Customer Stories

Marks & Spencer Making a Difference With Mentoring

In the Deloitte 2019 Millennial Survey, 49% of millennials said they would quit their current jobs in the next two years if they had the choice. Besides being dissatisfied with pay, the top reasons for this were:

  • ‘Not enough opportunities to advance’ at 35%, and
  • ‘Lack of learning and development opportunities’ at 28%

The requirements of the workforce are changing. With more emphasis on personal development and workplace wellbeing than ever before, companies need to address how they’re supporting their people to keep them fulfilled and progressing at work.

How Marks & Spencer are using mentoring

One organisation doing just that is Marks & Spencer, who Guider started working with in September 2019 to take their mentoring programme to the next level and get more people benefiting from self-development.

In such large organisations (Marks and Spencer employ over 75,000 employees) it can be a challenge to foster a unified and cohesive culture. With many people often only working with their direct colleagues, they lose visibility over the business as a whole and the impact they are having. An effective way of tackling this problem and breaking down silos is through workplace mentoring. Rather than just running more external team-building or training sessions, mentoring allows organisations to look inwards and harness the people and the skills they already have.

But the problem with traditional mentoring programmes is that they are difficult to manage, measure, and scale. They can also be subject to subconscious bias, and often lose momentum. A mentoring software like Guider takes these difficulties away, making mentoring more accessible across all levels of a business, with minimal admin and maintenance.

“Before we signed up with Guider, we had a very ad-hoc mentoring system, there wasn’t any science behind it. You were very much still in your silo’d area, so we needed something more structured. What Guider has done is opened that up, so you can now be a mentor or a mentee with anybody in the business… It’s been a real eye opener for me for how easily we can connect all the different people within the business, and not only connect them, but share everybody’s fantastic skills.” – Suzie King, Programme Manager

From many mentees on the programme at M&S, being mentored by somebody in a completely different business area to them is one of the most valuable things. Getting exposure to new perspectives from someone they would never have the chance to meet gives employees additional support figures outside their team, as well as a more well-rounded view of the business.

And this type of support is invaluable. Mentees have reported increases in confidence, self-assuredness, and motivation since joining Guider and meeting their mentor. One mentee has even received a promotion after their mentor encouraged them to apply, showing how the program is already having a true impact.

Read More: Why Mentoring is Important

Emma Burrell (left) mentors Nicole Edwards (right) at Marks & Spencer
Emma Burrell (left) mentors Nicole Edwards (right) at Marks & Spencer

While mentoring can traditionally appear an individualistic pursuit, if organisations can successfully create and grow a company-wide mentoring culture, everyone can benefit. Through Guider, M&S employees can request multiple mentors with varying experience, to help them with different areas of their personal and career development.

And the mentors are also hungry for it! James Newton-Brown at M&S, is currently mentoring 5 people, and spoke to us passionately about what’s in it for him:

“Every day that you come into contact with different types of people and work through different challenges, issues, 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

Picture of James Newton-Brown using an ipad
James Newton-Brown, Mentor at M&S

‍With more mentors adopting this outlook, the traditional idea of ‘giving back’ being the only reason someone would become a mentor, is fading. In fact, since using Guider, reverse mentoring is taking place at Marks & Spencer of its own accord.

Rob Davies, who has been at M&S for 25 years, has been overwhelmed with how much he’s learning as a mentor in his relationships through Guider. Reinforcing the value that mentoring has for both parties:

“I’m getting a lot of help in reverse, particularly in the digital technology and technical systems worlds, in addition to understanding new parts of the business such as HR and Logistics. So it’s genuinely a two-way relationship. What I can give in return is a bit more expertise and guidance, and I am also learning a huge amount of new stuff that I wouldn’t normally touch”. – Rob Davies, Head of Network Change & Implementation

In this regard, mentoring is a highly impactful way of creating an inclusive workforce, and tackling diversity issues such as ageism, ableism and others. Considering 41% of IT and tech workers have witnessed age discrimination in the workplace, and 32% fear losing their roles due to ageism, mentoring offers a human focused, mutually beneficial solution.

It’s brilliant to see the positive impact taking place in Marks and Spencer in under six months working with Guider. We’re delighted to be helping M&S grow a community within their organisation that is focused on personal development and people.

Watch the full case study here

Skills Development

How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them

It’s all well and good saying you want to achieve something, but following through is the hardest part. However big your ambitions may be, one of the most effective ways of getting there is setting clear goals. In this guide, we’ll walk you through our top 5 ways to set goals and achieve them…

1. Set time-sensitive goals

When you set out to achieve something, it’s important to know when you want (and expect) to have achieved it by. Whether it’s the end of the week, in 6 months, or in 2 years, you must always put a timeline with each goal to give you a realistic chance.

