The Benefits of Workplace Mentorship

by Bertha Tapia

Labor shortages continue to weigh down our local and national economy. Right now, millions of U.S. companies have more job openings than workers to fill them. Workers in the younger generation are being more selective when it comes to finding a job. They are looking for companies with great employee culture, diversity and growth opportunities. A great and cost-effective way to hit these marks is to offer mentorship programs. 

Mentorship Is a Great Way to Invest In and Develop Your Own Employees

More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies currently offer mentorship programs. These programs empower employees to learn new things, build leadership skills and connect with their fellow workers. For many mentees, just knowing that someone believes in them can help them reach their true potential. 

There are also benefits for employees on the mentor side. Those who are selected by leadership to become a mentor feel more valued by the company. The new sense of responsibility also increases confidence, which will positively impact their attitude about work. 

The uptick in self-esteem on both sides of the mentee-mentor relationship leads to increased happiness in the workplace. In fact, 9 in 10 workers who have a mentor say they are happy with their current employer. Workers are significantly more likely to consider quitting if they do not have a mentor they can trust.

Mentorship Has Also Been Shown to Help Lower Turnover

This is essential as employers continue to struggle with the Great Resignation and Great Reset that started in 2020. According to the newly released Career Optimism Index survey from University of Phoenix, 55% of the 500 surveyed employers say they’re seeing a higher turnover in 2022 than in previous years. When employees feel connected, they are more likely to stay at a company for a longer period of time. 

Millennial and Gen Z Workers Want to Be Mentored

These generations are more likely to value relationships at work than any others and thrive off support. Here are the facts:

  • Millennial and Gen Z workers who have a mentor are up to 23% more likely to report being satisfied with their current job. (CNBC/SurveyMonkey)
  • Sixty-eight percent of millennials who stay at their organization for five or more years have a mentor. (Deloitte)
  • Seventy-three percent of Gen Z are motivated to do a better job when they feel their supervisor truly cares about them. (SHRM)

If You Are Going to Create a Mentorship Program, You Have to Go All In

One of the most important rules about offering a mentorship program is commitment. It is a two-way street. Both sides have to be invested in the relationship or the outcome could be negative. 

The Career Optimism Index shows a serious disconnect between many employers and their employees. The survey says 91% of employers believe their employees have someone at the workplace who advocates for them. When the survey asked employees, only 63% agreed with that statement. 

Remember to Be Inclusive when Creating a Mentorship Program

Employees are looking for workplaces that value and focus on diversity, equity, access and inclusion (DEAI). 

Surveys show that 80% of job seekers are looking for companies that make DEAI a priority. While there is a lot of data that proves the impact of mentoring, there is a lack of information about benefits for those in historically underrepresented groups, including BIPOC and those that identify as LGBTQIA+. 

Introducing DEAI-focused mentoring programs can help increase access to career development, which will lead to better representation in the workplace down the road.  

VSUW Launches New Workforce Development Program for Black and Latina Young Women

Pathways to Economic Opportunity pairs young women, ages 16 to 24, with Black and Latina professional women in their field of interest. 

Through the program, young women gain technical skills, soft skills and professional networks that lead to prosperous career pathways. Black and Latina young women often don’t have access to these opportunities, making it nearly impossible to be on equal footing when entering the workforce.

Bertha Tapia is a community development and engagement director at Valley of the Sun United Way. VSUW envisions a community where every child, family and individual is healthy; has a safe place to live; and has every opportunity to succeed in school, in life and in work. VSUW will work with community, corporate and nonprofit partners to implement a five-year plan for Mighty Change by 2026 toward its bold goals for Maricopa County in health, housing and homelessness, education and workforce development. 

Did You Know: Mentoring has a big impact on teenagers and young adults, as well. According to a survey by, young adults who have a mentor are 130% more likely to hold a leadership role later in life. The survey also highlights that mentoring has a positive impact on our community. Young adults who had a mentor are more likely to serve as volunteers.  

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