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How to cultivate a thriving workforce through effective mentorship

Cornerstone Editors

Inspiration is often what it takes to motivate someone to try something new.

Maybe they watched the PGA tour and started playing golf, or visiting an art gallery made them take their first pottery class.

And inspiration doesn't contain itself to just hobbies. It's in the workplace, too: When employees feel empowered to learn a new skill or follow a particular career path they see modeled by someone else.

The "I can do that" mindest.

But too often, workers don’t see those paths for themselves –– 43% of employees say they don’t have enough room in their current role for internal mobility.

Now, record amounts of people are leaving their jobs for a role that fulfills their desire for growth opportunities, new projects and challenges, highlighting the need for organizations to surface new, internal opportunities to keep their workforce engaged and retained.

Mentorship is a proven way to improve visibility into internal development –– a mentor helps employees see what’s possible, delineating internal career pathways by modeling skills in action and potential future roles.

The power of a good mentor

When mentors offer personalized career support shaped by their own experience to help employees understand what skills they need to develop themselves, employees become more satisfied at their organization and inspired to keep growing where they are. Mentors report greater job satisfaction and higher retention rates too.

However, it’s not enough to pair employees with experienced colleagues to talk about development. Especially in today’s remote workplace, technology can empower organizations to match employees with compatible leaders who can provide meaningful advice and help them understand what skills they need to develop to follow a similar career path.

Creating a meaningful match using employee skills data

To create a positive mentor-to-mentee relationship, organizations must understand the skills of their workforce. By identifying an employee’s existing skills as well as what they still need to improve upon, teams can use that information to create compatible relationships that grow the capabilities of their workforce.

For employees looking to develop in their current field, it’s crucial they’re matched with an experienced leader who possesses skills they still need to build. This way, a mentee is sure to learn something valuable and understand what skills they need to add to their repertoire.

Using skills data is especially beneficial for employees looking to transition career paths. Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. workers under 40 have considered changing their occupation or field since the pandemic began. A marketer who wants to transition into sales, for example, should be matched with a mentor who can help them build the skills they need to succeed in a sales environment.

By leveraging employee skill data to pair professionals with mentors with adjacent skills, organizations can set their employees up for appealing opportunities that challenge them in new ways. As a result, employees receive the change they’re looking for, benefit from learning new skills and teams retain their talent while also facilitating their growth.

Guiding employees toward growth paths

Once employees find their compatible mentor, their guide can provide insight into how they progressed to their current position.

Mentors help employees uncover clear pathways to advance internally and help them shape their unique trajectory connected to purpose. The roots planted in a mentorship help employees gain understanding about where they need to supplement their skills to grow in the direction they want.

With this knowledge, employees also understand what learning content they can participate in to advance their careers. Learning content enables mentees to grow at their own pace, empowering them to work autonomously toward their goals and build confidence in their capabilities while at the same building skills that benefit the organization

Cultivating a thriving workforce through effective mentorship

Successful mentorship relies on having accurate skills data to facilitate meaningful connections between their employees and provide relevant skill-building opportunities to propel employees in the right direction. Organizations can seamlessly move the needle forward on employee growth initiatives by enlisting a comprehensive platform that integrates employee skills data with learning opportunities.

Cornerstone Xplor is a singular tool powered by employee skills data to connect people to relevant learning content and growth opportunities. A mentorship program developed with the support of a tool like Cornerstone Xplor can help employees realize the opportunity within their organization and the ability to carve the career they want.

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Whether you do performance reviews only once a year or have a robust, continual performance management process, with Cornerstone Performance, you can set goals, coach employees, receive feedback, guide development, and give recognition. Seamlessly link performance and skills data with internal learning opportunities to enable employee-driven, manager-supported growth. Because the best way to invest in business growth and achievement is by investing in the growth and achievements of your people with Cornerstone Performance.

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