HR professionals know the great value of in-house mentorship programs, but encouraging your staff to leave the office and teach outsiders can be just as valuable for creating leaders.
Whether they’re mentoring university students, company interns, or younger professionals, the employee gains confidence, leadership skills and a new outlook, says mentoring expert Patty Alper, author of Teach to Work
“An HR department would benefit from building a mentor program for a myriad of reasons, including building a pipeline, creating a new sense of culture within their organization, and potentially using it as a management tool for up and coming managers … They will send people off to do this because they have takeaways that will improve their performance at the company.”
The experience also leaves a professional – whichever industry they’re from – feeling more fondly about their workplace and bosses, which, in turn, helps retention.
”They have a sense of gratitude and a sense of shared values that the company isn’t just profit-driven, that the company cares about the community.”
Mentoring younger generations with soft skills and industry expertise can also help fill skills gaps that companies are confronted with, Alper says.
It’s also an opportunity to use your staff as “ambassadors” who can attract new hires straight from the classroom.
“They’re building a pipeline, they’re proactively going into the community and not only building a name for their company, but creating relationships and building skills that potentially educators are not developing.”
Such a mentoring program adds to your company’s appeal among notoriously hard-to-please millennials, who “prefer to work at a company that has some do-good quotient”.
Don’t always mind the talent gap
How to create a fairer mentorship program
Want the latest HR news direct to your inbox? Sign up for HRD Canada's daily newsletter.