Australia’s best and fastest growing companies are taking action to drive higher employee engagement and retention by leveraging the power of mentoring.

According to a Deloitte survey, 70% of companies are seriously concerned about their lack of employee engagement and retention. Most employers typically spend six to nine months of an employee’s salary on recruitment, training, and replacement. This is especially important for millennial employees, who are three times more likely to switch jobs than their previous employed generations. Hence, companies are leaving no stone unturned to employee engagement.

Mentorship programs are finding their way back into most organisational processes today. While mentoring has been a traditional process, it is being adopted in many modern forms within large organisations. Almost 70% of Fortune 500 companies have structured mentoring programs. These new programs are designed to provide the millennial generation and employers with the right technology and training to
increase productivity for employees and profitability for businesses. By adopting the right mentoring strategies, organisations have been able to gain the following advantages.

1. Recruitment and On-boarding

Going through a mentoring program helps new recruits to understand an organisation better and adapt faster to the work culture. It also helps reduce time to productivity for new recruits. British Telecommunications has witnessed the benefits of mentoring in just four months after implementing a peer-to-peer learning program for their new hires. With the new mentoring program in place, the new hires are able to get up to speed more quickly and training costs have decreased considerably. Mentoring provides a guided pathway to new recruits for self-development and support to reach their full potential in the least amount of time. These programs if done strategically can also help in easy and efficient redeployment of talent across teams.

2. Retaining and Engaging Talent

The employee retention has become a cause of great concern for large organisations today because two-thirds of America’s workforce being millennials, they believe that job hopping is good for career progression. According to a Harvard Business Review report, high achievers in most large organisations cited lack of mentorship as a key reason for leaving
their posts.

In another survey, 30% of millennials are open to job hopping to gain new skills and 31% of them would do so for higher compensation. Employees tend to stay longer with organizations which are able to guide them with their long-term career goals through structured mentoring and training. It makes employees feel that the company is investing not only in their
professional but also their personal success.

3. Developing In-house Talent and Future Leaders

Mentoring programs at managerial level help top management specifically target and train their managers into future leaders who embrace the company culture in their day-to-day work from an early stage and understand business requirements in a better way. Strategic mentoring and support help employees perform to the best of their abilities and promote their career succession. This results in enhanced ROI
per employee for the employer.

In this regard, KPMG has managed to engage their nurturing leaders from the pool of managers with their Leaders Engaging Leaders Program — where 60 top managers get paired with the senior leadership members like the management committee, board of directors and national managing partners.

With a structured mentoring program like this, KPMG encourages these 60 managers to learn directly from the leaders at the top level of the organisation. It has helped KPMG to identify talented managers who can take up bigger responsibilities and step up to be a leader in the near future. It has helped many managers to advance their career in the organisation including one protégé being promoted to the board of directors.

While mentoring is an absolute necessity at the employee level, it also plays a major part in developing managers into future leaders in the top management.

4. Communicating culture and knowledge sharing

With eight American adults reaching their retirement age every sixty seconds, a pressing concern for corporations today is to find qualified workers as replacements. In such circumstances, it becomes important to create a channelized ow of knowledge and expertise within the organisation.

AT&T has been successful in creating a unique mentorship platform called Leadership Circles. They use an online platform where one mentor can work closely with several mentees — sometimes even from remote locations. It is also supplemented by face-to-face meetings, conference calls and webcasts.

Mentoring provides a platform to openly share and retain knowledge within the organisation and pave a way to create future leaders. High potential employees are usually the next generation of managers and leaders in an organisation. They need to be nurtured and developed to fill in the gaps and maintain a streamlined ow of knowledge and improve business performance.

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