Advice for Businesses

Why Your Organisation Needs a Flash Mentoring Program

In our ever more connected world, it can feel like you have every answer at your fingertips. A quick search online can yield results in any number of fields. But is that the best way for your teams to find answers to their burning questions?

What if you could create a way for individuals to connect to colleagues quickly in order to share skills, knowledge and experience, while also benefiting from building their networks and creating a better employee culture?

Well, this is why you need a flash mentoring program.‍

What is flash mentoring?

Flash mentoring, as the name suggests, is all about speedy one-off mentoring sessions. The focus is on learning a key piece of information or skill from a knowledgeable mentor. This type of mentoring encourages brief but impactful knowledge sharing, without making a long-term commitment to the relationship.

a man and women talk in an office setting

What are the key benefits of flash mentoring?

Flash mentoring is an important part of your mentoring toolkit. Due to its speed and flexibility, it allows participants to get stuck into a mentoring session quickly and reap the benefits that mentoring has to offer.

It can be a real game-changer for getting more people involved in your mentoring programs, as individuals seek out mentoring sessions quickly and without the pressure of investing in a long-term relationship. It’s also a great way to foster continuous learning in your organisation.

This has benefits for both you and your people that include:

For businesses…

  • Encourage knowledge sharing: Your employees are an invaluable source of business and industry-specific knowledge. Flash mentoring creates a formalised and fast way to build a culture of knowledge sharing.
  • Break down silos: Flash mentoring can be used to break down silos in a business by connecting people inter-departmentally. It helps employees to widen their networks and understand different parts of the business in short, time-efficient sessions.
  • Less administrative burden: As sessions are scheduled on a one-off basis, a key administrative benefit of a flash mentoring programme is that it is easier to manage. Participants no longer need to be matched for regular sessions but can slot mentoring around other commitments.
  • Complements other programmes: Flash mentoring also works well with other types of mentoring such as group or peer to peer mentoring. It can provide people with support and a sense of community even after short one-off sessions.

For mentees and mentors… 

  • Share skills: If you need to quickly up skill in a certain area, flash mentoring is a great way to find someone with the skills and knowledge you need, in a flash! Similarly, you may have a skill that your colleagues would benefit from that would make your life easier for them to know.
  • Build networks: Flash mentoring opens the door to meeting new colleagues. After a session, you may find yourself returning the favour and offering up knowledge on your area of expertise in return.
  • Find project-specific support: When you are stuck on a project or need one-off support on a specific subject, flash mentoring can help. You may need expertise in problem-solving, developing a strategy or digital skills, and find that a flash mentor can help you out at speed.
  • Meet potential new mentors or mentees: Flash mentoring can be a great way to try out a mentor relationship without the pressure to commit. You may find you click with someone through flash mentoring and want to develop that relationship further.

The challenges of a flash mentoring program… and what to do about them

As with any new mentoring program, there may be challenges that arise. With good preparation and forethought, you can overcome these challenges and set up a program that achieves your goals. 

Here are some key challenges to look out for:

How do you ensure that participants get enough value from short one-off sessions? 

Answer: Providing support for both parties on how to prepare for sessions, how to structure their time and how to follow up afterwards can help participants to get the most value from short sessions.

What about mentors, will they get as much out of the sessions? 

Yes, although it is worth noting that mentors may need to prepare more in advance for sessions in which they are sharing specific hard skills. Mentors can decide what areas they are happy to work on and re-use materials for different mentees to make it easier.

They will also still benefit from the relationship by developing leadership and teaching skills and can learn from the perspective and experience of the mentee too.

Is it harder to form a connection in a flash mentoring session?

It may be. Some people may find they benefit more from a long-term program where they build stronger relationships. However, flash mentoring will suit people that benefit from short, targeted interactions and are not looking for long-term relationships. It depends on who you are and how you connect to people.

Is flash mentoring the right choice for your business?

There are many different types of mentoring to choose from. While they all provide a whole host of benefits, flash mentoring brings a specific set of benefits that make it an excellent addition to your mentoring program.

If you need…

  • To increase skill sharing in a simple, easy to schedule way
  • To break down silos and introduce employees to colleagues inter-departmentally
  • To provide project-specific support and problem-solving expertise, at speed
  • To increase participation in your mentoring program

                                                           …then a flash mentoring program could be just what you’re looking for!

To find out more about flash mentoring and access program templates and checklists, download our latest e-book below.

Uses of workplace mentoring
Peer Learning

Invest in the Future of Your Business With Peer Mentoring

The future of your workplace depends on the people within it. That’s why investing in your employee’s learning and development is essential for business growth. 

