Mentoring programs can be a powerful recruiting and retention tool when developed in a thoughtful and intentional manner. If resourced adequately, and deployed intentionally, mentoring programs can both attract potential employees, grow the current workforce, and retain talent.
Additional benefits include:
Mentoring elevates knowledge transfer from simply "getting" information and instead transforming the process so that organizations retain the practical experience and wisdom gained from long-term employees. It broadens the perspectives of the mentee and mentor and exposes avenues to learn and contribute to the organization at large.
Making mentoring an integral part of the organizational culture demonstrates commitment to employee development. It indicates an openness to employee movement within the larger organization should employee interest grows beyond the current position. It broadens the skills of both mentor/mentee and exposes junior employees to critical skills such as political savvy, how to handle difficult conversations, and ways to promote professional goals.
Organization leadership must communicate the importance of mentoring and emphasize that managers themselves are active participants in mentoring programs.
Communication to management of program benefits must be clear, simple and positive. Emphasize that employee participation is voluntary, but at the same time stress the importance of mentoring on career and organizational success. Communication to employees must demonstrate commitment to their growth and development and convey investment in their career satisfaction.