Advice for Businesses

Do I Really Need Mentoring Software?

Identifying the need for a mentoring program is the easy part. Picturing all the great matches made and the benefits to your staff makes the planning stages feel full of promise. But what happens when you get started?

Whether you are running mentoring in house currently or looking to start a mentoring program, there are so many options for how to do this – it can feel overwhelming. Mentoring software is one way to take the headache out of mentoring, but how do you identify the right time to invest?

What is mentoring software? 

First up, it’s important to understand what mentoring software is. Sometimes known as a mentoring platform or mentoring app, mentoring software is a solution to running mentoring programs easily and at scale.

There are a few different types of mentoring software on the market that can offer different things. For example, some mentoring software matches people with a pool of mentors outside their organisation, whereas others focus solely on internal matching.

Both types of mentoring software have some common features that include:

  • Easy sign-up: Participants can join the program online from wherever they are based
  • AI-powered matching: Mentoring software takes the pain out of mentor matching by creating matches through smart AI
  • Better communication: Most software will include communication functionality so matches can stay in touch with ease
  • Calendar booking: So that both sides can easily suggest and book dates for mentoring
  • Progress check-ins: The ability to track mentoring progress keeps people on track to meet their goals
  • Report on impact: Reporting is essential to prove that mentoring has been a success

Depending on which software provider you go for, you may also get extra features. Here at Guider, we offer innovative extras such as a bespoke learning hub and stellar customer support to help you scale your program with ease!

Read our handy guide to How Mentoring Software Works to find out more.

When should I invest in mentoring software graphic of blog

What are the benefits of mentoring software? 

We’ve already touched on this above, but essentially mentoring software takes the entire process of running a mentoring program and makes it as easy as possible for everyone involved. This will help program leaders in particular to save time and energy.

The benefits include:

Save time and admin burden 

This has to be the number one benefit for program leads! When you’re setting up and running a mentoring program, it’s often on the side of your regular work.

Investing in software means that the time and admin burden of manual matching, manual check-ins and answering everyone’s questions all the time, are gone. Freeing up program leads to better invest their time on other tasks.

Better mentor matches

With mentoring software, you can trust that individuals will be matched based on areas of skill and expertise without the headache of manual matching. No more post-it notes on your kitchen table!

When using Guider, several available mentors are provided to each mentee so that mentees are given the power to choose for themselves. This can help prevent drop-out rates throughout the program by empowering mentees from the start to drive the relationship. Better matches mean better mentoring.

If you want to find out more about how Guider works read our article here.

Join online from any location

Our working world is more flexible than ever before. For many organisations, the switch to remote or hybrid working has been a challenge but one that presents new opportunities.

Utilising software means that you can engage your people from wherever they are based. Offering virtual mentoring will allow employees globally to benefit from mentoring and share experiences with a diverse range of people.

Keep mentoring on track

With mentoring software, you can monitor the progress of your matches, track engagement with the program and stay one step ahead to keep your people involved in your mentoring program.

Participants can also track their progress within the platform, helping everyone to meet their goals and make the most of mentoring.

Better data to prove efficacy

We live in a data-led world and if you dream of impressing your boss at your annual review, then you’ll be glad to know that mentoring software can give you better, clearer data that shows the efficacy of your mentoring program. It’s a win-win!

Scale and grow 

A common problem when setting up a mentoring program is how to scale successfully. Manual matching may work when you have 20 participants, but the time and effort it takes to match 100 or even thousands of employees makes the DIY approach unsustainable.

Mentoring software allows you to increase the number of participants in your program without increasing the headaches for your program leads.

Offer different types of mentoring

Did you know there are many different types of mentoring program? Mentoring platforms can make it easy to set up multiple programs, which means you can make the most of all the different types.

You might find a reverse mentoring program helps you to meet your diversity and inclusion goals or that flash mentoring is a great way to introduce mentoring to a large number of people. Whatever your goals, there is a type of mentoring that can help you achieve them.

‍Additionally, you can also use mentoring software to start coaching, sponsorship and buddying programs too!

Guider how it works banner So, do I need mentoring software? 

A DIY approach may work in a smaller organisation or if you are running an informal program. However, if you really want to maximise the potential of mentoring in your organisation, mentoring software could be just the ticket.

A good starting point is to ask yourself: how many people in my organisation can benefit from mentoring? Then break down the time and energy it would take to run a mentoring program on that scale.

When you think about the cost of your program lead’s time running an in house program and the opportunity cost of not scaling your program to reach more employees, you may find that investing in mentoring software becomes a no-brainer.

If you’re looking to create an accessible, scalable and simple way to implement mentoring in your organisation, then talk to us at Guider.

To find out more, book a discovery call with our team today. 

Skills Development

10 Questions for Building Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is more than just a buzzword: it’s a lifelong skill that has huge benefits to your work and personal life.

It’s the practice of looking at yourself honestly, without judgment, for the purpose of understanding who you are. This affects not only how we feel but how we express ourselves to others and can make us better communicators.

