheme can offer huge advantages for your new hire.
And the benefits don’t end there. Setting up a mentoring scheme at your company can hold great value for your more experienced employees too – as taking on a role as a mentor can increase confidence and communication skills, encourage them to face a new challenge that might be outside of their comfort zone, and prepare them for possible future managerial positions.
If you weren’t already convinced of the value of setting up a mentoring scheme, wait until you hear of the broader benefits it can provide for your business. Mentoring can provide better communication between members of staff and between different teams, as well as the opportunity to hear feedback on areas of the business that could be improved, and a stronger company structure overall.
What’s more, mentoring really is a fantastic way to show concern for your employees’ wellbeing. Satisfied workers make for a successful business – and if a recent figure showing that 83% of workers say they would benefit from mentoring is anything to go by, it’s something that you should invest in now.
First of all, it’s important that you define the objective of the programme. Be specific from the very start about what you are looking to achieve - whether this be supporting the professional development of your employees, increasing satisfaction and commitment to the company, or retaining new hires.
By speaking to employees about what they hope to gain from the venture, and thinking about what you want to come out of the mentoring scheme, you’ll be able to establish a clear end goal that will help to provide structure to the process.
Once you are clear about the aim of the programme, you can begin to decide on a clear structure. This will include things like whether the mentoring scheme should be obligatory, or something that employees can opt-in to if they so wish.
The organisers of the scheme will also need to decide when and where meetings should take place, and allot specific times for mentors and mentees to meet. Your company might also like to put a small budget behind the scheme, to be used to fund meetings off-site, or to pay for events, prizes or certificates for those who are involved.
Only once you have established a clear structure should you begin to pair mentors with mentees. With your ultimate aim in mind, decide which pairings would be the most effective. Perhaps if you want your employees to develop their role-specific skills, pair them with someone who is a more senior member of their own team.
If you’d like the mentee to learn new skills, and be taken outside of their comfort zone, their mentor should be someone who is on a very different side of the business altogether.
Once your mentoring scheme is well underway, it’s important to review how the process is going. Though you don't need to be too involved in the meetings themselves, try to get feedback from both the mentor and the mentee.
As the programme develops, remember to keep note of their feedback and report back to the wider business on how successful the scheme has been. Finally, if the programme has been trialled on a small-scale and has produced some really positive results - consider how it might be rolled out to the whole company.
Whether you’re looking to engage with your employees or fast-track the development of your graduate hires, the stats show that setting up a mentoring scheme in the workplace can be a hugely valuable tool for a number of reasons.