Skills Development

10 Personal & Career Development Goals (That Are Actually Achievable)

New year, new you?

As we enter a new year, it’s time to think about what we want to achieve, and set some personal and career development goals for 2023.

I say goals, rather than resolutions, because according to research, 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by February 15th.

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions, is that they are often broad, wishful statements as opposed to measurable goals – with ‘losing weight’ and ‘drinking less’ being among the most common. When giving yourself a whole year to achieve or change something, there’s a high chance it’s going to get forgotten about pretty soon.

Find out more about the benefits of mentoring for learning and development with Guider

Instead, we should all be applying the SMART goal methodology to our personal and career development.

SMART goals are:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-based

When using this criteria, a vague resolution such as ‘be more organised’, can quickly become a personal goal with a viable deadline. The SMART process will also help you realise whether a goal is realistic or not, and if you find it’s not you can adjust your expectations accordingly and fine-tune the goal.

Goals are naturally subjective, however, if you’re looking to go down a path of self-improvement in 2021 and are stuck for where to start, here are 10 personal and career development goals to inspire you:

Goal #1: Wake up 1 hour earlier and use it wisely

This one’s for the morning people of the world. Adjusting your sleeping pattern by an hour can give you extra time to start a morning routine.

(Plus, I can guarantee you’re still going to be tired whether you wake up at 07:00 or 06:00, so you may as well make it 06:00).

The reason this goal is a good one for your self-improvement, is that you can achieve a lot in a quiet early morning hour.

Rather than rolling out of bed and diving immediately, bleary-eyed into your day, you gain a bit of extra time to yourself to focus on something that will make you feel good and fulfilled. This early bird activity can be different for everyone depending on your hobbies and interests, but here are some ideas of things you can do in less than hour that are good for your wellbeing and productivity:

  • Go for a run or walk
  • Stretch your body
  • Meditate or practice mindfulness
  • Read a few chapters of a book
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal
  • Tidy your room / workspace
  • Treat yourself to a nice home cooked breakfast
  • Do a chore you’ve been putting off
  • Plan your focuses and goals for the day
  • Listen to TED Talks or podcasts
  • Practice a foreign language
  • Work on a creative passion project

Whatever you choose, commit to it every day for 1 month and you won’t look back – this is a goal that will very quickly become a habit.

If you’re not a morning person, don’t despair. Why not try shifting around your routine in another way: we’ve heard a lot about morning routines, but what about evening ones? Giving yourself structured time in between work and sleep means you can participate in the activities above and reap the rewards.

Goal #2: Start journaling daily

This is a great personal development goal for any time of year. Journaling helps improve our self-awareness, productivity, and can even reduce stress and anxiety. As we formulate our jumbled thoughts into words, we rationalise and understand them.

Journaling doesn’t just need to be an account of your day-to-day, but a place to reflect and document your thoughts and experiences. It’s a great way to reflect on and overcome our limiting beliefs.

It’s up to you which areas of your life you focus on in your journal, but here are some journalling exercises and ideas to get started:

Every day, write down:

  • Your goals for the day
  • Things you’re grateful for
  • Things that made you happy that day
  • Things that made you stressed that day
  • Your personal achievements / things you’re proud of
  • A challenge you’re facing
  • An account of your dream last night (if you can remember!)

As you start to journal, you’ll quickly realise what is and isn’t beneficial to you, and fine-tune the exercise. It can take as little as 10 minutes out of your day to do, so set a daily reminder on your phone and get started.

Read our 10 ways to encourage employees to focus on self care here

Goal #3: Begin a new hobby (or pick an old one back up)

Many of us are guilty of letting our hobbies slide, declaring each year we’ll “get back into painting” or “take piano lessons”. These creative or athletic pursuits naturally fall by the wayside in our busy work and social lives.

But hobbies are something we should not be neglecting. Having hobbies can significantly reduce stress by taking our minds off things, as well as increase happiness and fulfilment. Not to mention, learning a new skill and seeing yourself improve is incredibly rewarding.

