- U.S. employees aren't getting what they want in terms of mentorship, according to a survey of 700 adults by marketing agency Mindshare. Forty-two percent of respondents said their company either doesn't offer any type of mentorship program or doesn't offer enough of such opportunities.
- Men in the survey were more likely to say they get enough or more than enough mentorship at work than women were, according to Mindshare. Nearly two-thirds of all workers surveyed want ongoing feedback and coaching, but 28% said they didn't receive enough of either on the job. Another 60% said they want to work remotely at least some of the time, but 43% of women say they have enough opportunities to do so, versus 61% of men.
- Mindshare also polled respondents on whether they felt they had enough opportunities to try new jobs and positions within their companies by working with other departments. One-third of adults said their employers either don't offer these opportunities or don't offer them enough — this contingent comprised 43% women and 33% of men.
Though employees might generally feel having a mentor is important, Mindshare's study may support the idea that few workers actually have access to one, an observation made in previous research.
As employers work to upskill their staff, mentoring relationships can be instrumental in growth and productivity. Women and minorities in particular view the opportunity to work with a mentor as valuable to their career growth. This type of support is important for female leaders, whose career paths are more likely to take non-traditional twists and turns, according to data from Cigna.
The challenge for many in senior leadership roles is often to understand what the programs entail and the responsibilities required, something that can derail mentorships and similar programs involving sponsors. But done right, mentorship programming can effectively boost engagement and retention. Employers might also test variations of the traditional mentorship by instead implementing reverse mentoring — in which senior leaders pair up with their younger counterparts — or "speed mentoring," which places learners within small groups of their peers.