When entering into a mentoring relationship, cultivating self-awareness will help both parties to make the most of the sessions. An understanding of yourself can reveal more clearly what your goals are and what’s standing in the way of achieving them, as well as what you are bringing to the sessions as a mentor.

Read more on the benefits of mentoring for learning and development with Guider.

So, to support the journey to greater self-awareness for you and your teams, we’ve put together 10 questions to get you started.

10 questions for developing self-awareness:

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What am I best at?
  3. What am I worst at?
  4. When does time flow for me?
  5. When do I feel bored?
  6. What are my values?
  7. When do I feel most energised?
  8. When have I felt successful?
  9. Where do I see myself in 5 years?
  10. What does support look like to me?

Remember to answer honestly. There are no right or wrong or good or bad answers to these questions. The goal is simply to learn more about yourself.

These questions are just a starting point, you may find you think of more or want to discuss these with a mentor or a friend. The point is to start thinking about who you are and how this relates to your professional and personal goals. Good luck!

Advice for Businesses

The Cost of Not Doing Mentoring is Too Great to Ignore

Here at Guider, we’ve been advocating for the benefits of mentoring for years. If you want to see better retention, career progression, and support your diversity & inclusion and wellbeing programs – then get a mentoring program.

But what we need to talk about is the cost of not doing mentoring.

You may think that mentoring is simply nice to have but we firmly believe that it’s essential. In fact, many major businesses seem to agree: 84% of Fortune 500 companies and 100% of Fortune 50 companies have mentoring programs.

This is because there are not only tangible benefits to mentoring for your people, but these benefits can save you real-time and money in the long run.

‍The cost of not doing mentoring

We’ve broken the cost of not doing mentoring down into 4 key areas:

Cost to employee retention

Did you know that the average cost of staff turnover per employee is £30,614? Or that it can be 1.5 or 2 times the employee’s salary? And to make matters worse a loss of productivity and higher workload for other employees leads to a cycle of even more staff turnover, compounding the problem.

The good news is that mentoring has a positive impact on retention. Retention rates are much higher for mentees (72%) and for mentors (69%) than for employees who do not participate in mentoring (49%).

That’s a difference of 23% between mentored and non-mentored staff. To put that into perspective – that could mean a saving of more than £700k per 100 people per year using the average cost of staff turnover above.

The good news is, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow – and we know that mentoring is a great way of up-skilling employees and fostering career progression.

Cost to productivity

Keeping your team productive has obvious benefits to your company’s bottom line. Research shows that workers spend 1 hour 24 minutes of the day being unproductive, costing British businesses £143 billion each year. In the US, labour productivity fell by 7.5% in the first quarter of 2022 – the largest decline since 1947.

To keep your teams productive you might think about a range of incentives to keep your people motivated. Luckily, 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring, and a further 55% felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their bottom line.

Best of all, mentoring ticks multiple boxes at once. Using mentoring you can up-skill your employees, connect them across the business, and engage them in learning that will increase productivity as well as providing a valuable workplace benefit. Saving you money from lost productivity.

“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, M&S

Cost to employee engagement

Keeping employees engaged at work feeds directly into retention and productivity efforts. When people disengage their productivity drops and they start to look elsewhere. Meaning the effects of poor engagement on your bottom line and hiring costs can be huge.

Estimates show that the cost of disengagement to the UK economy is £340 billion every year due to lost training, productivity, creativity and innovation, sick days and recruitment costs.

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. And 89% of those with mentors believe their colleagues value their work, compared to 75% who aren’t mentored.

Opportunities to advance, feeling valued and engaged in your work are top priorities for our changing workforce. Get these right and you can keep your people engaged at work, boosting productivity and retention rates across the board.

📖 Read our article on Ways to Increase Employee Engagement here 📖

Cost to your HR leads

Lastly, and by no means least, all of the above means more time spent by your HR and L&D teams – and their time and energy aren’t free. Juggling the cost of all three of these areas isn’t easy, so you’ll want to invest in effective and efficient solutions.

Our client, one of the world’s largest football organisations, has seen this first hand. To maximise the impact of a small but focused team, they implemented Guider’s mentoring platform and quickly achieved 1.5 times the total contract ROI in the first 4 weeks. This was after a launch that was 3 times quicker launch than estimated due to platform efficiencies.

Mentoring really is an all-in-one solution to tackling retention, enticing new hires, building a positive working culture and so much more. By not investing in mentoring, your people will be spending their energy working on avoidable issues.

📖 Read more on setting up a mentoring program here 📖


5 Benefits of Mentoring in a picture

So, what are you waiting for? When you look at the costs of low retention, low engagement, declining productivity and increased stress for your teams, investing in one effective solution really is a no-brainer.

And if you make the investment in mentoring today, you’ll be saving yourself a huge headache and a lot of money later down the line!

If you’re looking to reap the rewards that mentoring has to offer, saving time and money in the process, then talk to Guider

Diversity and Inclusion

How to Avoid Rainbow-Washing This Pride Month

Every June we see the same conversation playing out: large corporations sponsor floats and change their logos to rainbow colours for Pride month. Then, inevitably, a handful of companies are called out for making a show of Pride without offering any tangible support to LGBTQ+ communities, or their own LGBTQ+ employees.