So 2021 is the year to actually do it. On average, it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit, which immediately gives you a realistic and practical time-frame to work towards.

It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Choose something you’ve always been interested in – particularly if you have friends who already do it as you can combine it with socialising – and take the plunge!

Goal #4: Reduce your screen time

For many of us, our phones rarely leave our sight.

Without even realising, we have become so dependent on our phones that the average person spends over 3 hours a day on it.

As useful as they are for work, communication, navigation, entertainment and more, they are also all-consuming.

When it comes to our attention spans, our phones are literally affecting the way our brains work, which is in turn affecting the way we work and communicate.

We have, in fact, become so used to distractions from our phones, that we subconsciously crave them – checking even though nothing has notified us, and picking them up absentmindedly when we should be doing something else.

At work, our phones can distract us to the point of reducing productivity by up to 40%. While in our personal lives, they are distancing us from our partners and families.

In 2021, make it your goal to reduce fruitless time spent on your phone, and make a conscious effort to be more present. Set time limits on your apps (or even delete apps all-together) and leave your phone away when you’re in company or focusing on a project at work.

We promise, you’ll feel better for it.

Goal #5: Get yourself a mentor

In order to set and achieve goals all year round, it helps to have somebody supporting, guiding and advising you.

Getting a business mentor is an incredible way to develop in your career in a relatively small period of time. Whether it’s bagging that promotion, increasing your confidence in big meetings, or changing your approach to work, a mentor can seriously help.

Not only that, a mentor is an effective way of improving personal development and self-awareness as well. The benefits of mentoring are endless, increasing confidence, happiness, job satisfaction, promotion possibilities and more.

So how do you go about it?

  1. Determine your specific career goals
  2. Assess your network and identify potential mentors
  3. Put in the groundwork – make conversation, support their work, and be proactive
  4. Ask them for coffee to pick their brain about a specific topic
  5. Access their experience and the chemistry between you to see if they could be the person to help you achieve your goals
  6. Ask them to be your mentor

For more info, check out our full guide:

How To Find A Great Mentor

Goal #6: Learn to code (even just a little bit)

This is both a personal and career development goal, and it has the potential to be life changing.

Whether you like it or not, the digital age is not slowing down. With advancing technology and rising automation, the world needs more coders than ever.

There are countless free resources to help you learn to code online (check out this list), as well as meet-ups and communities that support people teaching themselves. Even if you don’t have the time (or interest) to learn to code yourself, at least set a goal to become familiar with the theory and logic coding relies on, as well as the key languages.

By learning to code, you will be up-skilling and making yourself more employable – which seems a good goal for 2021 if you ask me.

Goal #7: Ask for that pay rise

Sometime in 2021, it’s likely you’ll be up for a performance review.

Unless you set yourself the career goal to negotiate a salary increase, you might find the chance slips you by.

Salary discussions can be uncomfortable, but the opportunity does not arise all year round. So if you believe you deserve a raise, you need to be prepared for that conversation.

Collate examples across your time at your company that show how much value you have added to the business, and the impact your projects are having on your key metrics. If you can justify and provide data driven evidence for your pay rise request, you’ll be in a far stronger position to achieve it.

This career goal is clearly measurable, as well as time-sensitive as you will have a date to work towards. You can do it!

Goal #8: Eat vegetables every day

A much simpler goal than getting a pay rise or learning to code…but valid nonetheless!

Everyone has different health goals depending on fitness levels and exercise / food preferences. However, one thing that unites us all is the power of vegetables.

This might be a small or a big behaviour change depending on your current diet, but set yourself a personal goal to eat a variety of vegetables every single day. An easy way to do this is by ensuring at least half of your meals are always veggie.

The vitamins and minerals we get from vegetables do wonders for our bodies and minds, and so this is an easy but powerful goal to set yourself for 2021. Moving to a more plant-based diet is also a benefit to the environment, so you’ll be helping more than yourself.

Goal #9: Learn to say no

For those prone to people pleasing, this is a tough one, but it’s definitely an important goal for both our personal and career lives.