You can then group your goals into micro, short term, and long term categories. Here are some examples of common goals and their timelines:

Micro goals (in the next few days)

  • Tidy your room
  • De-clutter and organise your work station
  • Do that thing you’ve been putting off
  • Get a personal best in a run or workout
  • Ask your manager for feedback

Short term goals (in the next 6 months)

  • Network more
  • Stop procrastinating and improve productivity
  • Learn a skillset from a colleague / mentor
  • Increase the number of days you exercise per week

Long term goals (6 – 12 months)

  • Get a promotion
  • Become a subject matter expert
  • Get an additional qualification or certificate
  • Win an internal recognition award

Long term goals can then be broken down into micro or short term goals to make them more achievable! Another way to reach your longer term goals will be to establish good habits, which leads us on to our next tip…

2. Identify the difference between goals and habits

When thinking about micro or daily goals, you may find yourself actually thinking about developing good habits.

A goal is something that you work towards and achieve, such as running a marathon, or writing a book. Whereas a habit is a repeated learned behaviour that becomes routine. ‘Drink more water’, ‘get up on your first alarm’, and ‘take the stairs’ might seem like good personal goals to set yourself, but really they are good habits you want to develop.

This is an important differentiation when setting your goals, as habits require a different process to achieve. Habits and goals are both important, and often achieving one can help you achieve another. For example, if you have a weight loss goal, developing a habit of healthy eating or exercising will be a good place to start. Equally, you may set yourself a goal of making something a habit, such as ‘In three months’ time, I will be in the routine of stretching as soon as I wake up’.

Want tips on developing good habits? This gives some great insight.

3. Make a mentor accountable

If you don’t share your goals with anyone, life will find excuses and you’ll most likely drop them, as no one will know. Sharing them with someone is proven to change that dramatically.

In fact, research has found that you’re 70% more likely to achieve a goal if you’ve shared it with a mentor first. (Source)

At Guider, we’re familiar with the importance of mentorship. Having a mentor can increase confidence, self-assuredness, motivation, aspiration, communication skills and more. But it’s important you know why you want a mentor, and what you’re hoping to have gained or achieved from the relationship. When you become a mentee on Guider, you’re able to set goals and timelines for those goals. Your mentor will automatically be able to see this so they can hold you accountable, increasing the chance of achieving your goals.

If you don’t work in a large company that has an internal mentoring scheme, it can be hard to gain access to mentorship. Mentoring marketplaces help connect you with mentors to support with goal setting and business advice.

There are plenty of people out their with the skills to support you in your development – you sometimes just need a platform to help you find them.

Need inspiration? Read our 10 personal and career development goals

4. Always visible, always in writing, always well phrased

In order to regularly review your goals, they must be written down. The act of writing out goals also helps you formulate them into something tangible. Don’t just take our word for it, research has shown that goals are 40% more likely to be achieved if they are written down. (Source)

If you don’t write your goals down, life will get in the way and new circumstances could change your goal perception. While it’s important to be flexible, you don’t want your priorities to shift to the point you forget how important a goal once was to you.

Don’t forget the importance of the language we use, even to ourselves! It’s crucial to phrase your goals correctly, being specific and assured. For example:

  • Don’t write ‘I will do more do more exercise’, but write: ‘I will increase my weekly exercise by 2 sessions a week with a minimum of 30 mins a session’.
  • Don’t write, ‘Learn more skills’, but write, ‘I will find a mentor in another department and learn a skill that they hold and then master it for myself’.

Tip: Use language like ‘I will’ instead of ‘I would like’

5. Set goals that motivate you and align with your purpose

People often set generic goals because that’s the easier thing to do. But we’re all different, with different personalities and motivations, so it’s best to set goals that are highly specific to you.

If you’re finding the goals you’re setting just not sitting right with you, they’re most likely not right for you.

The point here is that you will much more likely succeed if you set a goal that aligns with your personality, interests and belief systems.

At the end of the day, setting and achieving goals is meant to be fun and rewarding, so do something you actually want to do, not something you just feel you should do.

Finally – stick with it!

Setting and achieving goals is not just about the result, it’s all about the journey. If you stick with it, you can create a life whereby your goals (and good habits) are ingrained into your daily activities.

Benefits of Mentoring 

Mentoring Statistics: The Research You Need to Know

For years, finding a mentor has been advocated as a career and personal development practice. In 2020, more individuals than ever want a mentor, and more organisations are trying to provide mentoring in the workplace as a learning and development initiative.