We’re sure you know that mentoring is an effective way to develop your people. If not here’s a refresher. 

But have you heard about the benefits of peer mentoring? 

Peer mentoring is effective at not only developing your people’s skills but at creating better communication, connections and culture that has lasting effects on your bottom line. 

What is peer mentoring?

Put simply, peer mentoring is when individuals of a similar age or experience level mentor one another. Many people may already be benefiting from an informal version of this type of mentoring. 

Whether it’s a colleague who can troubleshoot problems or someone who can advise on specific topics, there is so much valuable learning to be gained from your peers. 

Peer mentoring is about formalising this learning. With peers teaching each other valuable skills and supporting development.

How is peer mentoring different to other types of mentoring? 

Unlike traditional mentoring, where a more senior mentor sits with a junior mentee and provides advice and guidance, peer mentoring is more fluid. Participants can take turns acting as mentor or mentee, giving them the opportunity to practice leading sessions. 

The main difference to other types of mentoring is the power dynamic. Sitting down with someone on your level is different to sitting down with a senior leader. The equal nature of peer mentoring means participants can connect and share more openly, practising essential skills for their development. 

To learn more about the other types of mentoring, read our full guide here.

The benefits of peer mentoring

We’ve waxed lyrically about the benefits of traditional mentoring for years. And peer mentoring is no different! 

There are wide-ranging benefits to starting or joining a peer mentoring program. These include: 

Improving onboarding 

By introducing peer mentoring in your onboarding program, you can improve the experience. 

From the get-go, new employees have a support network within their organisation. Similar to a buddy system, the peer mentor will show your new hire the ropes and get them up to speed on company culture. 

Given the peer relationship, it’s a more relaxed and inclusive way of mentoring new hires. 

Fostering a positive culture

Creating a positive working culture in which everyone can feel seen, heard and accepted is not always easy. 

Connecting people through peer mentorship is a great way to help. When people develop strong, trusting connections with their peers, it can vastly improve the way they feel at work. 

Preventing burnout 

A major factor in supporting good mental health and avoiding burnout is strong connections. When we talk to peers, we’re more likely to feel comfortable sharing our worries and can find a valuable source of support. 

Preventing burnout and poor mental health in your organisation has lasting benefits for employee retention, productivity and happiness. So, why not connect people through peer mentoring and support better mental health for all? 

Upskilling from within 

There are many ways to upskill. The benefit of upskilling through mentoring is that the expertise is already in your business. 

No more expensive external trainers. You have the knowledge you need already that’s specific to your business and ways of working. This means you can save time and money by sharing skills internally through mentoring. 

Developing future leaders 

In peer mentoring, you can practice acting as a mentor and develop the skills you need to become an effective manager and leader. This is a great way to get ahead of the curve and start developing the leaders of the future. 

Mentoring will also build confidence and communication skills, which are essential for a thriving workforce. Best of all, 89% of people that are mentored will mentor others, multiplying the effects. 

5 reasons to start a peer mentorship program, today

1. Widen your pool of mentors

When you think of mentoring, you likely think of more senior employees imparting wisdom to younger, more junior staff. While this is an important mentoring type it’s not the only way to utilise mentoring in your organisation.

You may find in a workplace with a young workforce or a flat management structure that it’s more difficult to identify good mentors. Or you may have senior staff but struggle to get them to sign-up for a program.

In any of these examples peer mentoring can be used. It allows people of all ages to benefit from receiving mentorship while practising acting as a mentor too. This develops their leadership and communication skills, as well as encourages skill-sharing across peer groups.

You don’t need to wait until you have a large pool of senior mentors to get started. Peer mentoring is an easy way of connecting and empowering your people. Knowing that you have something to give and someone to learn from is an amazing feeling.

2. Onboard with ease

Much like a ‘buddy’ system, peer mentoring can be used in employee onboarding by matching up new starters with a mentor with a similar experience level to them. It’s an excellent way for new colleagues to build relationships from the get-go and lessen the pressure on managers running inductions by sharing responsibility.

The peer mentor relationship can also help induct employees into your workplace culture, provide support learning key processes and software, and provide pastoral support. Knowing that you have the support of your peers fosters a culture of community and shared learning. It also gives mentors the opportunity to practice their leadership skills.

Onboarding is a key area to get right. The more you can ease the transition of new starters and get them up to speed with your company culture, the faster they will find their feet and start delivering results.