If you find yourself always saying ‘yes’ to social occasions you don’t want to go to, or to co-workers trying to offload their work on to you, make 2021 the year that you learn to say no.

A lot of the time, our fear of upsetting or angering people by saying no to them completely outweighs our own desires and interests. Many of us are conditioned to be overly helpful and to please others at all costs, but often the things that we feel we have to do, can do far more harm than good.

Forcing yourself to an event, or going out of your way for somebody when you don’t want to, can result in higher stress and dissatisfaction. Not to mention it takes up time that you could be reallocating to things and people you actually care about.

Reduce the time, energy and money you spend on things you don’t want to do in 2021: just start saying no.

Goal #10: Do something just for you monthly

Following on from that goal, why not use all that extra time to focus on yourself.

In our hectically busy lives (where we’re constantly doing things for other people) often the person we neglect most is ourself. Every goal on this list should help to contribute to a happier, more fulfilled and successful you, but this one is the cherry on top.

Every month, treat yourself to something you enjoy. These don’t have to be lavish trips or luxuries, but anything that brings you happiness.

Everybody is different, but here are some ideas from us:

  • Visit a special or memorable place
  • Get a massage
  • Hire a cleaner
  • Go to the theatre
  • Bake something tasty
  • Buy new bedding
  • Watch the sunrise / sunset
  • Go to a library or art gallery

The list could go on and on…

Figure out what makes you happy, and make sure you do something solely to that end, at least once a month in 2023.

Find out more about goal-setting with Guider: 

How to Set and Achieve Long-Term Career Goals

Top Mentorship Goals for Mentees in 2023

How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them

Advice for Mentees 

How to Be a Good Mentee: Guider’s Top Tips

So you’ve got yourself a mentor – congratulations! Mentoring has the power to do wonders for your professional and personal development, from self-confidence to career progression, the benefits are endless. But they don’t come without hard work and dedication to your goals and growth.

A common misconception about mentoring is that your mentor will tell you what to do and drive the sessions. When in fact, the best mentees take responsibility for the relationship and remember that the more they put in, the more they will get out.

From working with thousands of mentees at Guider, we’ve learnt a thing or two about successful mentoring relationships. So here are our top tips on how to be a good mentee…

1. Always come prepared

This is crucial as it reflects your dedication to the mentoring relationship and your personal development. Good mentees will have really considered why they want a mentor, and have an idea of what they’re hoping to gain from it. This means they start the relationship on the right foot, and can keep track of their progress.

Put some time into preparing this before your first session so you’re ready to discuss it articulately when you meet. Present your goals and be clear about what areas you need help with. This is also a good opportunity to bring up any expectations you have about the mentoring process and how it will work. Having this prepared will leave a great first impression, and mean you really hit the ground running.

Being prepared also applies to all future mentoring sessions. Prior to meeting, ensure you’ve put some time aside to prepare discussion topics or questions. This not only shows your mentor that you’re dedicated to making progress, but also ensures the sessions are as productive as possible.

 If you want to be a really good mentee, prepare an agenda. Come up with 2-3 discussion topics or questions that you would like to cover in your mentoring session before you meet. Email this to your mentor in advance to help guide the meeting and give them an expectation of what you’d like to focus on.

Find out more about how to keep your mentoring sessions productive in our guide

2. Ask insightful questions

Good mentees are curious. While it’s tempting to talk about yourself and your challenges for most of the session, remember that you can learn a lot from hearing about others’ experiences. Mastering the art of asking good questions is also a great leadership quality, your mentoring sessions are a perfect time to start honing your communication skills.

Another way you can prepare for a good mentoring session is to think of some insightful questions beforehand. Here are a few examples of questions that we recommend to get you started:

  • “What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned, and how is it valuable?”
  • “Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? How did you handle it?
  • “How did you build the skills of speaking so engagingly in front of others?”
  • “How can I become better at managing people who do not report to me?”
  • “How did you learn to embrace failure?”

