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Inclusion: Mentoring, Mental Health and Employee Wellbeing

As we kick off Mental Health Awareness Month, there are opportunities for people leaders to assess what actions they are taking to lead with renewal and care for their workforce. Mentoring is a powerful tool that can improve mental health and employee wellbeing in the workplace. By providing employees with guidance, support, and encouragement, mentoring can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase job satisfaction, and promote a sense of belonging and community within the organization.

One of the key ways that mentoring can improve mental health and wellbeing is by reducing stress and anxiety. Many employees experience high levels of stress and pressure in the workplace, which can lead to burnout, mental health issues, and decreased productivity. By working with a mentor who can provide guidance and support, employees can feel more confident and capable in their roles and may be better able to manage stress and pressure.

Mentoring can also help improve job satisfaction and engagement, which are important factors in employee wellbeing. When employees feel that they are making meaningful contributions to the organization and are being recognized for their efforts, they are more likely to feel satisfied and engaged in their work. Mentors can help provide feedback and recognition for employees’ contributions and can help them identify opportunities for growth and development within the organization.

In addition, mentoring can help promote a sense of belonging and community within the organization. When employees feel isolated or disconnected from their colleagues, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and disengagement. By working with a mentor who can provide support and encouragement, employees can feel more connected to the organization and their colleagues and may be more likely to stay with the organization over the long term.

There are several key factors that contribute to the effectiveness of mentoring programs in improving mental health and employee wellbeing:

First, it is important to ensure that mentors are well-trained and equipped to provide effective guidance and support to mentees. This may involve providing training and resources to mentors, such as training on active listening, communication skills, and emotional intelligence.

Second, it is important to ensure that the mentor-mentee relationship is built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding. Mentors should be supportive and non-judgmental and should be able to provide constructive feedback and guidance without being overly critical or dismissive of the mentee’s concerns.

Finally, it is important to ensure that the mentoring program is well-integrated into the organization’s culture and values. Mentoring should be seen as an important part of the organization’s commitment to employee wellbeing and development and should be promoted and supported by inclusive leadership and management.

Inclusion leadership is driven by a desire to create an environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and supported. When employees feel included, it can positively impact their overall wellbeing in several ways:

• Mental health: Inclusion promotes a sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. This, in turn, can improve mental health and reduce stress levels.

• Physical health: Inclusion can also positively impact physical health, as stress reduction can lead to better sleep and an overall healthier lifestyle.

• Job satisfaction: When employees feel included, they are more likely to enjoy their work, leading to higher job satisfaction and lower levels of burnout.

• Career development: Inclusive workplaces provide equal opportunities for all employees to advance in their careers, regardless of their background or identity. This can improve employees’ sense of fulfillment and purpose, leading to greater wellbeing.

• Sense of purpose: Feeling included can also contribute to a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s work, which can improve overall wellbeing and job satisfaction.

• Overall, creating an inclusive workplace is essential for promoting employee wellbeing, and organizations that prioritize inclusion can reap the benefits of a happier, healthier, and more engaged workforce.

• Increased Engagement: Mentoring helps employees to feel more engaged with their work, as they have someone to discuss their job responsibilities with and receive guidance and feedback on how to improve.

Improved Skills: Mentoring provides an opportunity for employees to learn new skills from more experienced colleagues, which can increase their confidence and help them feel more competent in their roles.

• Career Development: Mentoring can help employees identify and pursue career goals, as mentors can offer guidance and advice on how to advance within the organization or industry.

• Reduced Stress: Mentoring can also reduce stress levels for employees, as they have someone to turn to for support and guidance during difficult times. This can help to improve overall wellbeing and mental health.

• Increased Retention: Finally, mentoring can improve employee retention rates, as employees who feel supported and valued by their employer are more likely to stay with the organization long-term. This can lead to a more stable and productive workforce, which benefits both the employer and the employees.

In conclusion, mentoring is a powerful tool that can improve mental health and employee wellbeing in the workplace. By providing employees with guidance, support, and encouragement, mentoring can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase job satisfaction, and promote a sense of belonging and community within the organization. If you are interested in promoting inclusion, mental health and wellbeing in your organization, consider exploring the potential of mentoring programs to support your employees. With the right training, support, and integration into your organization’s culture and values, mentoring can be a highly effective way to support your employees and promote greater mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. For more information on Engage Mentoring and our workplace mentoring initiatives, please visit www.engagementoring.com.

Yalonda Brown is a seasoned professional whose expertise spans over 20 years in both the private and public sectors. Her drive and self-determination has resulted in a myriad of demonstrable accomplishments as an intuitive leader, thought partner, and high functioning performer. Yalonda serves as the President of Diversity Initiatives for Engage Mentoring where she leads the national expansion of diversity-focused mentoring and leadership programs for companies, universities, and nonprofits.

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