Guider, the leading mentoring and peer-to-peer learning platform, has partnered with the technology suite that combines lifelong learning and data-driven development Degreed.
Guider’s mentoring platform enables companies to rapidly launch and scale mentoring programs to achieve business goals, and is now integrated into Degreed’s learning experience platform. This exciting partnership offers mutual customers a new opportunity to upskill their people by tapping into the expertise of their own peers. Guider’s solution allows organizations to run over 50 different types of peer-to-peer learning programs including; reverse mentoring, mentoring for DE&I, internal coaching, sponsorship and buddying.
Guider and Degreed work with some of the world’s most forward-thinking brands to provide essential upskilling and learning experiences. Guider has enabled over 1.6 million mentoring opportunities in over 175 countries to date. Its clients include the likes of Deloitte, EY, FIFA, Clyde & Co and Knight Frank.
Nick Ross, CEO and Founder of Guider said, “Degreed has always stood out as one of the most leading and innovative learning solutions and we’re thrilled to be aligning ourselves with a best in class partnership. Guider’s ambitious mission is to power a billion impactful conversations through our global peer-to-peer learning platform and with this integration into Degreed’s comprehensive suite of learning features, we will achieve our mission faster”.
Nag Chandrashekhar, Chief Product Officer of Degreed is delighted to have Guider as a trusted partner in the ecosystem and said, “Guider is an innovative and easy to use product that enables learners to make impactful decisions about their career. Together, this collaboration reinforces our unwavering commitment to deliver solutions that encourage continuous skill development and an ongoing pursuit of knowledge and growth”.
Guider is an award-winning mentoring and peer-learning software.
As the most service-oriented solution in the marketplace, Guider provides bespoke support, launch plans, training and development services, and content tailored to your needs. Its software is powered by mentoring expertise, seamless matching and powerful reporting.
Empowering hundreds of enterprises globally, Guider offers transformative solutions in crucial areas. These include: diversity and inclusion, career development, women in leadership, reverse mentoring, peer-to-peer learning, virtual mentoring and more.
Guider continues to win awards, including Start-up Learning Provider of the Year (Gold, 2021), prestigious Learning Technologies Award – Most Innovative New Learning Technologies Product, UK (Gold, 2022) and Startup of the Year (2023).
Degreed is a technology suite that combines lifelong learning and data-driven development so organizations can collect, understand and build skills for greater impact, evolving how their workforce works.
Degreed is the only learning platform that makes it easy for companies to deliver daily learning, deep skill-building, education benefits, real-time insights and expert services, while connecting to the most robust and open ecosystem. Each day, over 9 million learners from hundreds of global companies use Degreed to gain the skills to grow in their careers.
Degreed, founded in 2012, launched with the mission of “jailbreaking the degree” where all skills are recognized, irrespective of how they are acquired. Degreed is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, with offices in Salt Lake City, New York, London, Amsterdam, and Brisbane.
A coaching plan is an effective way to encourage employees to become more skilled in their positions and can be implemented alongside the daily duties that the main position needs to fulfil.
And the results are noteworthy. It’s reported that over 63% of the businesses that offer coaching to their workers had a higher net income and sales development.
This article covers the benefits of a coaching plan, what to include in it, and the key benefits that will optimise your business operations and make your company more reputable in the process.
Let’s take a look!
What is a coaching plan?
A coaching plan is a career roadmap designed to assist both coaches and trainees in reaching their goals. In order to make it as beneficial as possible, it’s best to refine a well-structured plan that can also work with both schedules.
While coaching, like anything, can go wrong – a bad coaching experience can cause an employee to leave a company, and there are stats to indicate this just as much as with the pros – it is generally a great way to implement new skills that qualify you for bigger positions, and a terrific coaching experience can result in career advancement and a framework for your next career moves.
The benefits of a coaching Plan
The benefits of a coaching plan are countless, including:
Firstly, it can provide clarity and focus by refining ultimate goals into manageable, achievable daily tasks which strive towards it. Having ultimate goals can be overwhelming and a great grey ocean. But breaking them down helps the professional to streamline their daily activities to get there.
