MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

Majority Of Employees Don’t Feel Like They Belong At Their Companies

Millennials believe that success in a business comes down to mentorships.
A group of people do a high five around a table.

Mentorship is an important part of the employee experience within the workplace, but according to a new report, less than 40% of professionals have a mentor.

Research published by MyKindaFuture, an HR technology company specialising in engagement and onboarding underrepresented talent, reveals the behavioural science behind impactful workplace mentoring. It was developed in partnership with behaviour science company, CogCo and leadership consultant, Rita Symons.

Even though only 37% of professionals in the UK currently have a mentor, 79% of millennials view them as crucial to their success. This demonstrates a clear disconnect between the appetite for mentorship and what is currently provided by businesses.

The research also finds that less than a third of UK employees feel like they completely belong at their company. This is having an impact on employee retention as 80% of those who don’t feel as though they belong are considering leaving their role in the next 12 months.

Will Akerman, founder and managing director at MyKindaFuture, comments: “Although many mentoring programmes exist, the majority remain ineffective, undervalued and underrepresented. When implemented properly and with purpose, mentoring is a crucial tool in boosting employee engagement, progression, and retention. As a result, it can directly benefit a business’ bottom line.

“Employers cannot continue to view mentoring as a simple tick-box exercise,” he continues. “This report is a key resource for business leaders to discover more about the huge benefits mentoring with purpose can offer and gain practical insights for implementing programmes that are scientifically proven to succeed.”

Is There A Belonging Crisis?

It takes, on average, it takes five months for employees to feel like they truly belong at their company, meaning that this period is imperative for employee wellbeing and their future at the company.

However, only 40% of HR decision-makers believe their organisational cultivates a sense of belonging. Further, only 37% of HR decision-makers believe the majority of their employees feel like they belong.

The report, which finds there is a “belonging crisis” in the UK, demonstrates that mentoring can have a positive influence on employees. Of those surveyed, 94% of employees said they would stay longer at their company if it invested in their careers.

Further, 97% of those with a mentor say they are valuable, with mentees promoted five times more often than those without mentors. The research also found that 89% of those who are mentored will go on to mentor others. This, in turn, has a positive impact on learning and development within the company.

The Behavioural Science of Belonging

There are four principles of human behaviour, according to the report. These are presentation; process; people; and purpose.

to this end, the most effective strategies to fostering a sense of purpose are to create distinctive values and principles, creating shared goals and responsibilities, encouraging positive interactions between colleagues and inviting participation.

The behavioural science of mentoring then follows the principles of having clear objectives, having clear lines of interaction, mentor matching people to the right mentee and measuring outcomes.