What is one reason why a mentoring program should be mandatory in SMB/startups?
To help you acknowledge the importance of mentor programs, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best insights. From keeping employees motivated to improving your employment image, there are several reasons why a mentoring program should be mandatory in SMBs and startups.
Here are 12 reasons why your mentoring program should be mandatory:
- Keep Employees Motivated In A Fast Paced Culture
- Experience is the Best Teacher
- Mentors Expedite Career Growth
- It’s Critical for Smooth, Ongoing Growth
- Being Challenged is Essential For Professional Growth
- Helps Build Up New Leaders
- It Makes Onboarding Easier
- To Effectively Train Employees
- Improves Retention and Reduces Turnover Expenses
- People Are Always Your Greatest Resource
- Boosts Diversity
- Improves Employment Image
Keep Employees Motivated In A Fast Paced Culture
Mentorship programs should be a must in any start-up because it keeps employees engaged and motivated in a fast-paced culture. These are also a top way to identify issues or gaps in current processes or skillsets and be able to provide areas for improvement and growth. One-on-one time to learn from your employees is extremely helpful in building culture and relationships as well.
Experience is the Best Teacher
No matter what industry you’re in, experience is the most valuable teacher, especially for entry-level employees or those entering a new field. Having someone who can double-check what they’re doing and going through it with a fine-tooth comb can be very valuable at the start of their career.
For most startups, your employees are likely wearing multiple hats in their role, so it’s important for them to have someone with experience that they can regularly go to. Additionally, this can help serve your company by helping you garner employees with the kind of skill and efficiency that your business needs while offering leadership skills and experience to the mentors at your company.
Sacha Ferrandi, Founder & Principal, Source Capital
Mentors Expedite Career Growth
Mentors expedite career growth by imparting invaluable knowledge to their mentees so they can avoid committing grave mistakes and do better than their peers. In a way, having a mentor is like having an instruction manual for your career—they guide their mentees in the right direction for faster growth. Without a mentor, the mentees would have made costly mistakes that will take them years or decades longer to reach their goals.
My top tip for keeping the relationships going between a mentor and mentee is to develop a genuine friendship. Many mentors and mentees see mentorship as a transactional relationship, but this doesn’t help establish strong bonds.
It’s Critical for Smooth, Ongoing Growth
A successful startup is likely to grow quickly, and as its workforce grows so, too, does its need for leaders to manage them so you can sustain that growth. Mentorship programs are the best way to both identify those individuals who have leadership potential and nurture these skills so they’re ready to take on those responsibilities when you need them.
Archie Payne, CEO, Caltek Staffing
Being Challenged is Essential For Professional Growth
Being challenged is essential for professional growth. In a startup, there are always new challenges to face and new problems to solve. A mentoring program can help employees to meet these challenges head-on and develop the skills they need to succeed. By pairing experienced employees with newer ones, mentoring programs provide an opportunity for knowledge sharing and skill development. They also give employees a chance to build relationships with more experienced colleagues who can offer advice and guidance. For these reasons, mandating a mentoring program in startups is a smart business move.
Helps Build Up New Leaders
Providing your employees with a mandatory mentoring program is beneficial in building up new leaders for your business, especially as an SMB or startup. Though leadership can be taught through workshops or educational courses, having hands-on, one-to-one mentorship is invaluable to any other form of teaching. As a new business, developing new leaders is crucial in growing your business as it allows for more opportunities for each person to demonstrate their technical skills and lead teams as you continue to expand your workforce.
It Makes Onboarding Easier
The worst mistake during onboarding is to have an unorganized and unstructured process, or simply not having one at all. It’s important to have employee guidance, especially for entry-level positions so they don’t feel overwhelmed in the beginning stages. Avoid throwing new employees into an overloaded amount of paperwork and assuming they are ready for the real work on day one. Give them a proper office tour and mentor who can help them transition into their new role. A proper onboarding process can be more productive for new hires instead of an informal orientation.
To Effectively Train Employees
Companies need to develop mentorship programs to effectively train employees from the first day. Some new hires may feel out of place and unsettled in a remote to hybrid work environment. This is especially true for entry-level workers as this may be their first job out of college. An employee that can show them the ropes of the company’s mission, values, and method of working will not only help them get acclimated, but make them feel like a part of the team and establish expectations.
Daily Zoom calls, as well as weekly in-person meetings will be extremely beneficial in the beginning stages, and can then transition to every other week or monthly get-togethers. Everyone should feel included in the workplace – how businesses go about training their staff will determine their success and work ethic in and out of the office.
Improves Retention and Reduces Turnover Expenses
One reason why a mentoring program should be mandatory in SMB/startups is that it will help with retention. If you’re an SMB, your employees are likely to leave after they’ve been there a few years—and that can be expensive for you! Mentoring can be a great way to keep them engaged and motivated, which will help you retain them longer.
Another reason mentoring is important for SMBs is because it helps them innovate. It’s much easier for an SMB to innovate when it has access to mentors who are willing to share their knowledge, experience, and connections.
People Are Always Your Greatest Resource
Mentoring programs should be mandatory in every company, no matter the size, because people are always your greatest resource. But for SMB/startups, a mentoring program is even more important because there is seldom budget for employee training.
Moreover, in an age-diverse workplace, assigning mutual mentoring pairs with an age gap of 10 or more years not only breaks down potential bias and stereotypes, but also sets employees up for tremendous learning. The younger employee mentors the older, and vice versa. Not to sound trite, but it’s a win-win.
Large corporations are funding programs for cross-cultural mentoring, including Deloitte, IBM, and WellPoint. I think that while participating in a corporate mentorship program, women and members of other historically underrepresented groups outperform the overall population in terms of engagement, retention, and getting promotions. Implementing a corporate mentorship program helps improve the diversity of a company’s managers and leaders.
Improves Employment Image
I think that With less emphasis on titles and pay, top young talent with a variety of business degrees, such as a master’s in business administration and management degrees, are becoming more and more drawn to organizations. A corporate mentorship program can position a company as a great place to work in addition to retaining top talent and building a diverse staff. It demonstrates that an organization is willing to invest in its employees, which will draw applicants seeking to make a comparable long-term investment in an organization.