To excel, the secret ingredient is often to create outside pressures to push us forwards. Coaching achieves this by bestowing milestones, deadlines and actionable goals upon you. Falling short requires you to note them, adding to the accountability.
By the same stroke, it is used for motivation and commitment. The measurable results are important in this, as they are instrumental in your development. All committed professionals progress, of course, but often they don’t take note of it. Measuring success comes with the bonus of good feelings from a job completed.
Learning new skills will increase the employee’s engagement with your company, as they will be well-equipped to deal with issues of a higher level. This, in turn, leads to a higher employee retention rate, as you will be more greatly benefited by the company, and it by you.
5. Personal Awareness
It’s easy to be blindsided by our strengths, but a coach can make you more aware of your blind spots. Once aware, you can work towards improving them, making you an even stronger candidate in your industry. These are strengths that are marketable, at best, and in daily working life is a confidence booster that will help you to tackle future roles with a solid confidence.
What should be included in my coaching plan?
To implement or undertake a coaching plan it’s important to have structure. Before this comes the type of plan, as there are many variations from peer coaching, to executive coaching, to performance coaching. But whichever it is, it is important to universally follow these stipulations.
Set clear goals
It’s vital to define clear, specific and achievable goals that you wish to achieve through coaching. While realistic, you can also make them challenging, and of course relevant to your ultimate goals.
Evaluate your resources
So you’ve defined your goals. Now it’s time to look around you and identify the skills and resources available that will help you to achieve them.
Define activities and strategies
Then comes the meat and bones of it: what activities to undertake to better achieve these goals. For many, one-on-one coaching sessions are optimal. Others are possible too though, such as group mentoring. Then there are tools such as worksheets, exercises, and the kind of targets to set, which will differ from person to person.
This is an area where your personal needs come into play. You need to define them and use this knowledge to craft the most beneficial coaching plan possible.
Set a timeline
This one works both ways. Timelines are important for establishing how long it will take to achieve each progressive milestone. Make it realistic, leave room for daily hurdles, and most importantly, don’t stress if things change and you don’t make the deadline. There is always more time, and a timeline is there to exert progression, not stress. That said, feel free to set challenging goals as this will push you further!
Allow for flexibility
It’s also good to realise the versatility of coaching. Ergo, you can shape it in any way that suits your goals. Communicate with your coach or trainee and ensure you’re getting the best out of it. Also, if you find that the structure agreed upon isn’t working, you can always rework it.
Remember to establish a routine system for check-ins and reviews. Regular coaching meetings are fundamental for development and for ensuring that you remain on the right track and in line with your biggest goals. Communicate your needs, goals, and establish a routine system for check-ins and review. You can schedule periodic meetings to assess progress, address those challenges, and make all necessary refinements to the strategy.
And once again, remember to celebrate the successes! Having achieved them, their value will be multiplied if you allow yourself to have a few drinks, a holiday or a new toy. Setting these treats in place will make the progress an exciting prospect that you look forward to completing, adding to the motivation!
Implementing and structuring a coaching plan is a great way to increase the productivity, morale, and progression of your company. It builds a foundation for future success and strengthens your team as a whole. Now, all you have to do is match each employee with the right coach, and away you go!
If you need more information about how to handle your career trajectory, then check out our further reading:
Ahh feedback. It’s one of those things we all love to receive, but how many people know how to give it? Feedback is essential to personal and professional growth, serving as a tool for improvement and allowing individuals to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Effective feedback can boost productivity and help employees develop their skills in a work environment. In an ideal world, managers and mentors only have to give positive feedback – but constructive criticism is also important.
There’s no doubt that giving feedback is integral to a company’s growth, and it can build stronger relationships between managers and employees when done right – but that’s easier said than done.
Luckily, we’re here to clear everything up for you. So, sit back, relax and learn all about the game changer that is effective feedback.
Why is quality feedback so important?
At its core, feedback is a tool for improvement. Whether it’s evaluating how a product works or individual and team performances, feedback isn’t there to insult anyone but to help them work on their weaknesses—and celebrate achievements.
Here are the main reasons why effective feedback is so important:
Clarifying expectations: All managers have expectations for their employees, and feedback establishes clear guidelines on what each person should accomplish.
