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Mentoring: The Key to Keeping your Employees Happy and Productive

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Are your employees happy?

It’s a question that employers increasingly need to ask themselves. With the UK’s employment rate at an incredibly high 76.1% and the unemployment rate at a very low 3.9%, the competition for obtaining and retaining quality staff increases every day.

Employers must make sure that their employees are happy and engaged in their work to ensure their staff’s loyalty, increase their retention rates and focus on taking their organisation to the next level.

The State of Employee Happiness in the UK

Investors in People surveyed more than 2000 employees in the UK in December 2018. Their findings revealed that almost half of those that they surveyed (45%) were considering moving jobs in 2019 and that one in three workers reported being unhappy at work.

They also found that:

  • 34% of employees said that they were looking for a better salary in a new job
  • 44% of workers said that they would choose job security over a 3% pay rise
  • 30% of employees thought that they would prefer the work elsewhere
  • 21% said that they didn’t feel like their skills and talents were valued in their current job
  • 16% said that workplace stress was the primary reason they wanted to change jobs

The statistics reveal a few key factors to workplace happiness and employee retention. Aside from a higher salary, job security, work enjoyment, validation in the workplace and less stress all play key parts in keeping your employees happy, engaged and productive.

So how can you juggle all of these factors and ensure that your employees are truly happy at work?

One word: mentoring.

What is Mentoring?

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living – if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” – Denzel Washington

Mentoring refers to a particular kind of relationship between two colleagues. A more experienced worker will support the development of a less experienced worker by sharing their own knowledge and understanding of their role and workplace.

Companies usually use mentoring when an employee is promoted to a more senior role. Typically, a mentor will be a mentee’s manager, but this isn’t applicable all of the time.

Mentees don’t have to be in the process of being promoted to a senior role to participate in a mentorship, either. Mentorships can involve anyone in the company who wants to help and develop a more inexperienced mentee.

Mentorships are long term projects dedicated to providing long term results. Mentors focus on building capability within their mentee and help nurture and shape their beliefs and values.

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The relationship shouldn’t consist of a mentor having complete authority over their mentee. Instead, a mentor should help their mentee reach their professional goals and maximum potential.

The relationship should be mutually beneficial to both individuals. Both should learn from each other, form strong bonds and ideally create a relationship that outlasts their mentorship.

How Can Mentoring Help You?

Mentoring can help improve employee retention and engagement by miles. Firstly, implementing mentoring programmes will put a real focus on developing your employees.

This will show them that you are willing to put time and effort into their growth, which demonstrates that you care about their career progression.

Mentors can also provide great validation and confidence to their mentees, encouraging them in their role and congratulating them when they’ve done a good job. This will help the mentee perform better in their role and become a greater asset to the company.

Showing that you care about your employees’ development will keep them happy, engaged and provide assurance that they are valued at work.

And it works!

The Plastic Surgical Nursing Journal published a study which looked at the link between mentoring and job satisfaction. It revealed that 100% of the participants said that the mentor experience/relationship positively influenced their job satisfaction. This was associated with a reduced turnover and improved retention and patient outcomes.

More companies are coming on board in the face of these benefits as mentoring increases in popularity across the world. 71% of Fortune 500 companies offer formal mentoring programmes to their employees. Research from Development Dimensions International has also found that 60% of UK Business Leaders have had a mentor and 97% of them have benefitted from the advice they received.

Mentoring isn’t just beneficial to the mentees. It brings a number of benefits to mentors too. Having a mentee who appreciates their advice and works hard for them helps increase pride in their work. Mentors also learn from their mentees about new trends and practices that they may not be familiar with, introducing fresh ideas into the company.

Within a company, implementing mentoring programmes will create a learning culture that encourages employees to share their knowledge. This will strengthen relationships between workers and nurture an environment of support, encouragement and trust. When mentoring becomes a part of your company’s culture from top to bottom, your workers will be more engaged, satisfied and validated in their roles.

A happier workforce means higher retention and a more productive company on the whole. To introduce effective mentoring programmes in your organisation, you should contact a training centre that specialises in delivering coaching, mentoring and CPD qualifications. 

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