When one thinks of onboarding, piles of paperwork and dramatic social and cultural assimilation are likely some of the first things to come to mind. It’s often an overwhelming process, and many employees look back on their onboarding experience and wish they’d had a mentor to ask questions and further help them adjust to their new careers. Mentoring can be used to support the employee onboarding process in many different ways and offers various benefits to the new hire and also to an organization.

Mentoring shouldn’t be ignored in the onboarding process. According to Forbes, mentoring programs are a fantastic way to retain employees. New hires with mentors also felt as though they were more knowledgeable about their organization and that they had absorbed their organization’s values.

It’s no secret that a robust onboarding process is essential to employee retention and satisfaction, as up to fifty percent of new hires can leave a company within the first 120 days of the job. Successful onboarding can make all the difference, as it starts a new hire’s career by building a strong relationship to the organization, instilling the organization’s values and helps the employee know how they fit into the greater fabric of the organization. These relationships can help new hires feel as though they are being listened to and that they have a safe place to go if they have questions or concerns that are specific to their position or to the organization as a whole.

When setting up your mentoring program, be specific about what you want it to accomplish. Set measurable goals and objectives so you can measure the effectiveness of your program and identify places for improvement. Think about how you want to match mentors and mentees. This can be done by department, pairing a mentee with a mentor who has previously held the mentee’s position or by skillset, pairing a mentee who needs to learn a specific skill (like computer coding, machine operation, or social media) with a mentor who has extensive experience. Set basic expectations for mentors and mentees, such as frequency and duration of meetings and how long the program is expected to continue.