Naturally as you’re chatting to your mentor, these questions may come up. But it’s always handy to have a batch of questions to hand that could lead to some insightful conversations and life lessons.

3. Create an action plan (and act on it)

Be proactive! Make sure you are taking notes at every mentoring session so you can create an action plan to hit your goals. Your mentor may help with this, but you should be the one driving it.

Write yourself a list of actions before the end of every session. By running these actions by your mentor, you’re inviting them to hold you accountable (which means they’re more likely to get done).

A Gartner 2006 study found that:

‘Participants are 40% more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down. This increases to 70% if the goals are shared with someone to keep them accountable, such as a mentor.’

This not only helps provide focus for the time in between sessions, but also ensures you don’t forget what you said you’d do. With mentoring being a voluntary relationship alongside our day to day jobs, it can often be de-prioritised and lose momentum. If you’ve told your mentor you’re going to do something, and then you turn up to the next session and haven’t thought about it since the month before, you’re going to make little progress and the relationship could even drop off. Keeping an action list helps you stay on track and moving in the right direction.

If your mentor opens doors for you, make sure you sprint through them. By introducing you to people in their network, they are personally vouching for you and your abilities. Don’t tarnish that by being reactive or slow to respond.

4. Reflect and ask for feedback

At the beginning of every session, reflect on your accomplishments so far and share any learnings with your mentor. There’s nothing more rewarding for a mentor than seeing their advice come into practice and you growing as a result of it, so make sure to keep them in the loop with your progress. It’s also nice to show your appreciation by sending your mentor a thank you message, or getting a coffee if you’re meeting in person!

Another way to be a good mentee is not only being open to feedback, but actively asking for it. Asking for feedback shows a hunger to learn and improve, which is a stand out characteristic of a good mentee.

Try open ended questions on a specific topic, such as:

  • “Which parts of my approach to teamwork concern you the most?”
  • “What do you think is working and not working in my pitch?”
  • “What could I do differently that would have the greatest impact on my success?”

Remember to not take negative feedback personally. Rather, see it as a personal challenge to improve!

5. Be the driver and always follow up

Your mentoring relationship is about you achieving your goals, so don’t expect your mentor to drive it. You need to take responsibility for your development and you’ll get out what you put in!

Make sure to always log notes from your meetings and follow up immediately after with a summary of the session, a list of your actions and any ways they can support you. As well as this, always lead on booking in your next session with your mentor.

Never end a mentoring session without booking in the next one to keep up momentum.


⭐️  Some other tips to keep in mind to be a good mentee: ⭐️

  • A mentor is not a therapist – try to avoid conversations that veer away from your goals or objectives.
  • Common traits of successful mentees include being: enthusiastic, energetic, organised, self-aware and focused.
  • Appreciate your mentor’s time! Avoid sending emails with long winding questions, and instead, frame questions in a way that makes it easy for them to provide feedback on.
  • Everything you say is entirely confidential, and your mentor knows that too! Try and be as open as possible, as trust between you and your mentor will need to be developed and nurtured.

Good luck!

Advice for Mentors

How to Be a Good Mentor: 16 Top Tips

Being asked to be a mentor is a highly rewarding privilege. It means somebody has identified you as an intelligent and inspirational figure who could benefit others with their guidance.

But the difference between a good and a bad mentor can be life-changing, so we’re sure you want to get it right.

Working with thousands of mentors at Guider, we know a thing or two about what makes a good mentor. Explore our tips of becoming a good mentor below:

1. Set mutual expectations and goals

This is highly important to establish early on in your mentoring relationship. To avoid any miscommunication and disappointment, outline together:

  • What your mentee wants to get out of a mentoring relationship with you
  • What you are prepared and not prepared to do for them
  • What you expect of them, and vice versa
  • How often you will meet / talk

Ensure that you work with your mentee to identify what they want to achieve and that the goals they set are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound).

The best time to set these expectations is in your intro session! Check out our full guide here:

☕️ How To Run A Successful Intro Session With Your Mentee ☕️

2. Study your mentee

In order to be a good mentor, you must listen, observe, ask questions, and only then advise.