This is what’s known as rainbow-washing.

There’s an ongoing debate around rainbow-washing itself. For some, it’s positive that LGBTQ+ people are now included in corporate culture – which hasn’t always been the case. And ultimately, these companies are geared around making money, which Pride does. The ‘Pink Pound’ is worth an estimated £6 billion to the UK economy each year. It’s to be expected that supporting Pride comes with an alternate agenda for large corporates.

Yet, getting it wrong can be costly. Pride is not only a celebration but an annual reminder of how far the rights of LGBTQ+ people have come, and what still needs to be fought for. It’s important to distinguish between celebrating Pride for marketing only and making a real statement about what your organisation stands for. For many, rainbow-washing is taking away from the very real need for LGBTQ+ to celebrate, campaign and raise awareness of the issues that face their communities.

No one wants to be accused of rainbow-washing, particularly if your intention was well-meaning. So, what can you do to provide tangible support to LGBTQ+ colleagues?

Graphic showing a hand in a fist shape and the definition of rainbow-washing: the act of using Pride colours to indicate progressive support for LGBTQ+ communities, without providing tangible support to those people.

The stats: LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace

For all the support that Pride receives each year, LGBTQ+ inclusion still falls short in the workplace. Let’s start by looking at the stats.

In the UK, more than a third of people have hidden that they are LGBTQ+ at work for fear of discrimination, 2 in 5 bi people are not out at work, and, shockingly, 1 in 10 BAME LGBTQ+ employees have been physically attacked at work by customers or colleagues.

Furthermore, around 40% of LGBT+ staff feel their organisation’s policies are inadequate, and a significant minority would not feel confident reporting homophobic or biphobic bullying in the workplace. This has negative effects for employee mental health and wellbeing, and LGBTQ+ staff retention and promotion.

But when inclusion is done right…

Taking the right actions to create a positive, inclusive working environment that specifically supports your LGBTQ+ employees has lasting benefits for your organisation and the people within it.

While Pride events are a great way to publicly signal that your organisation is active in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, you can see that there are very real reasons to go further to support your people to thrive in the workplace.

Ways to make your support for LGBTQ+ colleagues more impactful

The next step is to make sure that your support for LGBTQ+ people is embedded in your company culture. You want to back up your support with tangible, long-lasting efforts to create an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace.

Ask yourself, is your support…

  • Year-round?
  • Measurable?
  • Embedded throughout the company?

📖 Find out more about the benefits of embedding mentoring in your diversity and inclusion initiatives with Guider 📖

Go beyond the rainbow: 4 top ways to actively create an LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace

1. Review your policies

Not as fun as participating in a parade, granted. But reviewing your policies to be inclusive of LGBTQ+ people is essential. Focus on parental leave, pensions and health insurance in particular. And make sure you mention LGBTQ+ groups specifically, so there’s no room for misinterpretation later on.

2. Mentoring and networks

Visibility in the workplace and a safe place to talk about any issues someone may be facing is a powerful way to foster inclusion. Creating a network or starting a mentoring program that specifically aims to support LGBTQ+ employees, will not only help people feel that they can be out at work if they choose, but can also support career progression and wellbeing.

📖 Reverse mentoring is an amazing way to educate senior leaders on how to support LGBTQ+ people. Read our guide to reverse mentoring here 📖

3. Remember the small things

It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture but the small things matter too. Think about introducing pronouns in email signatures or on Slack, providing unisex toilet facilities, supporting visible LGBTQ+ employees and allies, and being intentional about the language you use. For example, not assuming you know the gender of someone’s partner unless they’ve told you.

4. Provide educational opportunities

Remember, that it’s not the job of people experiencing discrimination to educate others on how not to discriminate against them.

By providing formal educational opportunities to your people, whether through talks, written resources or access to courses on unconscious bias, you put learning in their hands. You can also provide safe spaces for people to share their lived experiences with others, as story-telling is a powerful tool for change.

** Note: If you invite a guest speaker to talk at your organisation remember to pay them! 

This is just a start: there are so many more ways to make your organisation more inclusive for LGBTQ+ people. Your actions can be company-wide and policy-led, or they can be simple changes that you make on an individual level that show intentional support for your LGBTQ+ colleagues.

Rainbow-washing is a complicated issue that sparks debate every year. But supporting your LGBTQ+ employees is not. Everyone deserves to feel safe and valued at work regardless of their gender, sex or sexual orientation.

By creating tangible support systems for LGBTQ+ people working at all levels of your business, you will see people thrive and bring their whole selves to work each day.

And don’t forget, it’s ok to publicly support Pride and show the world what your company stands for. Just make sure that you are consciously backing up your rainbow with tangible support, every day of the year.

Read more:

LGBTQ+ Mentors in History

Making Your Workplace More LGBTQ+ Inclusive

50 D&I Stats to Bookmark in 2023

6 Effective Diversity & Inclusion Strategies to Implement Today