Mentoring programs are used in many companies both large and small. But mentoring programs are not commonly associated with the healthcare industry.

Many facility directors have considered putting together a mentoring program, but wonder if the benefits outweigh the costs or time investment? In addition, they wonder if it would positively impact retention rates as well as skills growth (both soft and hard skills) in participating employees who participate?

If you, too, can relate to these common questions, here are some things to consider:

First, just what is a mentor?

A mentor is someone with experience (usually a minimum of five years) who guides and offers advice to someone with less experience (i.e. the mentee). The mentor should be a trusted confidant and guide, someone who challenges the mentee, but who doesn’t judge.

The idea is to help the mentee develop his or her full potential within his or her career. The mentor’s advice can be priceless when it comes to helping the mentee make career plans and decisions, as well as be more effective in their role at your facility.

Why can a mentoring program help with retention?

Mentoring programs help both the mentor and mentee feel valued by their employer. The mentee obviously feels – and knows – that someone in the organization takes a real interest in his or her career. The mentee feels that he or she matters.

As for the mentor, she gets to help someone else progress in his or her career. The satisfaction should not be discounted.

Many studies show that the main reason people leave an employer is not because of money; it’s because they don’t feel appreciated.  Mentorship programs help your employees know that the company does appreciate them.

Other benefits of mentoring programs from the mentor’s viewpoint are:

  • The chance to learn more herself via other mentors or through the act of teaching.
  • The ability to be exposed to up-to-the-minute industry practices.
  • The ability to network with other mentors.

For mentees, benefits of mentoring programs include:

  • The chance to learn best practices from experts.
  • The opportunity for guidance and help on critical issues.
  • The ability to network with other mentees as well as the company’s mentors.
  • The chance to obtain tools and strategies needed to advance their careers – tools/strategies they may not obtain otherwise.

If you’re concerned that a mentoring program might take too much of your mentors’/mentees’ time, you can look into one of the several e-mentoring programs now available. Your mentees can receive guidance from mentors either at work or on their own time, thus saving your facility time and money.

Have you ever participated in a mentoring program at your facility? Were you the mentor or the mentee? What was your experience like? If you’re an administrator, did you find that a mentoring program helped with employee morale and/or retention?

Bookmarked our Snelling Medical Blog yet? If not, be sure to do so today because next week we’ll discuss “Anticipating Disaster Before It Hits,” offering strategies and tips on how to create a disaster plan for your facility.

Questions? Contact us today!

 NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.