The benefits of mentoring are vast, for both the person being mentored, the person doing the mentoring, and the organisations they work at. Countless studies have been carried out on the positive effects mentoring can have, from confidence, to mental health, to promotion likelihood.

There’s a lot to read about mentoring on the internet. But if you want a summary of all the best mentoring statistics and research on its effects, we’ve done the reading for you and compiled it all in one place!

So whether you’re looking to learn more about mentoring, or need some killer stats to support your mentoring program at work, look no further…

General Mentoring Statistics:

  • 84% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs, and 100% of Fortune 50 companies (Source)
  • Of those with a mentor, 97% say they are valuable (Source)
  • Yet only 37% of professionals have a mentor (Source)
  • And 63% of women have never had a formal mentor (Source)
  • 89% of those who have been mentored will also go on to mentor others (Source)

Read More: Why Mentoring Software is Vital

Mentoring for Career Development Statistics:

  • 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who did not participate (Source)
  • Mentees are promoted 5 times more often than those without mentors (Source)
  • And mentors themselves are 6 times more likely to be promoted (Source)
  • 89% of those with mentors believe their colleagues value their work, compared with 75% who do not have mentors (Source)
  • 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships and have developed greater confidence (Source)‍
Mentoring Statistics
Infographic Source:

Mentoring Millennials Statistics:

  • 79% of millennials see mentoring as crucial to their career success (Source)
  • But 63% of millennials say their leadership skills are not being fully developed (Source)
  • 49% of millennials would, if they had a choice, quit their current jobs in the next two years (Source)
  • And millennials will comprise more than 75% of the workforce by 2025 (Source)
  • Millennials intending to stay with their organisation for more than 5 years are twice as likely to have a mentor than not (68% vs 32%) (Source)
  • Top reasons for millennials wanting to quit are ‘Not enough opportunities to advance’ at 35% and ‘Lack of learning and development opportunities’ at 28% (Source)
  • 91% of Millennials consider the potential for career progression as a top priority when choosing a new job (Source)
  • 53% of Millennials have been disappointed by a lack of personal development training when starting a new job (Source)
  • Less than 50% of Millennials say they’ve had opportunities at work to learn and grow within the past year (Source)
  • Regardless of gender or geography, only 28% of Millennials feel that their current organisations are making ‘full use’ of the skills they currently have to offer (Source)
  • Only 28% of Millennials would stay at their current job beyond 5 years (Source)
  • 93% of millennials find skill development crucial for their career (Source)

Mentoring Gen Z Statistics:

  • 76% of Gen Z see learning as the key to their advancement in their careers (Source)
  • 83% of Gen Z want to learn skills to perform better in their current position (Source)
  • 21% of Gen Z want their boss to have ‘mentoring ability’ (Source)
  • 64% of Gen Z cited ‘opportunity for career growth’ as a top career priority (Source)
  • 73% of Gen Z would like to be taught one on one (Source)
  • 77% of Gen Z said that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there (Source)
  • 87% of Gen Z wants a job where they are able to learn a lot (Source)
  • 82% say it is important that their supervisor helps them establish performance goals (Source)
  • 83% of Gen Z wants their supervisors to care about their life (Source)

Mentoring for Diversity Statistics:

  • Mentoring programs boosted minority representation at the management level from 9% to 24% (Source)
  • As well as promotion and retention rates for minorities and women from 15% to 38% as compared to non-mentored employees (Source)
  • Women are more likely to have a mentor than men – 54% vs 48% (Source)
  • 38% of female employees (in companies that have at least 30% women on their board) who have exposure to senior mentors believe they will make it to the board themselves, compared with 21% of women from companies under 30% target (Source)

Read more on mentoring for diversity and inclusion:

Mentoring for Organisations Statistics:

  • 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring (Source)
  • 55% of businesses felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits (Source)
  • More than 4 in 10 workers who don’t have a mentor say they’ve considered quitting their job in the past three months (Source)
  • 71% of people with a mentor say their company provides them with good opportunities to advance in their career, compared with 47% of those without a mentor (Source)
  • 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow (Source)
  • Retention rates were much higher for mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than for employees who did not participate in the mentoring program (49%) (Source)
  • Of employees who stay more than 5 years at a company: 68% agree that there is a lot of support for those who want to take on leadership roles. 68% agree that younger employees are actively encouraged to aim for leadership roles (Source)
  • Of employees who leave within 2 years: 71% think that their leadership skills are not being fully developed. 57% feel that they are being overlooked for potential leadership positions (Source)
  • Employees who are involved in mentoring programs have a 50% higher retention rate than those not involved (Source)