Those who accompany you on your business journey are just as vital to the success of your business as you are. Investing in your workforce leads to an army of talent who are committed to you and the company. The time invested also brings new ideas and commitment to the business, increases productivity, builds enthusiastic future leaders and ensures less turnover among many benefits. Is there a link between mentorship and running a successful business? According to research, yes.
A 2016 Gallup poll showed that 34% of U.S. workers are engaged and 70% of team engagement is directly related to the quality of the manager or team leader, which means that companies that create more nurturing workplace cultures have a higher success rate than those that do not. A 2016 study by Deloitte suggested that millennials are demanding mentorship in the workplace and feel more valuable when someone takes the time to invest in their leadership skills. It also reveals that they are more likely to stay with a company for more than five years with companies offering mentoring programs.
A Robert Half study reveals that one of the top characteristics of a company sought by Gen Z, the generation behind millennials, are clear lines of communication, lots of face-to-face time and mentoring. While there are different types of mentoring styles, including one-on-one mentoring and reverse mentoring, where the junior employees mentor their superiors on a variety of relevant cultural topics, nurturing talent comes with long-lasting rewards that can be measured in myriad ways. Here are just a few of the most important reasons why becoming a mentor and nurturing talent is critical to running a successful business.
Mentorship is leadership.
When you mentor you set an example on how to move a business forward and set the bar for how the mentee conducts future business. You were never alone in your success, there were leaders showing you how to push the boundaries, how to be creative, work standards and behavior and setting the tone for your future work ethics. Be selective when hiring and look for employees whose vision is aligned with yours and for candidates that will be receptive to training and mentorship. Grooming talent is the only way for any business to reach its true potential.
Less employee turnover.
The value of happy workers cannot be understated and mentored employees results in less turnover within the company. Engaging in employees leads to a sense of ownership and commitment within the company and committed employees are more likely to be loyal employees. An employee that is loyal and committed will be more engaged and invested in the success of your company. Take the time to create an environment that’s inclusive and encourage employees to take on projects that go beyond their current job description.
Create more female entrepreneurs.
While there are 114% more women entrepreneurs than there were 20 years ago, we are still underrepresented as women-owned businesses account for 40% of US businesses. When you invest in female entrepreneurs you are arming future female business leaders with the confidence to grow their personal skills set in a changing business climate, the tools necessary to start their own business in the future and unleashing the ingenuity and creativity that leads to economic growth. We need more female entrepreneurs!
Your communications skills are needed.
Connection is critical for the younger generations. Millennials and Z, who are just entering the workforce now, communicate differently from those ahead of them. While their communications strategies are different and have practical benefits, personal connection is lost in the process. Training the younger generations to spend face-to-face time with other team members – a benefit that is important to Gen Z employees – and to invest in the professional growth of their peers and colleagues by spending significant one-on-one time will be profitable to the success of your business and them as they move forward in their career.
Paying it forward.
In the same way that your company benefits from taking on new talent that benefited from great mentorship, your efforts will be paid forward when an employee whom you mentored moves on to their next job at another company. This is a means of growing your own network within your industry, thus strengthening your knowledge base and the pool of future potential employees or possible strategic alliances through familiar and trusted contacts. Strong leadership leads to increased economic development. The sustainable growth of our country is rooted in equal distribution of resources and your mentee is a strong resource.
Succession planning is smart.
Through strong mentorship you are creating a pipeline of talent to replace the key employees when they leave the company and also creating a safety net that ensures a succession of leadership. The search for talent is one of the most expensive and time-consuming endeavors a company can undertake and growing and grooming talent internally is a tremendous cost savings and can relieve a great deal of pressure on management and helps ensure the longevity and institutional memory and thus the longevity of a company. Succession planning places value on an employee’s critical contributions to the success of the company, thus boosting their self-esteem.
Paula Conway is a best-selling author with Harper Collins and the President and Founder of Astonish Media Group in New York City, a strategic media firm that specializes in media and brand strategy. Follow Astonish on Instagram @astonishmediagroup and Twitter @astonishmedia.