Rather than being hierarchical, such as a manager or someone in a supervisor position, a peer mentor is someone who can provide support and guidance in a no-holds-barred way.
Think back on your first days at a new job. Wouldn’t you have wanted a mentor, someone who took a genuine interest in your success at work?
Everyone from Oprah to Harry Potter owes their success to the person or people who helped get them started. Guidance and support is crucial for success in any field. And that includes HR professionals.
Make sure your HR team has the support they need by partnering with a PEO such as Resourcing Edge. As with a peer mentor program, when you partner with Resourcing Edge, you are assigned to an HR specialist who serves as your personal mentor and single point of contact.
What Is a Peer Mentoring Program?
A workplace peer mentoring program is often part of a strategy to increase retention, job performance, productivity, and engagement.
A peer mentor is someone who provides tailored, person-to-person training with the purpose of acclimating the new hire to the workplace. This includes:
- How to relate to others
- How to best apply their skills and abilities
- What opportunities are available
- The best places to eat
- Knowledge of company values and practices
The Ideal Mentor
Obviously, the mentor and mentee have to be carefully matched for this to work. The ideal peer mentor is:
- Friendly and comfortable
- Not swamped with other projects
- Highly experienced
- Able to answer questions and communicate effectively
- Familiar with the role of a peer mentor
The peer mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be close in age, but their skills and responsibilities should be similar. This person can relate to the protégé because they have a lot in common, but they’re more experienced, and mature enough to guide them in their next steps.
Sometimes, the perfect peer mentor will volunteer for the role while other times a formal mentoring program helps match mentors and protégés.
A Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) like Resourcing Edge can help you develop and deploy strategies like peer mentoring programs for enhancing recruitment, retention, and employee engagement efforts.
Benefits of Peer Mentoring
Employee mentoring gives new hires the support and coaching they need to be the best they can be in their position at the organization.
Here are just some of the many benefits of peer mentoring:
- Peer mentors provide individualized assistance and instruction to new employees, fostering a more structured and team-oriented workplace.
- Assigning a personal mentor to each employee demonstrates employee appreciation in a concrete way, increasing retention and boosting morale.
- New hires know exactly who to go to with their questions and problems.
- Mentorships increase collaboration among employees of different ages, sexes, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds.
- The mentor can model the values and vision of the organization, cultivating a culture of success.
- Peer mentors can provide valuable insight for employers about how best to utilize employee strengths.
- Effective peer mentorship programs make employees feel like a team, promoting cooperation and fostering a climate of personal and career growth.
The mentors also benefit from this experience:
- Gain recognition for their skills and expertise
- Get time to connect with another person at work
- Feel prepared for greater responsibilities and leadership roles
Peer Mentoring Guidelines
While every company will have different cultures and requirements, here are some basic characteristics of a successful peer mentoring program:
- Mentor and mentee are properly matched according to personality, skill sets, and developmental needs.
- There is commitment to a growth plan where goals are outlined and tracked.
- Proper time is designated for mentoring relationships.
- Establish mutual goals.
The new employee onboarding process takes a long time. You want to make sure that employees feel valued and supported, especially during the first year.
A formal mentoring program helps your employees succeed within the organization, which leads to improved employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
So the question you should be asking yourself is “How can my organization provide peer mentors for new hires and rising professionals?”
The U.S. job market is getting tighter. Now is the perfect time to adopt or expand mentoring programs as a part of your company culture and talent development strategy. In a time when unemployment is under 4 percent, a peer mentoring program is crucial for attracting, encouraging, and retaining employees.
Contact Resourcing Edge today for help developing successful training and peer mentoring programs.