Gain as much information and clarity about your mentee’s aspirations, situation, and roadblocks as you can. Be open-minded and inquisitive!

It’s essential to remember that you are not trying to create a ‘mini me’, but helping them figure out who they want to be and supporting them to get there.

With any form of communication, there’s a lot more to it than simply what your mentee is saying. Analysing their body language and expressions is also a vital part of the mentoring process, as their words may be telling you one thing, but their body language is telling you something completely different.

3. Never assume anything about your mentee

Assuming what someone is thinking is never an effective way to communicate, and this is no different in the relationship between a mentor and a mentee.

When communicating with your mentee, ensure that you’re conducting ‘Active Listening’, and avoid any preconceived notions you may have.

Promoting an environment for growth and collaborating between yourself and your mentee will help them to reach their full potential and get the most out of their experience with you.

4. Be patient and allow them to explore their own ideas

It’s important that both you and your mentee are patient with their development, as they need time to process their own ideas and understanding. 

As a mentor, you should be promoting a safe place which allows your mentee to learn from their own unique perspectives and self-discovery should be encouraged.

Embracing mistakes that your mentee makes as ‘learning opportunities’ creates a positive environment for personal growth and development, as well as building up your mentee’s confidence and resilience.

5. Dig deep and ask open-ended questions

Closed questions lead to closed answers, so it’s vital to ask open questions which make your mentee think and explain their thoughts and feelings behind their answer.

Asking questions that lead to deeper conversations helps your mentee foster more critical thinking and encourages them to think about new and different ideas.

6. Listen to what your mentee has to say

Listening is not just a core characteristic of a great mentor but of a colleague, manager, and leader.

As a mentor, a big part of your role is to create a space in which your mentee feels safe, validated and heard. While you will impart wisdom and advice, it’s important to remember that your job is to listen to your mentee first and foremost.

If you already count yourself as a great listener or are trying to grow in this area, becoming a mentor is a great way to do this.

Try practising the art of listening, validating and responding thoughtfully. It’s a key way to build positive relationships, show others that they are supported and prepare yourself for senior leadership in which listening is a key, yet underrated, skill.

7. Share your knowledge and experience

Having relevant knowledge and experience that you can impart to a mentee is a must, but you don’t need to know absolutely everything about your field to be a successful mentor.

The point of a mentor is that you use your experience to guide others. This doesn’t mean having all the answers. Supporting someone to work things out for themselves is a more powerful way to learn than simply being told what to do.

As a mentor, you may have experiences that you don’t count as mentor ready yet. Completed a few rounds of appraisals? Managed a team? Successfully transitioned career? These are all skills that many people value and need advice on.

You don’t need 20 years of experience to become a great mentor, in fact, it can be more helpful to provide advice when you are closer to a specific problem or experience.

8. Adopt a growth mindset

Your job as a mentor isn’t only to give advice. There’s learning on both sides of the relationship. By adopting a growth mindset and an open mind, a mentor can benefit enormously from the relationship. This also ties into a commitment to continuous learning, an essential skill to foster.

Mentoring opens up your network to a range of different people and perspectives. Throughout the relationship, you will work together to learn how best to achieve the development goals for the mentee. In order to do this, a mentor needs to stay flexible and attentive to how they too can adapt too.

Staying open-minded about what you can learn from your mentee will turn you from a good mentor, into a great one.

📖 These qualities are also important in a buddying system, find out more in our guide 📖

9. Get to know your mentee on a personal level

Taking the time to get to know your mentee and developing a personal bond with them is an important part of the mentoring process.

Doing this helps to build trust between the pair of you, and can help lead to a more supportive mentor-mentee relationship. 

Taking the time to learn more about your mentee’s personal interests and core values means you can tailor your mentoring accordingly and helps to grow an environment that encourages openness and trust.

10. Be respective and responsive

A good mentor is both respectful of others and responsive. Your mentee will bring with them their own life experience and perspective, the goal of a mentor is to help them grow and to do that you need to create space for them to be themselves and overcome limiting beliefs.

