How many great mentors have you had during your life? People who you’ve come across in your personal and/or professional life that have helped you grow?
If this is something that you haven’t thought about, grab something to write on and with and make a list! Start with names and what each person has taught you. It is a real eye opener into how great mentors shape everyone’s lives.
You might not have been part of formal mentoring programme before, but chances are that you will have experienced some form of informal mentoring in your life.
Where would you be without these relationships and the learnings that they provided you?
Mentoring relationships are an incredibly effective way of driving career progression – both for mentors and mentees.
Mentoring provides an invaluable opportunity for skills and knowledge to be transferred between people with guidance and influence. It awards mentees with the chance to learn from someone who displays the attributes they aspire to have, challenges mentors to see things through the eyes of their mentees, and helps both parties grow.
A real win-win.
But what if I told you that there is another winner in these relationships?
Making it a win-win-win of such.
That extra win is for the business who has created the culture and the environment in which mentoring relationships can flourish.
Why though is this a win for them?
To answer this question, I have listed 4 benefits that businesses gain from establishing positive and productive mentoring relationships amongst their employees.
Importantly, these benefits come from when this culture has been established and embedded effectively. If you are keen to discover more about how you can ensure this then do read on!
- Cost Effective
Many, many businesses around the world are really feeling the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, therefore budgets are a scorching hot topic.
By encouraging mentoring as part of your company culture, you are investing in unlocking the value of your business and the people within it without huge price tag!
You are creating opportunities for people to share their skills and knowledge to develop their colleagues, which gradually disseminates across the wider business. The return on investment grows with this form of development as time goes on and as mentoring becomes more and more embedded.
Kick starting this culture is where the initial investment comes. We work with many of our clients to do exactly this, which saves investment long-term.
- Improved Company Culture
This progresses nicely from my first point. Once you have made the decision to embed mentoring into the development plans of your team… what can you expect it to bring to the culture of your company as a whole?
Mentoring builds bridges between people who may otherwise see little need to communicate with each other. It also naturally encourages these relationships to be open, honest, and trusting. Both of these combined really support people to build strong connections and networks across the business, and to also feel as though they can approach anyone for support and guidance, breaking down hierarchical and cross-functional barriers.
To have relationships between departments across the company containing these elements is so powerful. It brings a togetherness that could well give you a huge advantage over many of your competitors!
Lucky you! Your team has some unbelievable talent within it.
The combined abilities of all these talented individuals has the potential to deliver incredible results to your business. However, how are you going to ensure they remain within your team and not decide to seek pastures new?
If your company is offering people the opportunity to build close, productive relationships with people across the business, they are gaining value that money can’t buy.
Having such accessible peer support helping them build their skills every day, could be the difference between them continuing their journey with you or taking a job elsewhere.
One common reason why people leave roles is because they struggle to see where the will progress.
If you build a mentoring culture which means that senior members and more junior members harvest strong relationships, it will help guide them up the career ladder. And when promotions become available, succession planning is a much clearer process for decision makers as they have a better-informed vision of their talent pipeline within the organisation. Win-win-win!
Everyone in the business will see where the chances are to progress.
- Employee Engagement
Mentoring is a fantastic way of showing individuals how they contribute to the bigger picture.
If you are in a mentoring relationship with someone whose role is completely different to your own, the conversations you have as you get to know each other will widen your vision as to what is happening in parts of the business that you may have never thought about before.
This extra perspective is key to seeing how what you do feeds into others’ roles. You can start to understand how your everyday activities and those of others contribute to moving the business forward.
This builds motivation and commitment to both personal and business goals.
- Diversity and Inclusion
We have already spoken about how mentoring is really effective at breaking down barriers, especially in bringing together people despite the disparity in seniority. We have also already mentioned how these relationships breed future opportunities.
Bringing these two elements together is why mentoring is also great for broadening diversity and inclusion.
When a role becomes available, a business may look to recruit externally. However, when the business has awarded their people with opportunities through mentoring to work with those closer to the summit than themselves, it then means that everyone gets a greater chance of taking any potential steps up. And regardless of gender, race, religious or sexual orientation.
Anyone who enters the business will have the chance to progress.
Now, for the little teaser I dropped at the end of my introduction!
We will be releasing brand new episodes of our Learn, Grow, Succeed Podcast in April that will be focusing further on the topic of mentoring.
So, by grabbing your headphones and joining us, you can treat your ears to our guide to positive and productive mentoring relationships, including our top tips for both mentors and mentees!
As always, we are open to hearing any ideas you have, so please do not hesitate in getting in contact!
Thank you as always for visiting our website and reading this blog.
About Excel Communications
Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years; we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.
Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning.
We work with you to create unforgettably, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.
View our case studies here.
We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.