Three Reasons You Should Use a Peer Mentoring System for Your New Starters

July 9, 2015

Three Reasons You Should Use a Peer Mentoring System for Your New Starters

Getting your new starters up to speed as fast as possible is important. When a new starter feels confident in their ability to do their job, it makes for a more profitable and efficient workforce – it also makes your new starters feel happier and more engaged at work.

One way to accelerate your new starters along the early learning curve is to implement a peer mentoring program. This doesn’t have to be anything complex, or even anything formal – the idea is to simply pair up each new starter with a member of staff who is experienced in the same job role, and who can support and guide them while they find their feet.

What are the benefits of peer mentoring?

The benefits of peer mentoring can be huge – here are the three ways we think it helps the most:

1. Practical Learning is More Effective. Classroom training is fine, but many people learn much faster and more effectively when they get chance to actually learn ‘on the job’. Don’t worry about mistakes – mistakes are a big part of learning, and the mentor will be there to provide guidance and act as a safety net against huge disaster.
2. Faster Value to the Business. If you decide that a peer mentoring system could actually replace some of your classroom-based training, then there will be a much smaller gap between your new starters signing their employment contract and actually bringing value to your company.
3. Less Pressure. Getting things wrong and asking stupid questions is all a big part of learning – especially if a new starter is really fresh to the job role. But if your new starter’s only source of advice is their direct manager, then asking simple questions can be pretty intimidating – e.g. “if I ask this, they’ll think I’m stupid” “if they realise I don’t know how to do this, they’ll wish they never hired me” etc. But when you give your new starters the support of somebody who they feel is more on their level, then asking ‘stupid’ questions becomes much easier – and the learning process takes place much faster.

Have YOU Used a Peer Mentoring System at Your Company?

If so, we’d love to hear your input – do you think the three benefits we’ve listed are pretty accurate, or have you found something different? Is there a certain way you approach peer mentoring that you’d like to share with other HR professionals?

Just add your comment using the box below.

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