Respecting differences, whether it’s opinion or life experience, creates the right environment for mentoring to work. Without this, the mentoring relationship would be negative and unproductive for both parties. Imagine sitting down with someone for a mentoring session, only to find that they are disrespectful of your thoughts and opinions.

Respect and responsiveness are core skills needed as a manager and leader. Becoming a mentor is a great way to practise and nurture these important skills.‍

“Every day that you come into contact with different types of people and work through different challenges, issues, and successes, you learn something. Every single time you have a conversation, you learn something about people’s behaviour, you learn something about their motivations, and you learn something about yourself…it’s rich, it’s rewarding…it’s a win-win.” — James Newton-Brown, Head of Product Development at Marks & Spencer

Read more about our work with M&S

11. Take notes during the mentoring sessions and follow up

This is a fairly simple tip, but note-taking is an effective part of any meeting or conversation and can be easily forgotten when the conversation is flowing.

When having a conversation with your mentee, taking notes can help you capture and retain the information they are giving you, as it’s difficult to remember everything you will have discussed during your hour-long conversation.

These notes can also be shared at the end of the meeting, so both you and your mentee can reflect on what was talked about.

It’s also critical to create action points throughout the meeting, which can be added to your meeting notes. This helps to create accountability, and both you as the mentor and your mentee can return to the notes to see what needs to happen before your next catch-up.

12. Provide honest feedback and share your faults

Some of the best mentors are the harshest critics, so don’t be afraid to offer some constructive criticism, followed by advice on how to improve.

Keep feedback specific and neutral – critique an action or behaviour, not their personality – and also make it a two-way conversation!

Good mentors can help their mentees realise their own mistakes or areas of improvement with insightful questions, rather than simply telling them what to do. This is known as the ‘Socratic method’ – try it by asking questions such as:

  • “What went right?”
  • “What could have gone better?”
  • “What could you do differently in the future?”
  • “What assumptions are you making here?”
  • “Are there alternative viewpoints you’ve not considered?”

Equally, be open to sharing your own mistakes and failures! This will enable you to build trust with your mentee quicker and strengthen the relationship overall.

Admitting faults will make you more human and approachable, and is likely to also encourage mentees to be more open about their own mistakes with you.

13. Let your mentee do the driving, and don’t be afraid to challenge them

To be a good mentor, you must realise that it’s your job to provide directions, not to drive the car.

Think of yourself as a driving instructor in a passenger’s seat. You can encourage them to tackle more challenging routes and give your advice, but ultimately, they’re in control of the vehicle.

Use the Socratic method we just discussed, and get your mentee to arrive at the conclusion you want by asking them thought-provoking questions. Remember, you’re a guide – not a manager and not a parent figure. Point them in the right direction, but let them figure out the way.

It’s also important to always expect more from your mentee. This will mean you naturally challenge them and push them out of their comfort zone, which is when some of the best learning happens!

Find out more about how to keep your mentoring sessions productive in our guide.

14. Recommend relevant books, events, podcasts, blogs, or classes

By recommending books, blogs, and podcasts to your mentee, you are helping to provide them with other people’s thoughts that are not solely your own, widening their experience and knowledge of your shared sector.

Developing new skills and accessing expert insights are vital for continuous development, which is something that you should be encouraging as a mentor. No one is ever the finished article, so continuing to develop and harness your skills is essential to any successful career.

15. Measure your mentee’s success

To understand the impact that your mentoring is having on your mentee, it is essential to establish measurable outcomes. By setting clear KPIs from the start, you will be able to effectively measure the success of the mentorship.

It’s important to refer back to these goals when you have catch-ups to see what progress has been made towards achieving them.

If you’re a business looking to measure the success of a mentoring programme, Guider has a guide on how you can do just that!

16. Celebrate their success

Celebrating success is the final tip in our guide to being a good mentor.

Boosting motivation and keeping morale high is essential to encouraging a mentee to continue to make progress, and celebrating their success and do just that. It also helps to reinforce their positive attitude, which helps build more self-belief and confidence.

