Part 2 in our series looking at internal brand engagement.
The talent race is on; organisations are all competing for the talent that will give them the edge they need to out compete their rivals. Companies can’t afford to have employees leave and new ones come in every few months – it’s a costly exercise; time and resources must be dedicated to finding the perfect candidate for the job. While this is happening, outputs are being affected or the rest of the team is under strain because they’re handicapped by the departure of teammate and taking on more work. The goal is to find and keep the best at your company for as long as possible. In the last post I looked at the role that effective onboarding plays in this process and in this article I’ll be looking at the role of mentorship programs in integrating new hires into the organisation.
Google defines a mentor as “an experienced and trusted advisor”, I find this definition a little too succinct. In a work setting a mentor is an individual who positively influences their mentee, both professionally and personally. They help the mentee grow through goal setting and through the relationship the mentee has someone who makes them feel heard, cared about and considered. Mentorship programs are becoming workplace staples because of how they benefit the individual the collective.
Growth and development:
In order for a mentorship program to be effective it has to be meaningful – not that “day in the life of” stuff that won’t add any real or long-term value to the mentees development. It should be approached as a strategic endeavor that is concerned with moving the mentee forward, as a means of moving the company forward. The mentor can help the mentee set goals, help determine the best path to achieve said goal (or goals) and use the process as a means of showing the mentee where they fit into the company in the long-term and how they can navigate their through the company ranks. The mentor helps the mentee see themselves as part of the company and most importantly they see themselves as part of the company’s future.
A mentorship program is a great way to instill your company’s beliefs into fledgling employees, employees who have been who have been at the company know the company culture better because they’ve lived it longer and they understand it from that lived place. Company culture and values can feel disingenuous when they’re just words on a wall or a statement at the end of an email signature – it’s theoretical. The mentorship program bridges that gap between the culture theory and how it manifests itself. Making the budding employee feel included, they understand the company culture better and they’re more willing to take part.
Your tenured employees act as brand ambassadors, promoting the company way to the new employees.