Youth Mentoring and the Business Community: 3 Powerful Reasons for you to Get Engaged
There is a long tradition, going back centuries, of strong societies nurturing the next generation of workers and craftsmen — using structures such as apprenticeships, internships and formal guilds to reach out to youth and help them find fulfilling, meaningful vocations. By intentionally guiding and educating young people to find and develop rewarding careers, communities and even entire nations can help to ensure that there is a stable social foundation, a continuity of goods and services, and a citizenry capable of pursuing their dreams and contributing to the greater good.
Listed below are three powerful reasons that companies and employees should get involved in mentoring.
1. Fostering employee engagement, satisfaction and retention - One representative from Intel noted, “We find that in terms of employee engagement and retention, there is a reputational pull of doing this kind of [mentoring] work, especially for potential hires coming out of the universities where they have experienced mentoring relationships.” As one representative from Citi said, “It’s that piece around the desire of individuals to work for an organization that is socially responsible and civically engaged … this resonates with our employees and they want to be a part of it.”
2. Cultivating and developing the future workforce - Much has been written recently about the difficulty some industries are having finding qualified and well-prepared employees. Companies work in mentoring fits into a new paradigm of creating and fostering pipelines and pathways rather than focusing only on training once employees arrive. For example, Bloomberg’s growth as a company has led it to be more proactive about finding future employees: “As we’ve evolved and then become a much larger company with more and more stakeholders, the business case for us is really about talent development and diversifying our talent pipeline. We recognize that today’s youth are the future of our company going forward and we need to take responsibility for better preparing them for tangible roles in the corporate workforce.”
3. Supporting vibrant communities (which include viable customers) - Companies also recognize that they are part of the communities where they are located, that their businesses will struggle if educational systems or the community itself is struggling. A representative from American Express framed this as their “commitment to service and giving back to communities where employees live and work, helping in your own backyard.” IBM explained its emphasis on education this way: “We live and we work in these communities where these kids live. We have a responsibility to do as much as we can to help them and make these communities thrive — and education is certainly a big factor in that.” With national partners like the NBA Cares, Starbucks, LinkedIn, Deloitte, EY and Bank of America and state contributors to the mentoring movement like KPMG, Richey May and Home Advisors more and more companies are recognizing the power of mentoring.
Mentor Colorado is leading the youth mentoring effort in Colorado. Give the power of mentoring today finding a mentoring opportunity with one of our mentoring agency affiliates here, or a partnership opportunity with MENTOR Colorado’s Executive Director, Hannah Krieger.