As a manager, I’m sure you have brought on quite a few new hire employees. Some of these employees, when beginning employment, can “jump right in” and become a part of the team. However, others may take some time to adjust to the new culture. To assist in culture assimilation and the learning of company policies and procedures, I always recommend creating a mentor or buddy program for my client’s new hires. They’ve already invested a lot of time and resources in finding the best candidates, so by instituting this as part of their onboarding program, they are ensuring a smooth transition and investing in their future success.
Let’s explore some of the best reasons to utilize a mentor program within your organization.
- Institutional Knowledge and Team Engagement: Senior staff members have institutional and organizational knowledge. They can provide your new hire employee with insight about various processes and procedures as well as on company growth and change. Additionally, senior members of your team are good examples of demonstrating promotion opportunities and professional growth within an organization and in return, they get excited about the opportunity to mentor someone new.
- Cross Training: Mentor programs are an ideal opportunity to do a little cross training. Although selecting someone in your department would be ideal, you could consider someone that also works in another department or has worked in different departments with your company. This person would have valuable insight on the various facets of your business.
- Employer Branding: A mentor program is an ideal way to recognize engaged employees or those that represent your company brand. Many times engaged employees are well versed in company culture and can be a positive influence on your new hire.
- Feedback: New hires paired with a mentor have an opportunity to give feedback on what is working for them and not with their new position. The assigned mentor can coach the new hire or how to handle situations and answer any questions they may have. When beginning employment with a new organization, it can be intimidating to ask questions about culture and processes and procedures to management.
As you look to bring on new hire employees, I can’t encourage you enough to consider implementing a mentor program. Work with your Human Resources Business Partner if you aren’t quite sure how to implement one as part of the onboarding process. Recruitment is costly and after selecting the right hire, you want him/her to stay on board and grow with your company.