Mentoring is one effective way to do this and it leads to better retention rates and a much higher likelihood of promotion to leadership positions.

3. Create a culture of allyship

Many companies struggle to foster allyship. Whether you have departmental silos that you are trying to tackle or you want to start a programme to support a specific marginalised or under-represented group, peer mentoring can help.

By pairing up employees in a peer mentoring program, you can provide vital support to your people and foster community across your organisation. You may want to run a program that matches people from the same group to provide one another with support. Alternatively, matching people with different backgrounds can create new allies and wider support systems.

This type of mentoring works well to support people going through menopause, new parents returning to work, or can be used to support LGBTQ+ people.

By providing formal ways for peers to connect, you are facilitating the growth of important relationships. This will increase employee satisfaction and improve your company culture as people feel supported to bring their whole selves to work each day.


4. Support employee mental health and wellbeing

Similarly, peer mentoring is a powerful way to support mental health and employee wellbeing. It can be used to provide safe spaces for people to talk about their mental health confidentially.

Participants may feel more at ease talking about their mental health with someone outside of their management structure. It’s also a great way to support remote employees as mentoring can easily be run virtually.

Knowing that you have someone in your organisation that is on your side and available to talk is an essential source of support. Particularly when that person is in a similar job role to you or can relate to your experiences on a more personal level.

We know that building positive working relationships supports mental health and wellbeing and can prevent burnout later down the line.‍

5. Develop the leaders of tomorrow

Peer mentorship is a great way to foster leadership through mentoring in your workplace. As the participants switch from mentor to mentee they will gain insight and experience in leading sessions.

As we’ve touched on above, the peer mentor relationship is more fluid than in traditional mentoring. Both participants gain confidence from the sessions and work together to transform what they discuss into positive action. Peers also hold each other accountable, supporting each other’s goals and career progression and growth.

Mentoring is a widely-known way to improve leadership representation as well as promotion and retention rates for minorities and women. By levelling the playing field, peer mentoring is an accessible way to promote mentoring within your organisation.

Finally, fostering leadership is identified as a key benefit that workers are looking for from their employer. Of employees that leave within 2 years of joining a company, 71% report thinking that their leadership skills were not being developed. Investing in peer mentoring will save you time and money in the future by creating your future leaders today.

How to start a peer mentoring program 

So, now you know what peer mentoring is, the benefits and why you need it – how do you start a program? 

Well, with mentoring software such as Guider, starting a peer mentoring program is simple. Through our platform, you can design, implement and scale peer mentoring all in one place. 

Setting up a peer mentoring program is similar to traditional mentoring but how you select and recruit participants will differ. With years of expertise, we’ll guide you through the entire process. 

To find out more about starting a mentoring program, here’s our step-by-step guide

Peer mentoring has lasting benefits for your employees and your business. It’s a powerful tool for learning and development that draws on the knowledge your people already have. 

With wide-ranging benefits, there are many reasons to start a peer mentoring program. By setting up formal channels for mentorship, you can make sure that it’s genuinely accessible to all. 

To find out more about how to start and scale transformative mentoring programs, talk to us today! 

Peer Mentoring
Advice for Businesses

What is Group Mentoring? A Complete Guide

The benefits of a traditional mentoring program are already well known. But did you know that there are many different types of mentoring to choose from? From traditional one-on-one mentoring to reverse mentoring, it is an adaptable, flexible and effective way to boost employee engagement, foster a culture of knowledge sharing and support diversity and inclusion initiatives.

But what happens when you’re limited by a lack of good mentors in your organisation or looking to get a large number of employees involved in mentoring at speed? This is where group mentoring comes in.

In this article, we break down what group mentoring is and how it can benefit your organisation.‍

What is group mentoring?

Let’s start with the basics. Group mentoring is a type of mentoring in which one mentor works with several mentees at once in a group. The mentor will have an area of expertise to share and the mentees will have similar personal development goals or wish to learn specific new skills or knowledge.

The format means that the group will support each other to learn and grow, as well as bring in a range of different perspectives and experiences. It’s a great way to maximise knowledge sharing in your organisation. In turn, the mentor will also learn from the group discussion. It works well for people that learn best collaboratively and has a wide range of benefits, but more on that later.

The important thing to remember with group mentoring is that it can be combined with other types of mentoring to create an experience that meets the needs of your organisation best.

Is it the same as team mentoring?

Not quite, but they are similar. Team mentoring is where a group of mentors and a group of mentees come together in a mentoring relationship. It involves learning together as a team, using a range of different mentors’ expertise.

