In the fight for the best junior staff, companies have to motivate and encourage their own employees in an increasingly targeted manner and come up with something to retain them in the long term. At the same time, they need to attract digital talent who will drive the digital transformation process. You can read here why mentoring in companies is a suitable tool for this and how it works.

Let’s be honest: who can make it to the top of the company all by themselves these days? Success has several fathers, for example mentors. Mentoring programs are becoming more and more popular and differ from classic coaching . Not only the individual employee, but companies in particular benefit when they promote internal mentoring programs. Driven by ongoing digitization and demographic change, companies must create a work environment that takes all generations of employees into account. With Generation Z, there are five different generations on the job market for the first time.Everyone brings different strengths, skills, knowledge and experience to the table. And they all have individual requirements, needs and wishes for jobs, workplaces and managers. The consequence:

  • Companies have to make their own employees fit for the challenges of increasing digitization
  • Organizations need to secure the knowledge of older generations of employees , such as baby boomers, before they retire
  • As an attractive employer , companies must motivate, encourage and retain their own employees over the long term
  • In the struggle for the best talent , organizations must attract new talent in order to be successful in the long term
  • However, because many young talents do not want to work in analogue companies, you must first understand how Generation Y and Z tick . Read here what wishes the younger generation of employees have of employers and managers
  • Companies must bundle the strengths of the different generations of employees and use them optimally in order to ensure their long-term success

Every company is only as good as its employees. Therefore, a functioning personnel development in companies is now indispensable. This is where mentoring comes in.

What does mentoring mean in companies? And what is it for?

Mentoring as a personnel development tool is an effective method for the exchange of knowledge and experience between employees . It helps to advance and develop one’s own career and to improve employee motivation in the long term. Regardless of whether the young learn from the old or vice versa: all generations of employees benefit from mentoring . The young talents in particular want role models, orientation, inspiration and regular feedback as well as exchange with bosses and colleagues at the start of their careers. Much more so than the generations before them. On the other hand, the young talents of today will lead our companies in the future.

Mentoring is based on mutual trust, respect and understanding. Experienced employees (mentors) pass on their knowledge and experience to less experienced employees (mentor). A mentor takes on several roles and tasks at the same time: He is a role model, adviser, coach, critic and supporter . His task is to accompany, support and promote the career of the mentor in a future-oriented manner. As a door opener, he also supports his protégé in achieving individual career goals or building a functioning network.

What are the advantages of mentoring programs in companies?

Mentoring brings a number of advantages for the company. This includes:

Knowledge transfer between generations

Mentoring is based on the principle of knowledge transfer. Through the targeted exchange of knowledge and experience between the generations, the expertise remains anchored in the company.

Targeted talent promotion

By passing on knowledge and experience to their mentor, a mentor trains the missing know-how and skills internally. This helps to prepare trainees , juniors or team leads specifically for the demands of the workplace.

Personal development through feedback culture

Does the self-image of one’s own performance match that of the boss? And what do your colleagues think? It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a company or individual level: within agile structures, open feedback is becoming increasingly important. Mentoring programs promote an open feedback culture and ideally promote regular exchange between mentor. In this way, mentor learn to give and accept constructive feedback. You will also learn how to react flexibly to the ever-changing demands of a changing world of work that digital change brings with it. In particular, feedback motivates employees to perform better.

Mentoring as an important HR tool

Through the targeted partnership between mentor, the training of new employees can be shortened or delegated to entire teams. After all, a new talent works like further training for experienced employees. Mentoring promotes new ways of thinking and working. The mentor also receives new food for thought and recognizes new paths. Because the higher a manager rises, the lonelier it gets. Or companies save costs for further education and training if the employees support each other across generations. Not to be forgotten is the fact that an in-house mentoring program requires less effort than external training or coaching.

Mentoring serves to ensure long-term employee loyalty

Young talents not only expect good further training opportunities from their employer . Rather, they expressly welcome it when an experienced mentor passes on personal and specialist knowledge to them and thus promotes their career development in a targeted manner.

Mentoring develops leadership skills

Even the most experienced manager benefits from mentoring. Regular exchange, feedback and new skills are extremely important, especially when the responsibility in the company continues to grow. However, the mentor does not have to be in his own company: Mark Zuckerberg, for example, had Steve Jobs as a mentor at his side, despite the enormous success of Facebook.

How can mentoring be implemented in companies?

In the following we present the 6 most important steps for successful mentoring in companies .

Step 1: Bringing mentor together

In order to check whether the mentoring makes sense and whether the chemistry between mentor and mentor is right, both parties have to get to know each other. Both must be aware that mentoring is designed for a longer period of time. When looking for an ideal mentor, the HR department often provides support and builds a trusting basis for discussion together with the mentor. For larger companies, the partner search is also suitable via so-called speed dating.

Step 2: Define and set framework conditions

After the mentor have gotten to know and appreciate each other, they have to define the general conditions together. This includes the goals, the period, the locations, the meeting points and the communication channels, the individual expectations of the mentor, and the limits of the mentoring program.

Step 3: Choose and pin down topics

Mentoring topics vary depending on the industry, position, career level and employee relationship. Companies that have already successfully implemented mentoring programs address the following questions in particular during this discussion phase:

  • What are currently the most important issues and problems in the workplace?
  • How is the relationship with boss and colleagues?
  • How to work more efficiently?
  • How do you deal with new technologies?
  • How can mentor achieve their individual goals; e.g. B. Promotion, salary increase or acquisition of new skills
  • How can mentor build a helpful network? And how can the mentor support you in getting to know the right contacts?
  • What drives the mentor intrinsically to deliver more motivated and satisfied successful performances?

Step 4: Do the mentoring work

Once the general conditions and mentoring topics have been defined, the actual mentoring can begin. This takes up the most space during the partnership. The mentor does not need any coaching expertise or other skills. His qualification consists above all in his professional experience. But that’s not all: trust, communication and professional interaction between mentor are crucial for success. Added to this are empathy, diplomatic skills and understanding. In addition, the mentor must be able to take criticism and have a positive and open attitude towards a (often) less experienced employee.

Step 5: Evaluate, evaluate and optimize the mentoring

Mentor should jointly evaluate and evaluate the mentoring success after completion of the predetermined time. For example, at a final meeting that goes into detail about the mentoring goals and the actual partnership. Often the presence of an objective person, such as B. from the HR department or a manager. Finally, the tandem partners should derive measures and suggestions for the future of the mentor and optimize the mentoring program with their input.

Step 6: Keep in touch

Even if the mentoring program has officially ended, mentor should continue to support each other and keep in touch. Maybe even with reversed roles.


Anyone who creates a digital corporate culture inspires talented young people to join them. However, those who provide traditional hierarchies risk that the best young employees give up tiredly. They no longer have to rely on a predetermined way of working. So if companies want to win the battle for the best talent, they must create a work environment that adapts to the expectations of Generation Y and Z. At the same time, companies must not lose sight of the wishes of the established generations. In-house mentoring programs effectively exploit the potential of the different generations of employees.This gives organizations a head start in preparing their employees specifically for their needs and in equipping these people with the knowledge and skills. For everyone involved, good mentoring pays off. Employees and managers are mastering the challenges of demographic change in a targeted manner. At the same time , they motivate their employees, ensure greater job satisfaction and long-term employee loyalty .

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