How mentoring and learning and development drive employee retention


7th October 2022

Read Time

5 Minutes

Two men mentoring

Making the most out of mentoring software

Microsoft has published a fascinating new report called Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong? This is based on recent research findings the corporation carried out to assess employee engagement levels as we adjust to hybrid working models becoming the norm for so many people in the new post-pandemic working world.

Microsoft surveyed 20,000 people in 11 countries and analysed trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with LinkedIn labour trends and Glint People Science findings.

One of the report’s key findings relates to employees’ appetite for ongoing learning and development as a means of progressing in their careers.

A high appetite for learning and development

76% of employees say they’d stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development support.

56% of employees and 68% of business decision-makers say there are not enough growth opportunities in their company to make them want to stay long-term.

And many employees believe that learning requires leaving: 55% say the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies.

That sentiment increases as people rise through the ranks at their company, climbing from 51% among lower- and entry-level workers to 66% among upper- and mid-level managers, and 69% among executives.

Making it easier for employees to find their next growth opportunity inside the company seems obvious, but the data shows organisations aren’t prioritising internal mobility enough.

A challenging jobs market

All of this comes at a time when it remains a candidates’ market and many businesses are continuing to struggle with recruitment despite a bleak economic climate and widespread predictions of a recession.

So, what approach to learning and development should companies take to retain incumbent employees and assure incoming talent that their ongoing progression is a priority and part of the plan?

The power of digital mentoring

Digital communication is crucial to keeping people connected inside and outside of the office. One of the most powerful tools businesses can implement to support learning and development is online mentoring software like Connectr.

Virtual mentoring programmes- where all activities including mentor/mentee meetings are online- support the hybrid workplace by also giving those employees who are permanently remote the opportunity to participate.

For candidates, mentoring can provide essential empowerment and support for future talent to reach their potential. Through their mentor, candidates can gain insights into the hiring process, the wider business culture, and what to expect from their first day to six months.

Mentoring is also key in growing candidates’ soft skills – which are highly valued by employers – including self-awareness, confidence, workplace etiquette, and leadership. Through mentoring, businesses grow their candidates’ knowledge, skills, and confidence so they are ready to hit the ground running from Day 1.

For employees, mentoring acts as a key progression and retention tool by providing a framework for existing talent to identify and reach their potential through tasks and 1:1 support.

Employees not only grow their skill sets, but also grow their professional networks and learn from senior peers and those across different teams. This also provides existing talent and role models with the ability ‘give back’ to new or less experienced employees, investing in their people power.

In hybrid or virtual working cultures, mentoring instils a long-lasting sense of belonging and inclusion through maintained and meaningful human connection.

Helping people meet their full potential

Mentoring is great for people and even better for businesses. Future and existing talent are empowered to reach their potential, whilst employers boost their brand, productivity, and retention.

Mentoring is crucial in retaining the best and most diverse people – across the hiring journey and beyond – so the benefits of a diverse workforce can be reaped through boosted inclusivity, equity of opportunity, employee engagement and belonging, and a better bottom line.

Our own research reveals the following:

  • 55% of businesses report an increase in profits due to mentoring
  • 67% of businesses report an increase in productivity due to mentoring
  • 94% of employees would stay longer if offered development opportunities

Preparing for uncertain economic conditions

A final point to consider: over the coming months and depending on the severity of the recession, companies cannot afford to lose critical talent – those people with skills, knowledge, and experience who would be difficult if not impossible to replace if they left.

At a time when losing talent could be so dangerous and when it’s important that employees who have experienced recessions in the past can support those with lesser experience, mentoring will play a key part in helping companies weather the storm.

Contact us

If you’d like to learn more about how Connectr and our mentoring software can help your company, please get in touch!