Creating a Company Mentor Program

Creating a Company Mentor Program

Avatar photo Jeff Gipson | September 13, 2019

The hiring process can take a lot of time and energy, but once the hire is made, the real work begins. Helping new employees become acclimated to their new work environment is crucial to their success. Even the best of self-starters need a chance to be introduced to their new career or they’ll start to feel bored and insecure. To make this integration process easier, consider starting an employee mentor program that gives your new hires a guide for their first few months and helps them establish a firm foundation in their new role—and room to grow. 

Benefits to Employee Mentor Programs

Mentor programs have led to massive success in many organizations. In fact, 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have some sort of employee mentor program in place. Mentors provide an in-depth look at company culture and answer questions that give new hires a head-start to understanding their new business.

Mentors can also provide ongoing support after the first few months of employment. Managers have a huge impact on their employees. Seventy percent of workplace engagement is influenced by an employee’s relationship with their manager; however, only two percent of managers provide the continuous feedback people crave. Mentors can give additional support, feedback and encouragement managers can’t always supply. This makes employees, especially new ones, feel comfortable, learn from mistakes quicker and develop a stronger team mentality. With a mentor behind them from the start, employees are more satisfied at work, more likely to seek new challenges and stay with the company for more time. 

Building Your Mentoring Program

Building a successful company mentor program takes a lot of trial and error. What’s important to remember is, every new hire is different. Some may want a mentor on a more permanent basis while others may only want a guide for their transition. Either way, successful mentor programs start with selecting the right people.  

Mentors serve as a bridge between organizational and individual needs so it’s important the people you assign as mentors are empathetic leaders who can help new employees establish goals and feel secure in their new role. Mentors should want the responsibility of being a guide for new hires, not required to so make sure you have interest from current employees before jumping in. 

Run a survey to get information about what each potential mentor would teach their protege, what their career goals are and how they plan to communicate with them. Ask new employees what they want to learn from a mentor and what their interests are. From your pool of potential mentors, match them to a mentee based on similar communication styles and goals. 

Give mentors clear expectations on what information they need to provide including company mission and policies, insight on day-to-day assignments, cultural norms and potential struggles. Provide a list of things for new hires to do in their first few months so they don’t feel bored or left out.

Encourage mentors to ask new employees about their interests, motivators and career goals. By connecting on a personal level, a good rapport can be established creating a better relationship, and providing support for any future conversations that might be more difficult. Also, encourage mentors to provide feedback so that mentees can learn quicker. 

Most important, don’t force a mentor and mentee relationship. Whether it’s because there is no personal connection between them or because a mentee simply doesn’t want the extra help, pushing relationships will only result in additional headaches. The relationship must be beneficial for both parties for your mentor program to succeed. 

At The James Allen Companies, we are proud to provide our clients with top-level candidates who make a difference in the insurance industry. We find candidates who will be game-changers in your organization, but it’s up to you to encourage them to stay. By implementing a company mentor program, you have a better chance of keeping the star candidates you hire. Give us a call and one of our experienced insurance recruiting specialists will help you get started.

About the Author

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Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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