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Why Mentoring

“People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.” Oliver Goldsmith

Mentoring is an important part of leadership because it nurtures and develops employees in ways that set them up for long-term success. It also allows them to better fulfill their core purpose, and gives them tools to be more effective. Leadership is about empowerment and developing others.

Mentoring is associated with a wide range of favorable behavioral, attitudinal, health-related, relational, motivational, and career outcomes. There is a general consensus among literature that there is a significant correlation between workplace mentoring and attitudes, work attitudes and some career outcomes. Mentoring assists employees in these areas resulting in more satisfied employees. (J Vocat Behav. Author manuscript: 2009).

The USGS supports mentoring and has devoted a lot of energy and resources to its development in the Survey. Continually mentoring is offered as a tool for growth and development. It is also critical in succession planning. Mentoring benefits all who are involved and ultimately the entire survey. Protégés benefit from having a trusted source to guide them. Mentors benefit by gaining renewed energy and a fresh perspective. The Survey benefits by having employees who are more productive and effective, with an overall increase in job satisfaction.

Protégé Benefits:

  • Personal and Professional growth
  • Acquisition of new technical, interpersonal and/or leadership skills
  • Acculturation

Mentor Benefits:

  • Opportunity to hone own leadership skills
  • Expanded network
  • Personal satisfaction
  • Re-energized

USGS Benefits:

  • Deliberate, systematic knowledge transfer
  • Reinforced positive organizational culture
  • Satisfied employees
  • Structured specific learning for new employees

The following is an excerpt from the article, "The Business Case for Mentoring" published in 2009 in the Linkage Leader.

Mentoring develops leaders.

Mentoring directly affects an individual’s ability to succeed as a leader. Both mentees (proteges) and mentors benefit from the mentoring partnership and increase their leadership skills.

“66% of companies using mentoring programs found that they created new leaders and fostered new career development.” (Goldstein, Seth. “Company Finds Working Together Helps Productivity.”)

“95% of Menttium 100® mentees (proteges) indicated that their participation in the program better equipped them to take on leadership roles. (Menttium program survey)

Mentoring retains key talent.

Mentoring, when associated with other strategies meant to improve retention, has a long-term and significant positive impact on retention.

“The loss of a single professional employee can cost a company between $50,000 and $100,000. Losing key talent often costs significantly more, since these employees contribute a disproportionate amount of the organization’s intellectual capital.” (Fortune Magazine) “77% of all companies surveyed state that mentoring is an effective tool to increase the retention of valued employees.” (Best Practice Resources)

Mentoring supports diversity strategies.

Results from a study conducted by sociologists from Harvard, UC-Berkeley, and the University of Minnesota concluded that mentoring worked better than diversity training and networking in increasing the number of women and minority leaders in management. (Time Magazine)

Mentoring teaches and encourages knowledge sharing.

Mentoring, when broadly deployed, builds a learning environment, encourages knowledge sharing, and helps build productive internal networks. This reality becomes more acute when we consider the labor market demographics over the next ten years.

Some Facts and Figures

CMSI Mentoring Solutions, a leader in mentoring research and development conducted a survey of 378 companies. What they have found is that mentoring programs have been proven to improve job retention, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. Among the companies using mentors:

75% reported improved work performance;
67% reported higher job retention;
63% reported reduced absenteeism;
52% reported that mentoring resulted in a cost savings for the company
One of the top three factors affecting career growth is mentoring.

CMSI Mentoring Solutions, a leader in mentoring research and development conducted a survey of 378 companies. Mentoring has been related to positive career outcomes for protégés (CMSI Mentoring Solutions, 2005).

  • 71% of Fortune 500 companies and private companies use mentoring in their organizations to ensure that learning is happening within their organization
  • Training alone increases managerial productivity by 24%; the combination of mentoring and coaching increases productivity by 88%.
  • 15-20% of standard formal training is relevant to employee needs; 100% of mentoring is relevant as it is tailored to the individual needs of the employee. Mentors can impart specific knowledge and expertise which contributes to protégé learning and skill development (Kram, 1985).
Mentoring Matters!


  Mentoring Links
  For more information

Please contact:
Kim Miller
Mentoring Program Manager
304-743-5429


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