Diversity and Inclusion

Retaining Top Talent Amid the Great Resignation

2021 saw record resignations in the US, with 4.5 million workers leaving their jobs in November. The UK is no different: at the end of last year, surveys showed that a quarter of UK workers were planning on quitting in the next few months. It’s clear that the great resignation has not abated.

This isn’t just a buzzword and it isn’t affecting all workers the same. Women have left their jobs at twice the rates of men, leaving female participation in paid work at a 30 year low. This has long-lasting consequences for pay equity, career progression and job security that may never be made up.

Talent retention should already be a top priority for organisations in 2022, but how can you turn the great resignation into the great re-engagement and prevent further dropout of women from the workforce moving forwards?

Let’s find out…

“People are not the most valuable asset in your company. People are your company.” Adam Grant, Organisational Psychologist

Why are more women leaving their jobs than men?

While it is possible to look at pandemic job changes through a positive lens; many people have been inspired to change careers completely and shoot for their dream profession, this isn’t true for everyone.

In fact, many people aren’t actually changing careers but changing jobs within the same industry in search of better pay, more flexibility and better work-life balance. While this is good news for some, the number of job openings is a result of the increased number of women leaving the workforce.

Find out more about how mentoring can support your diversity and inclusion initiatives with Guider

A huge factor in why women are leaving in higher numbers than men is the ever-present burden of childcare and care of elderly relatives that still largely falls on women. In the US, one third of mothers have scaled back or quit their jobs.

Juggling childcare, homeschooling, caring for other relatives and work has taken a huge toll on women worldwide. Deloitte’s women at work global survey showed that 40% of women are listing burnout as their primary driver for finding a new job. This is alongside lack of progression to advance and lack of genuine flexibility as key reasons women are seeking out new jobs.

How can we retain female talent? 

We know the importance of a diverse workforce, one where people feel included and able to bring their whole selves to work. You’ve likely been working hard for years to create a culture of inclusion, particularly when it comes to supporting women at work.

So, what can you do to retain female employees in your workforce and attract top talent at the same time?

  • Provide flexible working: We mean real flexibility. The kind that allows workers to manage childcare and other responsibilities while feeling empowered in their roles. This is a commonly listed factor for women in particular and is a must-do to retain talent in 2022.
  • Foster a sense of belonging: Those that work for inclusive workplaces report higher levels of trust, engagement, better mental health, and career satisfaction. All these factors lead to employee retention. Not only for women but all employees, the culture of your workplace is a big factor in how long you plan to stay.
  • Recognise female talent: There are gendered differences in the way that different people present their successes and achievements that affect women’s ability to progress professionally. Recognising and championing female talent is vital. You can read more on championing women at work here.
  • Create clear career pathways: Lack of career progression is listed as a major factor for those leaving jobs. Creating visible pathways for women in their careers, including transparent structures for pay, promotion and hiring, will incentivise people to stay put. Knowing the path ahead is a powerful way to feel like you’re on track.
  • Ask your people what they need: While there are broad trends in talent retention that can inform retention strategies, nothing beats data from within your workforce. Ask your people what they need to do well in their jobs and what benefits and perks are important to them.

Facilitating Female Leadership Ebook

Can mentoring help retain top talent? 

Absolutely! How could we talk about female talent retention without mentioning mentoring? It is an excellent way to retain top talent across the board and it can work particularly well for targeting specifically at-risk groups, such as women considering leaving.

The benefits of starting a mentoring program are wide-ranging:

  • Career progression
  • Developing future leaders
  • Supporting mental health
  • Fostering inclusion

As you can see, many of these benefits feed directly into tackling the challenges faced by women in the workplace in 2022. Using a mentoring program, you can create a formal structure of support that will help you to retain female talent and empower women in their careers.

Mentoring programs can also be used to support those returning to work after a break such as maternity leave, easing the transition for new parents.

A good mentoring scheme is also an attractive part of your company’s benefits. It shows commitment to your people, culture and progression, all things that will help you to attract high potential new starters to your organisation. By embedding mentoring in your diversity and inclusion initiatives you can ensure that people are seen, heard and supported, throughout your organisation.

