National Mentoring Day takes place on Saturday 27th October 2018 and is designed to highlight how mentoring in the workplace can be invaluable and rewarding for everyone involved. It’s been found nearly 30 per cent of people in the UK want a mentor, yet a significant number have no idea where to find one. In most cases, companies and employees can meet this demand by looking no further than their own workforce and colleagues.
What is mentoring?
If you’re struggling with the concept of mentoring, let’s make it totally relatable. The latest series of The Apprentice is airing on BBC1 and instead of a cash prize, the winner has the honour of being mentored by Lord Sugar.
Mentoring in the workplace is the nurture and support of an employee or colleague – usually by someone at least one level higher and who is not their direct line manager – on both a short- and long-term basis. A mentor is there to help someone develop, introduce new skills and impart wisdom they have gained from working within the company. In return, the mentee should be able to use their mentor as a sounding board for ideas and consult with them for careers advice.
A trio of benefits
You may think mentees are the clear winners and although they will professionally develop with a mentoring programme, there are benefits for mentors and the company itself.
Your HR department is a good place to start or if you don’t have one, bring it up with a line manager or in a Board Meeting. It can be as straightforward as pairing a manager with a junior on a one-to-one basis, starting a buddy system where two employees help each other out, or even instigating ‘speed mentoring’ events, where different departments and staff chat informally on a regular basis.
Getting contributors to provide mentoring
Pairing up with mentors from other industries brings fresh perspectives and problem solving skills, and can be beneficial to even the highest of flyers. Richard Branson is a prominent mentor advocate and he introduced ‘Mentor Mondays’ at the Virgin Group. Every week a different business heavyweight shares their entrepreneurial insights with staff via a vlog that’s published online for anyone to view – not just Virgin staff. Inviting contributors to mentor or speak is a model any business can follow and employees should look outside of their sector and office for inspiration.
For mentoring to be a success, you’ll need a formal framework and clear business objectives, whether that’s to get new joiners up-to-speed or to develop future leaders. SMEs whose resources don’t stretch to a structured in-house mentoring programme may benefit from external help.
Phone, Skype, email and even virtual mentoring already exist, as does as a full outsourced mentoring industry, which offers solutions on a face-to-face basis. The Government-endorsed website mentorsme.co.uk gives businesses free access to quality-assured mentoring organisations across Britain, while The Mentoring Foundation is dedicated to mentoring women so they reach the very top of large companies – one of a number of mentoring groups with a dedicated cause or sector.
Claire has over 20 years Recruitment experience. A specialist in the regional recruitment marketplace, Claire has extensive local knowledge and holds a reputation for quality, integrity, honesty and excellent matching. Heading up the HR and Office & Commercial Divisions of Bond Williams. Claire is responsible for the overall growth and …