Mentoring (Powered By Software) Increases Employee Engagement
Many companies understand the importance of employee engagement but, unfortunately, some talent practitioners tasked with improving employee engagement cannot clearly define the concept. Organizations may believe engagement consists of inviting employees to company events, playing games or activities but these surface level activities are just the beginning. In this context, “satisfaction” and “engagement” are thought to be the same thing, but this is false! When an employee is satisfied, they are happy with the job that they are performing. Employee engagement, however, goes deeper. Engagement refers to how connected the employee feels to their job, their company, and their motivation for advancing within the organization. An engaged employee is actively invested in building the success of the company, while a satisfied employee may just be happy to get a paycheck and benefits. For obvious reasons, having an engaged workforce is something that all organizations should strive for. So, what kind of a challenge does today’s employer face?
According to a 2015 Gallup survey , between 2000 - 2015 there was no discernible increase in the level of employee engagement in the United States. They also found that over half of the employees surveyed were not engaged and 17.2% were ‘actively disengaged.’ However, this isn’t just a US issue. In a more recent Gallup survey (conducted in 2018), it was discovered, of employees surveyed worldwide, only 15% were found to be engaged at work. One can assume these disengaged employees are likely to ultimately leave their company in search of something more meaningful.
Why is this happening? Part of the problem is that employees aren’t being challenged, given opportunities to learn new skills or grow beyond their current position. This leads to a feeling of stagnation and boredom. According to Udemy’s 2016 report on workplace boredom, employees who are bored are twice as likely to leave a job, thereby costing the company thousands in lost revenue, institutional and industry knowledge and all of the connections that the employee made while on staff. The good news is that organizations have the power to redirect this trend. One of the most effective methods for creating a feeling of connectedness within an organization is targeted and impactful learning relationships, such as mentoring. The Association for Talent Development has stated one of the top benefits to organizations with mentoring programs is employee engagement.
Mentoring programs provide opportunities for mentees to learn new skills, experience challenging projects, learn the overall company vision and increase the number and strength of their business connections.
While this sounds like a simple fix, organizations need to be mindful and intentional in how they set up their mentoring programs because implementing a poorly designed and supported program can be worse than having no program at all. Some of the pitfalls can be ineffective or toxic mentoring matches, no support for the mentoring participants, lack of training for the mentors, no support from organizational leadership and no supporting data on program efficacy. To ensure that your mentoring program is sustainable, scalable, and evolves into a long-term solution to increase employee engagement, the utilization of mentoring software will be key and can address most of the pitfalls mentioned above.
How do you manage active mentoring programs? Many organizations are manually managing their mentoring programs which usually means the use of complicated excel spreadsheets, overwhelming amounts of email, or sticky notes. This may be efficient for a small group of 20 participants, but what happens when that number increases?
How much time is actually saved by implementing MentorcliQ software?
Ultimately, the best mentoring programs are designed to be scalable so that the results increase over time and the management efficiency (# of hours needed) of the mentoring program decreases. Larger programs that do not utilize a software may cause lower engagement with the program participants, inaccurate employee engagement data for the leadership team, and ultimately, low participant numbers and overall dissatisfaction with the program. Having the ability to manage mentoring programs with a high participation rate, engaged mentoring partners, along with positive outcomes and accurate employee engagement numbers, takes the work of a mentoring software solution like MentorcliQ!
It is safe to say the majority of companies are well past the days of using excel spreadsheets or even pen and paper to track inventory, sales trends, production, etc. They have all turned to some type of ERP system or CRM system to help improve efficiency, increase productivity, and provide accurate numbers. Many of these companies see a great return on their business software solution, so it only makes sense to make that same investment with a mentoring program. One of our customers (Christopher N.) states:
“Our ability to match mentors and mentees on a larger scale has been excellent. The ability to track success and gauge feedback through the MentorcliQ tool has also enabled our organization to keep a pulse on how the program is advancing.”
Mentoring Programs For Employee Engagement
With millennials being the largest generation in the workforce and knowing this generation grew up with technology, the ability to utilize a mentoring software to track progress and reflect on goals is great for employee engagement. The strategic framework that MentorcliQ uses also makes it easy for organizations to incorporate this level of engagement into many areas, such as functional units, career development and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Mentoring Program Process
MentorcliQ engages and supports employees throughout the entire mentoring relationship. From the easy 5-minute enrollment, award winning SMART matching algorithm, readily accessible support and resources, to an easy way to track mentoring progress, this mentoring software has the ability to provide accurate employee engagement results.
From an employee engagement standpoint, a company that offers a mentoring program says a lot about that company. It shows they care about their employees and want their employees to grow and flourish.
Better yet, a company that offers mentoring programs and utilizes a mentoring software to help guide and support those programs, truly displays their investment in their employees because a company will not invest in something without a good feeling of a return.
So, for companies looking to increase employee engagement, the action should be to not only offer mentoring within the organization but show your employees that you are genuinely interested in their career development by offering a mentoring software to help track progress and reflect on goals met. This is a great recipe to increase employee engagement.