Doing business today requires having low-cost, yet high-quality, solutions. Starting a mentoring program in your business allows you to capitalize on your greatest resource, your employees. Strategically developing their talent contributes to the company's growth, innovation, and bottom line. It shows management's support, interest, and concern for an employee's potential with the company. It demonstrates to employees that management is willing to invest the time and resources necessary to help employees succeed in their careers. In return, employees are more likely to be more productive and loyal to the company.

"Company leadership should embrace, promote and value mentoring programs to realize a return on investment," according to Harvard Business Review writer Anthony K. TJan.

He says that business leaders develop a structured and staged approach to mentoring. For example, new employees should receive a 'buddy' to learn the ropes, but employees with a few years of experience should be matched with a career mentor to help them grow in their position.

1. Shows the Company Cares. The biggest benefit of providing business mentors is having someone the mentee can meet with to ask questions. The mentor can be a sounding board, helping sort out options and giving advice on business matters. The mentee has someone who can offer a sympathetic ear when there is a problem or the mentee just needs to vent.

2. More Engaged Workforce. Companies benefit from mentoring programs because they contribute to the development of a better-trained and engaged workforce. Mentors help mentees learn the ropes at a company, develop relationships across the organization, and identify skills that should be developed or improved upon.

3. High Job Satisfaction. "Mentoring programs play a key role in decreasing employee turnover. A 2013 study, "Career Benefits Associated with Mentoring for Mentors," published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, discovered people who have the opportunity to serve as mentors experience greater job satisfaction and a higher commitment to their employer." A mentor helps alleviate any job frustration the mentee has through one-on-one training or coaching and providing insights into the corporate culture.

Mentoring programs are a cost-efficient way to get employees engaged and empowered. These programs enable you to develop the talent you already have and increase productivity across the organization.

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