Read more on how mentoring can help you to beat the great resignation here.

‍There is no doubt that we have seen a great resignation happening before our eyes. What you do now to retain not only top female talent, but valued employees across the board, will inform the success of your business in years to come.

More than ever, we are scrutinising the way that we work and facing increased pressures that affect the choices available to us in our careers. By adapting to these new challenges and providing vital support to your employees, you can beat the great resignation.

And don’t forget, a mentoring program is an excellent way to do this.

Here at Guider we make mentoring easy and accessible and would love to chat to you about how to implement effective mentoring in your organisation today.

Diversity and Inclusion

Mentoring for Mental Health: Designing the Right Program for Your Employees

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to talk about how you can use mentoring to support mental health and wellbeing at work through thoughtful, user lead design. A well known way to reduce isolation and loneliness at work, mentoring is an excellent addition to your wellbeing at work programs.

As the latest CIPD wellbeing at work survey shows, mental health is the most common focus of wellbeing activity at work and in our post-pandemic workplace, it is more important than ever to create effective support structures for your employees.

How do I design my program effectively?

Mentoring is a powerful way to improve the wellbeing of your people at work. To do this effectively you need to put the needs and goals of your end user right at the heart of your program from inception to implementation.

First and foremost, understanding the objective of the program and who you are trying to help is fundamental to the early stages of design. A successful mentoring program is one that has a clear, achievable goal and that understands not only the motivation of the organisation, but of the participants too.

From the early planning stages, you need to ask yourself who your program is for and seek out their input on how the program is structured. Many mentoring programs fail due to a lack of engagement. Knowing the needs of your end user will help you to design a program fit for purpose that gets your target group on board and engaged.

To find out more read our step by step guide to starting a mentoring program.

What are the benefits of user lead design?

By putting your end user at the heart of your program you can reap a range of benefits, these include:

  • Increase uptake and efficacy
  • Prevent dropout later on
  • Improve program performance
  • Better ROI
  • Help more people access mentoring

At the end of the day, mentoring is about connecting people for personal and professional development. By designing a program around the end user, you will be able to facilitate better engagement with mentoring. This means more positive impact for more participants.

Find out more about embedding mentoring in your diversity and inclusion initiatives with Guider

Best practice:

A key element in planning your program is including your users at several points throughout the process. Below are some key areas to think about from the beginning:

  • Talk to your end user: At the start of the design process, during and after. Gather data through surveys and use this to inform the structure of your program.
  • Challenge your assumptions: Run your planning by colleagues or gain feedback from the user group that can check your plans. Don’t let your assumptions about what people need get in the way of good design.
  • Factor in feedback: You can avoid the dreaded dropout and program fatigue by planning reviews from the start. Gathering feedback at strategic junctures in the program can give you the opportunity to make adjustments.
  • Take what you’ve learned and try again: Running a successful mentoring scheme takes practice. At the end of the program take what you’ve learned and try again!

mentoring and mental health

Example use case: mentoring for mental health

Mentoring for mental health is an excellent example of how user lead design becomes an essential part of running an effective program. Mentoring can reduce isolation and loneliness, lower anxiety and improve self-esteem, all of which have positive impact on our mental wellbeing. The best part? The effects can be felt for both the mentor and the mentee.

At its core, mentoring is about helping someone else by coming together to talk. While it’s important to note that mentoring isn’t therapy, it can form an important pillar in your workplace wellbeing programs.

If you want to genuinely support your employee’s mental health, you’ll need to set up a mentoring program that is accessible to the people you are trying to help. Sounds simple right?

Yet, mental health at work is a complex topic and one that has been stigmatised for a long time. Navigating this pervasive stigma and creating an environment in which people feel safe to seek support in this way can be tricky. This is why understanding the needs of your end user is so important in designing a mentoring program to support in this way.

Here are our top tips on what to think about when designing a program for mental health in particular.

Top tips:

⛔️ Break down barriers to entry 

These will vary depending on who the program is for, but your mentoring program needs to be as easy as possible to join and use.

This is particularly important for mental health, where users may find joining a program overwhelming or need adjustments to help them access support. While you can’t make your program individual for every user you can break down common barriers. Offering support such as virtual mentoring is a great example.