Strengths & weaknesses: Feedback allows individuals to recognise their strengths and weaknesses and then take steps to improve them.
Fostering a growth mindset: A growth mindset is vital for each employee and team member. Feedback is a foundation for people to improve their skills and contribute to a company.
Building relationships: Constructive feedback can improve relationships between managers and employees by promoting collaboration and open communication.
Some stats on the power of effective feedback
Managers that regularly receive constructive feedback have 8.9% higher profitability (Gallup).
There’s a difference between effective and bad feedback, but some people find this out too late. If your feedback lacks clarity or empathy, it can lead to an employee feeling embarrassed and misunderstood, which impacts motivation.
Breakdowns in communication can also hinder professional development and halt production levels, which could have a knock-on effect on other employees.
According to People Management, a whopping three in five employees are disengaged in the UK, but businesses can potentially reduce these numbers by creating a better work environment and prioritising effective feedback.
Guider’s 10 top tips for giving effective feedback
So, now you know more about effective feedback, it’s time to look at ten great tips to help you provide constructive feedback and build better relationships with your team.
1. Be objective and specific
When giving feedback, it’s always best to be clear and concise with any information. For example, if someone’s developing a marketing plan and there are certain areas you feel aren’t right, focus on those areas.
Generalisations might seem friendlier, but they often lead to miscommunications. Be specific on which areas require improvement, and the person receiving the feedback will know what they need to do.
2. Offer examples
It’s also a good idea to support your feedback with specific examples, which help the individual understand the context and provide evidence to reflect on.
People respond well to examples, but it shows that you’ve reviewed their performance and are interested in the employee’s growth potential.
3. The sandwich technique
The sandwich method is highly popular because it combines positive feedback and constructive criticism. For example, the person giving feedback will start with a positive comment about the employee’s performance and then provide areas for improvement.
To soften the impact of criticism, it’s also best to end with a positive comment to soften the impact and leave the individual feeling reassured that they have your respect.
However, there’s a delicate balance between offering praise and going overboard, so make sure the individual understands the negative feedback too.
4. Focus on behaviour, not personality
Remember, feedback should never be personal, so focus on actions and leave personalities out of it. Focusing on actions ensures you maintain professional boundaries and don’t insult the individual.
Management teams have to be objective and ensure employees feel comfortable with receiving feedback, so it’s best to set actionable goals based on performance.
5. Don’t wait for ages
There’s no point in waiting for ages to give feedback because the individual might not even remember what they were working on. Employees can reflect on their actions when you offer constructive criticism soon after the event or observed behaviour.
Remember, being timely is also essential when giving positive feedback because you want to ensure your employees remain engaged and receive recognition for their contributions.
6. Have empathy
Ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? Your employees have them too. For example, maybe someone’s just given a presentation that didn’t go to plan, or perhaps they missed a deadline due to personal issues.
The critical thing to remember here is to approach the situation carefully and give your employee time to calm down. Using the sandwich method in situations like this is advisable because you can keep the individual calm.
7. Utilise active listening
Active listening is crucial when giving feedback, as it allows you to understand the recipient’s perspective. Two-way conversations are always more effective than one person talking and the other just listening.
Ask your employee how they feel about the feedback, and be sure to clarify any uncertainties they might have.
8. Prioritise growth and development
As Gallup reports, Millennials value roles with development opportunities more than any other age group. By 2025, this generation will become the most dominant, which means companies need to focus on making each job a chance for growth and progression.
Framing feedback as a growth opportunity instead of criticism allows the individual to realise their full potential and look forward to developing their role within the company.
9. Don’t bring others into the feedback
It might seem better to use ‘we’ statements when giving feedback, but it’s always best to use “I” when talking to employees as they don’t like feeling ganged up on.
The meeting is between you and the individual, so ensure they understand that you’re offering opinions and perceptions.
10. Practice makes perfect
Last but definitely not least, practice makes perfect. If you’re unsure how to give constructive feedback, practice with other people and ask for advice from senior managers or more experienced professionals.
Once you learn how to frame your opinions and remain professional, you can feel comfortable giving feedback to anyone.
Remember, receiving feedback is a skill too!
