Studies show that companies with structured mentorship programs outperform their competitors by 35 percent . But that’s far from the only reason business decision makers should prioritize mentorship opportunities for their employees, and even for themselves.

Janice Omadeke is the seventh guest for Season 2 of Microsoft’s WorkLab podcast, in which host Elise Hu has conversations with economists, technologists, and researchers who explore the data and insights into why and how work is changing.

Three big takeaways from the conversation:

  1. Successful mentorship programs increase employee retention, employee buy-in, and reduce churn—three important outcomes in the shift to hybrid work. When employees feel connected to the mission and culture of an organization, they share innovative ideas with leadership, which positions the company ahead of the curve.

  2. Mentorship benefits both the mentee and the mentor. In fact, it may be more beneficial for the mentor. Being a mentor leads to promotion five times faster, according to studies conducted outside of Microsoft.

  3. Mentors should not feel pressured to be seen as perfect. Being transparent and sharing incidents of failure and vulnerability without ego is when the magic happens.

To go deeper into the theme of mentorship, we speak at the end of the episode with Sarah Haggard, founder and CEO of the peer-to-peer mentoring app Tribute, about how to help Gen Z workers build the social capital that many of them missed out on in the workplace.

WorkLab is a place for experts to share their insights and opinions. As students of the future of work, Microsoft values inputs from a diverse set of voices. That said, the opinions and findings of the experts we interview are their own and do not reflect Microsoft’s own research or opinions.

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Here’s a transcript of the Episode 7 conversation.

ELISE HU: This is WorkLab , the podcast from Microsoft. I’m your host, Elise Hu. On WorkLab we hear from leading thinkers on the future of work—economists, technologists, researchers. They all share surprising data and explore the trends transforming the way we work. On today’s episode, mentorship, and how it can change lives and businesses.

JANICE OMADEKE: Companies that have structured mentorship programs outperform their peers by 35 percent. Your employees are bought into the company culture. They feel connected to the mission and growth of that organization. They then want to share their innovative ideas with your leadership.