5 Advantages of Mentoring Programs for Small Businesses

This article sheds light on the most fascinating advantages of mentoring programs in the context of small enterprises.

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Mentoring programs are immensely popular in the contemporary business world. In fact, mentorship has become quite a buzzword in the corporate scenarios that we see around us today. More and more enterprises are now inculcating mentoring programs to create a high-performance culture.

You would be amused to know that as per mentoring insights, more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs of some sort. That is exactly where small businesses want to reach one day, among the elite Fortune 500 league. Besides, speaking of small businesses, 93% of small and medium firms see great scope in mentoring programs to drive greater business success.

This explains why a large number of contemporary organisations are investing in mentorship programs. In fact, Google, Microsoft, Accenture, and some of the other leading global enterprises too are embracing the culture of mentoring to add greater value to their success. For these established and highly successful enterprises, mentoring is more about enhancing the employee experience.

On the contrary, small businesses can reap much greater benefits by cultivating a culture of mentorship. For small businesses, the inculcation of mentoring programs can be the path to incredible opportunities of going big. As a small business owner, it is imperative for you to know how mentoring programs can change the fortunes of your organisation.

Having said that, this article sheds light on the most fascinating advantages of mentoring programs in the context of small enterprises. Let us get started without further ado.

5 Incredible Merits of Mentoring Programs for Small Business

1. Enhanced Employee Engagement

In the contemporary business world, employee engagement is one of the most complex challenges that organisations need to deal with. As per Forbes, companies with high engagement are up to 21% more profitable than their counterparts. However, at the same time, it is also true that the global employee engagement scenarios are dismal.

To explain, Gallup reported that not more than 20% of the global workforce is engaged. Having said that, businesses are now laying more emphasis on employee engagement than ever before. They are willing to try every trick in the box to cultivate high engagement. Speaking of big corporations, they have ample resources to allocate for employee engagement.

However, that is not true for small businesses and you would know that already. For small businesses, it is about finding inexpensive ways of driving high engagement. Well, in that context, introducing mentoring programs in the workplace can certainly be a master stroke.

To explain, in any organisation, employees have the basic expectations of learning and development opportunities. Besides, these opportunities are far more important for millennials and Gen Z employees. To substantiate, as per Gallup, 87% of millennials prioritise workplace learning and development.

When you offer them thoughtful mentoring programs, you deliver on their expectations in a holistic way. In response to that, they will feel the natural urge to invest more in the organisation. In the ultimate sense, their allegiance and satisfaction will give a massive boost to the engagement levels.

Besides, in mentor-mentee arrangements, employees will find greater comfort. They may hesitate to seek guidance or assistance from their superiors. However, when those superiors act as mentors, they can effectively overcome that reluctance. There will be greater trust in workplace relationships and that too will add to employee engagement.

To explain, when employees see their mentors making genuine efforts for their development, there will be deeper connections. As positive working relationships flourish in the workplace, trust will thrive too. Interestingly, as per Harvard Business Review, employees in high-trust organisations are 76% more engaged. Moreover, the overall productivity is 50% higher in organisations held together by high trust.

With mentoring programs, you can not only foster greater satisfaction but also foster high trust in the workplace.

2. High Learning Engagement in the Workplace

Mentoring programs delivering on employees’ expectations of professional development is one aspect of it. For sure, mentoring programs add great value to employee experience that further translates into high engagement and retention. However, there is more to it.

To explain, mentoring programs also ensure effective knowledge sharing in the workplace. Employees are able to acquire practical knowledge from the experiences and working styles of their mentors. Can classroom training modules prove to be this effective?

Mentoring programs create a natural environment of learning and can hence produce incredible learning outcomes in the workplace. With mentoring programs in place, employees can learn as they work on projects with their mentors. All in all, the learning engagement in the workplace will be much higher.

With enhanced learning engagement, you can make workplace reskilling and upskilling programs far more successful. Needless to say, for small businesses, upskilling and reskilling outcomes have a much greater value.

When big enterprises are in need of new skills, they can simply hire new employees by offering handsome pay. For your small business, that may not be an option. Having said that, in order to be more competitive and survive the enormous competition, you need your upskilling and reskilling initiatives to be highly successful. In the ultimate sense, an organisation is only as competitive as its people, right?

So, all in all, mentoring programs can promote optimised learning outcomes in the workplace. That can be a perfect foundation for your business to scale new heights and compete with the big giants in the coming years. Through mentoring programs, your employees will learn at a faster pace and will learn more comprehensively.

3. Reduction in Employee Training Costs

Indeed reveals that on average, businesses spend around USD 1250 on average per employee in terms of employee training. Having said that, it is evident that employee training costs account for a large part of business operational costs. For small businesses, these costs can even become troublesome.

Of course, you cannot completely eliminate employee training costs. Employee training is essential and you do want your employees to build the skills that will lead your business to future success. However, with mentoring programs, a considerable amount of classroom training modules can be replaced with a more organic form of learning.

Not only do mentoring programs offer great learning outcomes but they also can save significant training costs. With mentoring programs, you do not need a lot of sophisticated classroom training modules that can cost a lot. Mentoring creates a natural environment of on-job training rather than disrupting the workflow for training programs.

4. Lower Absenteeism Rates

Mentoring programs promote a great sense of belonging in the workplace. To explain, when you invest in the professional development of your employees, they feel valued and accepted. If someone invests in your good, you will certainly feel a strong sense of association with them. Similarly, your employees will feel a stronger sense of belongingness when mentoring programs add to their career ambitions.

The fact of the matter is that when there is a strong sense of belonging in the workplace, absenteeism will be much lower. In fact, unscheduled absenteeism can cost businesses more than USD 3500 per annum for each employee. For small businesses, these costs can literally kill the business.

However, as per Deloitte, by promoting a strong sense of belonging, you can bring down workplace absenteeism by 70%. With mentoring arrangements in the workplace, you can create a positive workplace culture. You can create an environment your employees will love being a part of on a daily basis.

They will look forward to learning from their mentors each day in the workplace. Having said that, it is important that you do not always act like a boss. At times, you need to leave the boss in you behind and step into the shoes of a mentor. That will have an incredible impact on the overall morale and motivation in the workplace.

5. Optimised Performance Management

Having a highly talented workforce with versatile skills is one thing while managing to get the best out of that workforce is an entirely different aspect. This is the reason why organisations and business leaders lay great emphasis on the vertical of performance management. Now, the question is, can performance management scenarios be improved with mentoring programs?

We already looked at one aspect of it above. Managers can drive great performances by promoting effective learning and skill-building via mentoring programs. Besides, another important element of performance management is feedback sharing. As per Hubspot, more than 40% of highly engaged employees get feedback from their superiors on a weekly basis.

In mentor-mentee relationships, feedback sharing is more real-time and effective. Mentors can share quick feedback with their mentees and then help them in setting measurable goals. This is a far better approach to performance management than performance reviews. With continuous and constructive feedback, you can manage performances in a more effective way.

To encapsulate, mentoring programs are a huge hit in the modern workplace. For small businesses, it can be a game-changing move to inculcate thoughtful mentoring programs in the workplace. From adding to employee experience to saving operational costs, mentoring programs in the workplace can make an exceptionally significant difference.

Author Bio

"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life." Wayne Dyer's thoughts are well suited to Kiara Miller. She has been working as a content marketing professional at 'The Speakingnerd’. Her passion for writing is also visible in the innovative joys of material she provides to her readers.

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