Mentoring – what’s all the fuss??

Mentoring – what’s all the fuss??

Back in March, our Managing Director joined the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) employer mentoring scheme. This specific scheme was designed to support local students across Years 8, 9 and 10 who were at risk of disengaging or underachieving in their studies. Its overall aim is to give them support and encouragement and inspire them to explore their career options. (Click here for more information)

Nathan was excited to be given the opportunity to give something back. He is a successful business leader and, although he talks to professionals on a daily basis about different career options, was keen to instil some of his knowledge to a younger generation. As well as putting to good use the mentoring training the CEC provided.

Our involvement in this particular scheme, along with the 27th October being National Mentoring Day, made us wonder what benefits mentoring can bring to the workplace and if we need a scheme ourselves.

 

So what is all the fuss?

From doing just a small amount of research, it appears the list of benefits is endless. From providing education and learning to reducing staff turnover rates. To encouraging the development of leadership and management skills to time savings and focus. And that’s naming just a few.

  • Education and Learning: There is no debate that educated, well-trained employees, produce better results in the workplace than employees who lack knowledge and training. Nearly 80 percent of all learning is considered to be informal, meaning that it is not done by reading or taking classes, but rather by learning on the job and from others.
  • Reducing Turnover Rates: By providing personalised advice to a mentee, a mentor can help to ensure that employees will work through any frustrations or concerns they may have, help them build the skills they need for success, encouraging them to stay with the company and grow there for a longer period of time.
  • Development of Leadership and Management Skills: Mentors can assist in teaching leadership skills to employees showing potential for future leadership positions. In addition, mentors reduce turnover rates, meaning that providing mentors for high potential employees will improve the chances of them staying with the company long enough to progress into a leadership position, reducing the need for outside hires.
  • Time Savings and Focus: Employees with questions or concerns can often work with the mentor on a resolution or answer, reducing the time needed to get tasks finished, which overall improves productivity. Mentors also reduce the formal training necessary for new employees – they can learn on the job, rather than in a training room.
Source: Huffington Post 2017.

 

So, ok it’s worth the fuss, why don’t I have a ‘mentor’?

Mentoring is not a new concept and when looking at the definition –

“a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person”

– shouldn’t this already be happening across all walks of life anyway? (whether it is called mentoring or not?) In the workplace, isn’t it as simple as a seasoned employee working with a new hire or a line manager working with their team members? Essentially one employee, irrespective of role and position in an organisation, helping another employee.

Looking back at my career, the two people I would call my ‘mentors’ are those I sought out when I had an issue I couldn’t solve – one was a line manager, and the other was someone of a similar level to me who I was able to bounce off ideas with (and vice versa).

 

Are mentoring schemes and, therefore, a designated mentor/mentee relationship needed?

Although I have never experienced a formal mentor/mentee relationship (and not done too badly with life), I think that yes they are needed, particularly in large-scale organisations. If everyone was left to help everyone else in a ‘freestyle’ manor, there would undoubtedly be some people who ‘slip through the net’. Those that do not seek out the help and guidance of others when needed.

This is the case of the CEC mentoring scheme we are part of – the scheme is needed because the students that need this sort of help are those who wouldn’t have sought help by other means, potentially putting themselves at a disadvantage.

But they don’t always have to be completely formalised. Allowing employees to mentor one another should be encouraged in every organisation. And considering the benefits that come from it, building the idea of mentoring and simply helping each other into the company culture is a no-brainer.

And that is essentially what National Mentoring Day is all about – “to help recognise and celebrate mentoring in all its forms”. Their key message is to raise awareness of the invaluable and rewarding contribution that mentoring makes (however it is conducted or what is called), which can have a huge impact on not only our economy but also our society.

Here at Cityscape Recruitment, we encourage collaboration between all employees. It’s one of our four values and it’s part of our culture. Although we don’t have a formal mentoring scheme, what we do have are dedicated team leaders that inspire and guide their teams on a daily basis. We have senior consultants dedicated to helping shape the careers of the consultants who are just starting out in the industry. We essentially have a close, supportive and helpful team. And I am sure, everyone here would be able to name at least one other team member, they consider to be their mentor.

 

To find out more about the CEC Employer Mentor Scheme please click here:

https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/mentoring

To find out more about National Mentoring Day and how you can get involved, please click here:

http://nationalmentoringday.org/about/