Many mentees are looking to feel acknowledged and appreciated with positive recognition, as well as the guidance and support that you give them along their journey. Celebrating success, such as meeting a goal you set out to achieve at the start of the mentorship, is an important part of the process.

At its core, being a mentor is being a trusted advisor. It involves making yourself available to support and advise someone when they need it, delivering that support in a way that makes sense to them, and always keeping that person’s best interests in mind.

Read this article for more tips on how to start mentoring programs, and we wish you the best of luck on your mentoring journey.

How Guider Can Help

Guider AI is an award-winning mentoring platform that provides support, reporting and ongoing optimisation to develop people and businesses through mentoring.

If you’d like to find out more information about the help and support we have available, then feel free to get in touch with our team or book a demo today.

Advice for Businesses

What is Mentoring Software? | Guider

Mentoring software is a technology platform that facilitates the organisation and management of effective mentoring programs, including matching mentors & mentees, scheduling sessions and tracking progress. For organisations looking to successfully scale mentoring, mentorship software is essential.

Here’s all you need to know…

Mentoring is a highly effective personal and career development practice, where somebody supports and guides another person towards their goals, sharing their relevant advice and experience along the way.

Joining a mentoring program has a number of benefits, for both the person receiving the mentoring, and the person giving it. Which in turn positively impacts employee engagement, retention and productivity. So it’s no surprise that 84% of Fortune 500 companies have formal mentoring programs.

But the problem is, running mentoring programs in the workplace requires a lot of time and resources, and they’re notoriously difficult to track.

Hence why the need for mentoring software was recognised.

📖 Find out how Guider’s mentoring software works here 📖

What is mentoring software?

Mentoring software is a technology platform that facilitates the organisation, management and measurement of effective mentoring programs, including matching mentors & mentees, scheduling sessions and tracking progress.

Mentoring software saves Learning & Development, HR, Talent and People teams hours of time and resources, allowing them to effectively scale their mentoring initiatives.

Mentoring software is also known as a type of employee engagement software or employee training software. This is because mentoring has big benefits across employee engagement and utilises social learning to upskill your people effectively.

There are many challenges that come with running mentoring programs manually, such as matching bias, managing communication, tracking progress, and measuring success. Mentoring software takes away those challenges. It suggests smart mentor matches based on data, and allows mentors and mentees to communicate via the platform, schedule their sessions, and track goals and other KPIs to help program managers measure success and prove ROI.

Mentoring software also enables virtual mentoring in organisations, which is particularly important as remote working is here to stay. This isn’t the only type of mentoring that is supported. Mentoring software can run multiple programs and types of mentoring, as well as coaching and sponsorship programs, in one easy-to-manage place.

Every industry can benefit from mentoring, which is why corporate mentoring software is so popular. With more and more emphasis on businesses investing in their people, mentoring is something that’s come to be expected, particularly in large organisations.

If your company is not yet running a mentoring program or doesn’t have a mentoring platform, find out why it should be here

Mentoring at Clyde & Co banner with an image of a woman speaking on headphones
Find out more about how Clyde & Co use corporate mentoring software

How does mentoring software work?

There are different types of mentoring software serving different purposes. For example, some will have a marketplace of external mentors, while others focus on the talented people already in your organisation.

However, most mentoring software will be able to:

  • Manage the sign-up process
  • Match mentors and mentees
  • Enable communication
  • Book mentoring sessions
  • Measure progress
  • Report impact and success

A further benefit of working with a mentoring platform is having an expert team to support you with strategy, program promotion, and feedback. With tens of thousands of matches made, here at Guider, we have in-depth knowledge of how to run successful mentoring programs worldwide.

Naturally, we’ll be taking Guider as an example for this article, so here’s a step by step guide to how mentoring software works:

1. Employees sign up from a custom landing page

To speed up the recruitment of mentors and mentees, all they need to do is follow a link to Guider from a custom web page built for your organisation. This page can be used as the main source of information for people to sign up, including benefits, quotes from colleagues, and the vision for the program.

