Today’s staff is comprised of people from all types of background,  whether it is religion, colour, age, sexual orientation, education, etc. and that is why formal or informal mentoring is a must.

When a new employee is welcomed to an organization they are unsure of lot things from their work environment to who their colleagues are . By appointing a mentor it sends a clear signal to the new employee that the organization wants them to succeed.

Mentoring also accomplishes another feat, which is retention, especially if the employee is new to the country.  The average cost to hire a new staff member is about $10,000  plus depending on the position.

When setting up mentorship, make sure it is cross-cultural because research, including studies from Catalyst, highlights that women and members of underrepresented communities do better than the general population in terms of retention, promotion and engagement. Various studies indicate formal mentoring programs are one of the best methods for retaining women, African-Canadians, and South Asian, etc.

Additionally, like all diversity strategies and employment retention strategies, it’s important to create quantifiable goals, to assess these goals, and to evaluate the success.

This can be achieved by measuring employee retention and comparing it to retention before mentoring programs have been installed. Finally, it’s important to  announce success. When other employees realize the benefits in employee retention programs they’ll most likely participate; it’ll contribute to their faith in the company and to the overall company reputation, which of course helps you find those high quality employees and makes building a diverse workforce easier.