Improve workplace culture with a mentoring program

Today, most organizations understand the incredible benefits of a mentoring program. Allowing employees to grow their knowledge and skills can benefit the company directly. Moreover, it improves the morale of the employees who are looking to advance their careers within the organization. As a result, there is a tremendous rise in the graph of employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

Besides helping organizations reach their goals smoothly, mentoring is also beneficial in improving workplace culture.

But why is workplace culture important?

It is one of the deciding factors whether your employees will stick to or leave your organization.

A workplace where there is micromanagement, no cooperation among employees, no praise from management, and no internal communication is a toxic place to work. A report by Randstad suggests 37% of employees in the USA want to leave their jobs because of toxic work culture.

Corporate culture is developed by a company’s beliefs and daily practices. If you don’t treat it as a priority, it will reflect in your employees’ performance, behavior, and turnover rate.

How does a mentoring program improve workplace culture?

Based on the type of the program, there are several ways it can improve workplace culture. Here are the top 3 to mention:

  • Mentoring programs encourage diversity & inclusion in the workplace
  • It promotes women leadership, and
  • It supports continuous learning & development of employees

1. Mentoring Program Promotes diversity & inclusion

Diversity in the workplace doesn’t only mean a work environment that includes employees of different races, genders, or racial backgrounds. It is much more than that. A diversified workforce includes people from different cultures, religions, sexual orientations, languages, and educational backgrounds.

Embracing diversity makes a workforce more engaging and high-performing. Research by Quantum Workplace shows positive cognitive diversity can make a team up to 20% more innovative. The same research reveals that 67% of job seekers want to join a diverse organization.

A mentorship program helps organizations create an inclusive workforce by matching diverse employees across the teams while ensuring the right mentor-mentee matches. It also helps build relationships in the workplace as it lets employees see things from different perspectives. By enabling diverse employees to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth, mentorship programs help them accomplish their career goals.

2. Mentoring Promotes Women Leadership

Women are irreplaceable resources in the office, boardroom, and at the head of the table. Several studies have shown that companies with greater gender diversity are more profitable. 

There are numbers of reasons why the world needs more women in leadership positions:

  • Women have high emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence – the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions – is an essential leadership behavior. To create a great workplace and get the best out of employees, leaders need to have high emotional intelligence. And this is a quality that comes more naturally to women than men.
  • They value work-life balance: Work-life balance is critical to creating a great workplace culture; women understand that. They are great leaders because they care about their employees’ well-being, which includes their work-life balance. It is easier to approach a women leader with a personal request or a sensitive question. 
  • Women have what it takes to negotiate in high-stakes situations: It is well-documented that women are more effective in making deals than men. New York Times reports that women in the Senate are better at working with people who have different opinions to get things done than their male counterparts.

Mentoring gives women the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and grow their professional network, both inside and outside the organization. It boosts their confidence level, which allows them to present their ideas in meetings and apply for leadership positions within the organization.

Women are also uncomfortable advocating for themselves, which is a fundamental leadership quality. Mentoring teaches women to be more comfortable as self-advocates, gives them the confidence to ask questions and recover from their mistakes.

Also read: The Value of Mentoring Women

3. Mentoring Program Supports Continuous Learning & Development

In today’s highly competitive world, continuous learning is crucial to stay up-to-date. It helps employees improve skills and knowledge to support organizational goals. 

Creating a learning culture in the workplace is an effective way to improve employee performance, satisfaction, innovation, and retention. The more your employees know the more they can contribute to the organization. Moreover, investing in your employees’ learning and development indicates that you value them.

According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 54% of employees say that it is essential for them to get training and develop new skills throughout their professional life in order to keep up with the changes in the corporate world.

Mentorship programs can be a powerful employee development strategy. By starting a mentorship program, you allow your employees to connect with more experienced people from who they can learn. Because mentoring creates a special bond between mentors and mentees, sometimes participants continue their relationship after the end of their formal mentorship program. This means your employees keep learning from their mentors throughout the career.

Now that you know how beneficial a mentoring program can be to developing positive workplace culture, start one at your organization and enjoy the benefits.

Originally published on: Mentoring Complete