While it is similar to group mentoring in that you learn together, the relationship between the mentor and mentees is slightly different. Team mentorship is typically characterised by multiple mentors working with a group of mentees, whereas group mentoring is with just one mentor.

People may also refer to team mentoring when an individual assembles a team of mentors at once that can support them across a range of personal and professional development goals.

When is group mentoring used?

Group mentoring has a wide range of uses. As it allows multiple mentees to benefit at once with the input of fewer mentors, it is particularly useful for organisations that have a lack of good mentors available.

There are many different use cases for mentoring; below we list the top reasons to implement a group mentoring program:

  • Onboarding: When you have several new hires to onboard, group mentoring can be a great way of inducting new employees into your company culture, getting them up to speed on key learnings, and supporting their networking early on. It can also break down inter-departmental silos, as people across departments build relationships from the get-go.
  • Knowledge retention: When employees retire or leave the business, their knowledge and experience go with them. Group mentoring is an effective way of sharing key expertise across the business at speed. With a group of mentees learning, you will also foster a learning culture in your workplace that further prevents knowledge attrition.
  • Parental leave support: New and existing parents in your business can benefit from the support networks created by group mentoring. By starting a group specifically for new parents, or for employees returning to work for any number of reasons, you can smooth the transition back to work and provide essential holistic support.
  • Sharing expertise: Group mentoring can form an integral part of your company’s learning and development programme. By matching mentors with specific expertise with groups that are looking to gain these skills, you can up skill a number of employees at once without the expense of hiring external trainers. Best of all your mentor will also be developing essential leadership and teaching skills.

Remember, group mentoring can complement your existing mentoring program and offers a flexible way to meet the needs of your employees. It can also be used in combination with other types of mentoring. For example, running a flash mentoring session in a group can maximise knowledge sharing at speed in your business.

What are the key benefits of group mentoring?

Group mentoring comes with all the benefits of traditional mentoring, such as improving skill sharing, improving employee experience, reducing stress and much more.

It also has some unique benefits that make it additionally appealing, some of which we’ve touched on already in this article.

  • Maximise your existing mentors: make the most of good, engaged mentors and give them the opportunity to share their knowledge with a number of mentees at once.
  • Engage more employees: Group mentoring can be less intimidating to some than one-on-one sessions and can engage more mentees with less effort.
  • Improve teamwork and communication skills: The format encourages teamwork and fosters positive relationships across the group.
  • Increase learning: Everyone in the group brings their own perspective and skillset that can inform the group discussion. In group mentoring everyone learns from each other.
  • Foster community: Group mentoring can foster a sense of community and help employees to build networks across your business.
  • Encourage a culture of knowledge sharing: A collaborative culture in which individuals share key knowledge areas is essential to retaining expertise in your business.

It’s worth noting that when building an inclusive mentoring program, some people may not feel comfortable working alone with new colleagues. Group mentoring is an opportunity to create a safer, more inclusive environment for everyone to benefit from mentoring.

Sounds great right? But hold on a second, there are challenges specific to this type of mentoring.

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What challenges should I be prepared for?

While group mentoring has its advantages, it can be challenging too. As with any mentoring program, there are things that you need to be aware of before getting started implementing your program.

The key challenges to look out for include:

Challenge: Won’t mentors need to prepare more for group sessions?

Solution: If preparation time is a problem, mentors can prepare sessions on key topics and reuse them for different groups of mentees, saving time in the future. They will also benefit from the group bringing their own topics and can ask mentees to prepare in advance to make the most of the experience.

Challenge: Will mentees receive a less personalised experience?

Solution: Perhaps, but mentees will benefit in other ways from exploring ideas within a group setting. If an individual is looking for a more personal experience, they can seek out a one-to-one mentoring relationship too. There are no limits to the number of mentors one person can have!

Challenge: What if scheduling sessions is challenging?

Solution: If scheduling sessions is a pain point in your organisation, why not try mentoring software such as Guider? Mentoring software can improve the overall user experience as well as make life easier for managers implementing the program.

At the end of the day, everyone learns differently. Group mentoring is an excellent addition to any mentoring program and provides people with the opportunity to learn and grow together.

With proper preparation, you can overcome the challenges and reap the rewards of group mentoring in your organisation.

Read up on how to implement a mentoring program in your organisation here

Interested? Talk to Guider.

If you’re interested in setting up a group mentoring program then download our latest e-book on the different types of mentoring today  It includes program templates and checklists to get you started.

To find out more about how Guider can connect people across your organisation through mentoring, book a chat with our mentoring guides.