👏 Design for flexibility

For many people consistency and routine are important. However, if you are experiencing mental health problems keeping to a strict schedule can be a challenge and it’s important to acknowledge and accommodate this.

In which case, a program that makes it easy to communicate and rearrange or pause sessions will be key to stopping participants from dropping out completely.

🙌 Carefully consider confidentiality

While a public-facing profile that everyone in your organisation can see fits a mentoring program designed for career progression, where participants want to show off their engagement, this isn’t the case for mental health.

Making sure the privacy of the participants is accounted for from the start creates the right kind of safety for people to seek help with their mental health.

☕️ Think about location

Similarly, think about where and how participants will be accessing mentoring. For some people, talking about difficult topics may feel easier in the comfort of their own home, in which case virtual mentoring is ideal.

For others, a private meeting room in the office or a walking/talking session could work best. Make sure participants know what locations are available for mentoring and how to access them easily.

✅ Get feedback

Before, during and after the program. Feedback is important for understanding what people need, whether a program is working or not and how you can improve moving forward.

Be prepared for things to go wrong or change. Starting an effective mentoring program can be tricky to get right the first time and feedback from users is an invaluable resource.

Remember, these tips can be applied to designing mentoring programs for other purposes too, such as diversity and inclusion programs.

Setting up a mentoring program is a great way to improve employee wellbeing and happiness at work, along with a whole host of other benefits. However, getting it wrong can be costly to both your time and budget, as well affecting your employees.

Increase your chances of mentoring success by paying attention to who you are trying to help. Whether you are supporting mental health or career progression, putting your end user at the heart of your design is essential for creating a program that works.

Why not find out more about how Guider can help you to implement an easy, effective mentoring solution. Talk to us by booking a demo.

Customer Stories

Harnessing the Power of Your People to Scale Social Learning with Guider and Clyde & Co

The venue:

Theatre 4, Learning Technologies Conference 2022

The speakers: 

  • Nicola Cronin, our very own Head of Content and expert in all things Guider.
  • Naomi Boachie-Ansah, Clyde & Co’s Digital Design Lead.
  • Guy Wilkins, Clyde & Co’s Senior Digital Learning and Platforms Manager.

The seminar: 

Learning Technologies brings together organisational learning and tech for learning at work in a blockbuster two-day conference. Between our team on the Guider stand and our seminar: Harnessing the Power of your People to Scale Social Learning, we were there to get the word out on the benefits of using Guider in your organisation.

We were extremely lucky to be joined by our clients Clyde & Co, a globally integrated law firm that has used our software to successfully scale its global mentoring program, to help deliver our seminar.

Missed the talk? Catch up on the highlights below!

Harnessing the Power of your People to Scale Social Learning

We kicked off with a crowded room full of learning and development experts putting their hands up if they’d ever had a personal experience of mentoring… *Cue a room full of raised hands*

When Nicola asked; “Keep your hands up if this experience was a positive one” and no one budged, we knew this was going to be an interesting talk!

We weren’t there to tell everyone how great mentoring is; it was clear that everyone already knew that. Instead, in the spirit of learning technologies, Nicola, Guy and Naomi were there to teach everyone something new.

The talk covered:

The importance of social learning

87% of employees identify social knowledge sharing as essential, but only 37% feel the same about formal company training.

Mentoring is an incredibly effective way of creating a culture of social learning. When you harness the knowledge already in your business, you can create a low cost and low touch way to spread expertise across your organisation.

Mentoring is all about people and how we learn through building positive relationships with others.

We’re social creatures at heart and through our interactions with others, we learn…

  • About new perspectives
  • About problem-solving
  • About soft and hard skills
  • About building self-awareness

And so this makes the uses of mentoring really broad, as you can see from the Venn diagram below:

Here at Guider, we work with a number of large organisations on a range of mentoring, reverse mentoring, diversity and inclusion, coaching, and sponsorship initiatives. The common factor in all of these programs is that people come together to share knowledge and experiences and to learn from one another.

We wholeheartedly believe in the power of mentoring as a diverse and multifaceted solution for businesses worldwide. It’s not just a workplace perk or a nice to have, but a necessity.

