The value of mentoring

The demographic trends across the insurance industry, much like that of the general economy, show that over the next few years, significant numbers of boomers will retire. When they do, there’s a risk the industry will lose skills that are hard to teach through traditional training: people skills, leadership skills, and ethical decision-making skills. Mentoring, with its unique focus on relationships, can be an effective way of transferring those skills.

Attracting and retaining talent

Demographic research report coverMentoring can play an important role in the industry in attracting and retaining talent. The insurance industry is often overlooked as a career choice because it lacks glamour. By mentoring recent grads and those new to the industry, experienced industry professionals can help spread the word about the varied career path and benefits available in a career in the insurance industry.

From an industry and corporate perspective, mentoring has been found useful in terms of employee retention and succession planning. In terms of the benefits of mentoring for the Canadian p&c insurance industry specifically, the Insurance Institute's demographic studies have shown that the industry should be taking steps that focus on both retention and succession planning. Though levels of recruitment have improved over the past decade, as workers mature it becomes even more important for employers to take steps to retain people. Encouraging mentoring is one of the most effective means by which an employer can show commitment to its employees’ personal growth and job satisfaction. And, employers benefit because mentors who are near retirement age can help identify and develop successors.   

Long-term personal benefit

People who have taken part in a mentoring relationship report that they benefited in terms of both career and personal development. Career development literature shows that many consider being a mentor a key developmental task for individuals, especially mid-career, while those who have been mentees report higher levels of compensation, career advancement, and career satisfaction.