Studies have shown time and again that mentorship helps young professionals develop their confidence, expand their perspectives and advance their careers – so why do so many hungry-to-learn hospitality and other professionals never reap the benefits of mentorship?
In a 2019 survey, an overwhelming 76% of respondents said they believed mentorship played an important part in career development – and yet, only 37% of respondents reported having had mentors themselves. This remains true despite the fact that mentorship has far-reaching effects, not only for the mentors and mentees, but for the industries and organizations they represent.
How Mentorship Impacts Minority Representation
It’s no secret that minorities make up a major part of today’s hospitality workforce – and yet, their representation on upper-management teams, on boards and in leadership positions remains low. Yet, a study conducted by Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations reveals that mentorship opportunities boost minority representation at the management level by as much as 24% when compared with other diversity initiatives.
The Cornell study also showed that mentorship boosts retention rates for minorities in hospitality and other industries, making minority workers as much as 38% more likely to stay in their positions when compared to non-mentored employees.
How Mentorship Benefits Businesses
American businesses lose up to 1 trillion annually as a result of employee turnover, with the costs associated with replacing an employee often equaling twice the lost employee’s salary.
Employee retention efforts lead to improved morale and more productivity – which in turn leads to better profits for businesses. Mentored workers across all backgrounds have 50%-higher rates than employees without mentors. An overwhelming 93% of mentees also report feeling their mentorship opportunities were beneficial and worthwhile, making a strong case for why today’s businesses might consider making mentorship part of their programming.
Research also reveals a link between mentorship and small business survival. Studies show that, when small businesses undergo mentoring, 70% of them survive five years or longer. This is twice the small business survival rate seen among non-mentored businesses. And yet, just a quarter of today’s small- to medium-sized businesses have mentorship programs in place.
How Mentorship Benefits Women
Women have long-faced an uphill battle in many industries, and this can breed competition, rather than collaboration, among women in business. Yet, research shows that mentorship programs help today’s working women gain confidence, broaden their knowledge, recognize their own potential and expand their access to advanced career opportunities.
Studies also indicate that women who mentor are in it for the right reasons. About 70% of women who become mentors say they do so as a means of showing support for other women.
While it’s clear that mentorship programs are productive and effective, it’s even clearer that not nearly enough organizations have mentorship opportunities available for team members. The good news is, pandemic-era employment trends led to a 30%-uptick in organizations implementing mentorship initiatives in recent years, meaning more businesses and nonprofits are getting the message.
At Another Round Another Rally, we practice what we preach – and we’ve experienced firsthand the power of mentorship. Stay tuned tomorrow, Sept. 23, for full details on our Skylight Mentorship Program, a hospitality industry mentorship opportunity for women, femmes and nonbinary workers who make their living behind the bar.