So, why isn’t every business doing this really successfully? Well, that’s an excellent question!

Why mentoring fails

We know that mentoring seems simple, but the reality is it can be hard to implement a company-wide program and to do it really well. This is especially true for large, global organisations such as Clyde & Co.

From excess administrative burden to lack of accessibility, there are many ways that mentoring can fail.

Watch Naomi and Guy talking about the challenges they faced setting up a mentoring program first-hand  

A key barrier to success that we notice a lot at Guider, is that mentoring doesn’t have a dedicated home in most organisations. This means that it’s not clear what department it sits in or who is responsible for it. This can cause silos and inconsistency, as well as affect the budgets and resources that get the program off the ground.

Another key challenge is the process. Setting up, matching and tracking multiple mentoring relationships, particularly across global offices, is a huge administrative burden. And when there is no ownership of the program to start with, program managers end up doing all of this extra work on the side of their day job.

But we’re here to tell you that there are solutions to all of these problems and more!

How Guider works

Guider provides a centralised solution to break down communication silos, give mentoring a dedicated home in your organisation, save your program lead time and administrative burden, and allow you to scale your program to positively impact more lives through mentoring.

At the end of the day, the most important part is the impact that you can have on your people through mentoring. What good is a program that can only benefit 40 people in an organisation of 2,000?

Guider connects your people with ease. Below is a short video highlighting just one mentoring relationship at Clyde & Co found through Guider:

Clyde & Co’s success story

Who better to talk about harnessing the power of your people through mentoring, than our clients that have been doing just that?

We handed the floor over to Naomi and Guy to hear them talk first-hand about their experiences using our platform…

About Clyde & Co 

Guy started by introducing Clyde & Co and the old barriers that they faced when setting up a mentoring program. As a global law firm, with more than 50 offices worldwide and 4,000 staff across continents, making meaningful connections between colleagues across the business was a challenge, to say the least.

Yet, by using Guider’s software they have already been able to make a huge impact by bringing people together through mentoring.

How Guider works for them 

Guy shared the key features of Guider that have helped Clyde & Co scale their mentoring effectively. These are:

  • Ease of access: With Guider, there is one destination for mentoring. You can create a custom landing page and further features such as a content hub will support your people to make the most of mentoring.
  • Dynamic templates: Guider provides helpful suggestions along the way so you can tailor your profile and messages to your mentor effectively.
  • Effective profiles: Gone are the basic name, title, and location fields. Now you can add additional fields like LinkedIn profiles, outside interests, skills and personality traits. All this facilitates better matches.
  • More matches: Guider finds your top three matches, widening your choice of mentor and expanding your networks. This removes a huge headache from program leads that would otherwise have to manually pair people up!

He then shared their 8 tips for running a successful mentoring program. These are…

Getting the most out of your mentoring programme

Naomi went on to discuss the success and impact of the program. They’ve had some incredible results, such as…

  • 1,000 participants joined the program in less than a year
  • It is now accessible to all – anyone in any Clyde & Co team can get a mentor
  • Barriers have been broken down and silos are gone, leading to greater inter-departmental communication across the board

But you don’t need to take our word for it. Naomi shared some of the feedback from within the business that they’ve had on the program so far

Guider testimonials

We’re really proud of our work with Clyde & Co and are thrilled to see the ongoing success of their mentoring program. While there wasn’t enough time for a Q&A at the end of our seminar, we were happy to welcome more people back to the stand for a chat.

We’d like to thank both Naomi and Guy for joining us at the conference. It’s always a pleasure to hear from a happy customer!

Find out more about Clyde & Co’s mentoring journey here.

Thank you to Learning Technologies for a fantastic two-day conference. It’s been wonderful to get to meet in person again and talk about the fantastic benefits of mentoring.

With a mentoring platform such as Guider, scaling your mentoring program and harnessing the power of your people is possible. Because that’s what it’s all about: bringing people together to share positive experiences. Our technology is simply the enabler.

Feeling inspired? If you want to replicate the success of Clyde & Co’s program, get in touch with Guider today! You can schedule a discovery call by booking a demo.