The benefits of establishing a mentorship program in a diverse workplace

    November 1, 2017

    Today’s workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse, with people from different generations, cultures, and ethnicities working side-by-side. This is a positive development, since diversity can make teams more innovative, agile, and productive.

    Of course, the success of your diverse team hinges in part on you, the manager. It is your responsibility to ensure all team members are recognized equally and feel their skills are being put to good use. And this is where a mentorship program can be a very useful tool.

    Benefits of mentorship programs

    According to Monica Thakrar in her Forbes article “How to Lead the Push for Diversity in the Workplace,” voluntary workplace mentorship programs can stimulate interactions between team members who wouldn’t normally communicate which opens up dialogues for people to find a common ground. As a result, the team becomes stronger, more productive, and better equipped to find creative solutions.

    3 types of mentorship programs

    There are many types of mentorship programs that can be used in the workplace. And there are many factors to consider when choosing a program. For example, culture, experience levels, and expected outcome. Still, the top three types of mentorship programs are conventional, reverse, and peer-to-peer.


    Conventional mentorships pair a more experienced, senior employee with a trainee or recruit. This type of relationship is successful in transferring occupation- or company-specific knowledge.


    Reverse mentorships, in which Millennials mentor Baby Boomers, have become popular over the last decade. Instead of transferring knowledge, this relationship helps older employees acquire or maintain technical skills. Which empowers employees with the tools and skills needed to be successful.


    The peer-to-peer mentorship program is one of the most useful types of relationships. This is because it is focused on the transfer of knowledge. Different team members pair up and share their knowledge without regard to seniority. It allows them to communicate on an equal footing which facilitates the exchange of information and ideas.

    Just imagine what people from different generations, countries, and cultures can learn from each other, or even what civilians can learn from veterans and vice versa!

    Establishing a mentorship program in your diverse workplace can promote communication and collaboration and result in a stronger, more innovative team. And though it might take some time and effort to get a mentorship program off the ground, the results can leave you and your team not just more connected, but also more grateful for what each member brings to the table.




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