From here they can easily become a mentor or a mentee with the click of a button.‍

2. Users make a profile

From the Guider mentoring platform, it takes less than 10 minutes to create a profile and find a mentor.

Mentors make their profiles first, submitting their experience, skills, interests, and areas they believe they could support somebody with.

Then the mentees sign up, highlighting areas they want to work on and any goals they want to achieve.

It’s that simple!

We have tips on how the program organisers can encourage sign ups to the mentoring scheme in our guide: How To Recruit Mentors & Mentees.

3. Mentor matching

Collecting data from both mentors and mentees around skills, interests, strengths, weaknesses, experience and goals allows the mentoring software to make highly accurate matches.

This process, which can take L&D or HR teams weeks of planning and spreadsheets when done manually, can be done in a matter of minutes with a mentoring software.

Ivy Wong of Legal Geek told us how she used to manage her mentoring program cohorts before Guider:

“In the first three cohorts, I did all the mentor-mentee matches myself. I set up a Google form for people to sign up for the program, and based on their geographic location, professional interests and role, I matched mentors and mentees using post-it notes on my kitchen table. It took many many hours, and was a really labour-intensive process.”

Hear more from Ivy’s experience in this short clip:

As soon as the mentees finish making their profiles on Guider, they will receive a short list of suggestions for mentors in the organisation who are most suited to their personal development areas.‍

4. Mentee selects a mentor

Importantly, Guider does not automatically assign the mentees a mentor, but gives them top suggestions and allows them to choose. They can browse their profiles, skills and experience, and reach out to the one they would most like to mentor them.

In order for mentoring to be effective, the mentees need to be passionate about their personal development, and so rather than pairing them with a mentor, it is better to give them a choice. This way, they will be more invested in the relationship and the program will see more success.

The mentee can then send a quick email straight from the platform requesting their mentorship, and book in an intro session.

5. Intro session

The mentor will see the mentee’s request in their dashboard, and can accept the invite to the intro session.

An intro session – or chemistry call – is the important first call or meeting that deciphers whether or not the mentoring relationship is relevant and beneficial. Ultimately, mentoring is about human connection, and so rather than diving straight into mentoring, it’s necessary for the mentor and mentee to meet and get to know each other to see if they get along well enough to proceed in a mentoring relationship.

This intro session can be scheduled and carried out over one of the integrated comms tools, such as Microsoft Teams.

For mentors: check out our guide to running a successful intro session with your mentee.

An example relationships page showing the messaging function of Guider

6. Plan future sessions

All being well, the mentoring relationship will formally begin! The mentor and mentee will agree on how often they will meet, as well as set their expectations and goals for the relationship.

They can manage their entire mentoring relationship via the mentoring software, including sharing calendar availability, booking future sessions, setting goals and reviewing progress.

This keeps everything in one place and allows the program manager to see quantitative data (typically near impossible to access) such as how many sessions have been had, how many goals have been set and completed, and much more.

A laptop screen showing the different programs icons

7. Measure success

Program managers can access an analytics dashboard, tracking insightful data such as:

  • how many matches have happened
  • how many sessions have taken place
  • how many goals have been set
  • how many goals have been completed
  • skills mentees are requesting
  • skills mentors are offering

You are also able to filter by department, job roles, locations and more, and so begin to identify skills gaps and improvement areas within your organisation.

Without mentoring software tracking this data, mentoring programs can be almost impossible to measure! For a more in-depth guide to measuring the success of mentoring programs, read more here.

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On top of this, the Guider team is always on hand to provide support and guidance on running your mentoring program. We have dedicated engagement and customer success teams with the expertise you need to get your program working for you.

Mentoring software is an essential tool for any corporate mentoring program. The best news is that it can also be implemented for coaching, sponsorship and more. So, if you’re looking for an employee engagement and employee learning tool that builds lasting connections across your organisation, talk to us today!

Keen to try Guider out yourself? We’d love to hear how we could help, chat to us