Giving feedback is as important as getting it, and most individuals, whether they’re managers or owners, will receive some kind of feedback from co-workers or clients. With that in mind, we’re finishing up with these tips for individuals on the receiving end of constructive criticism:
Be open-minded: Approach feedback with an open mind and a willingness to learn and improve.
Seek clarification: If something is unclear, ask for clarification or examples to gain a deeper understanding.
Listen actively: Pay attention to the feedback and actively listen to the perspective of the person providing it.
Reflect and take ownership: Reflect on the feedback and assess how to apply it to your personal and professional growth.
Express gratitude: Show appreciation to those who take the time to provide you with valuable feedback.
The bottom line
Following the tips in this post will ensure you give and receive feedback like a pro. With time and effort, you can be confident in your abilities, so don’t forget to practise regularly and be willing to learn from others.
If you enjoyed reading this post, why not check out our blog for helpful guides and tips?
Guider, the leading mentoring and peer-to-peer learning platform, is delighted to announce its strategic partnership with Mind Tools, a renowned online platform that offers practical resources, tools in personal effectiveness, management and leadership to enhance personal and professional skills.
Guider’s mentoring platform enables companies to quickly launch and scale mentoring programs to achieve their business goals, and now, it is partnering with Mind Tools to further expand its offerings.
Mind Tools provides a wide range of content focusing on various aspects of personal development, leadership, management, problem-solving, decision-making, and career advancement.
This exciting collaboration offers existing and new customers a unique opportunity to upskill their workforce by harnessing the expertise of their peers. Guider’s solution allows organisations to run over fifty different types of peer-to-peer learning programs, including reverse mentoring, DE&I mentoring, internal coaching, sponsorship, and buddying.
Both Guider and Mind Tools have established partnerships with some of the world’s most forward-thinking brands, delivering essential upskilling and learning experiences. To date, Guider has facilitated over 1.6 million mentoring opportunities in more than 175 countries, serving clients such as Deloitte, EY, FIFA, Mazars, and Knight Frank.
Nick Ross, CEO and Founder of Guider shared his enthusiasm for the partnership:
“Mind Tools collaborate with remarkable brands, delivering products that empower individuals, enrich careers, and make a profound impact on lives. At Guider, our mission is to power a billion impactful conversations through our global peer-to-peer learning platform. By forging this partnership with Mind Tools, we supercharge our journey towards accomplishing our mission, using their expertise and resources to achieve our goals at a faster pace.”
Nahdia Khan, Chief Impact Officer, Mind Tools, says:
“At Mind Tools we’re always looking to collaborate with organizations that align with our mission to empower people to thrive at work. Our partnership with Guider gives L&D leaders a fantastic opportunity to deliver significant impact across their organization, by combining our trusted learning resources in personal effectiveness, management and leadership with personalized mentoring to help people perform, manage and lead with confidence.”
The partnership between Guider and Mind Tools is now available to view online. For more information, contact us hereor Mind Tools here.
Guider is an award-winning mentoring and peer-learning software.
As the most service-oriented solution in the marketplace, Guider provides bespoke support, launch plans, training and development services, and content tailored to your needs. It’s software is powered by mentoring expertise, seamless matching and powerful reporting.
Empowering hundreds of enterprises globally, Guider offers transformative solutions in crucial areas. These include: diversity and inclusion, career development, women in leadership, reverse mentoring, peer-to-peer learning, virtual mentoring and more.
Guider continues to win awards, including Start-up Learning Provider of the Year (Gold, 2021), prestigious Learning Technologies Award – Most Innovative New Learning Technologies Product, UK (Gold, 2022) and Startup of the Year (2023).
About Mind Tools for Business
Mind Tools for Business brings accessible, on-demand performance tools and resources focused on leadership, management and personal effectiveness that empower colleagues to perform in today’s progressive workplaces. Helping them build happy and successful careers and to contribute positively to the success of organizations, the world over. At Mind Tools for Business, empowering people to thrive at work has been our passion for 25 years.
If there’s one thing that businesses can’t stop talking about right now, it’s AI. From ChatGPT to Dall-E, it’s clear that we’re living in the AI era.
As the world adapts to AI, it’s a great time for early adopters to take full advantage and understand the main ways in which it can help businesses across the board.
And while AI is still in it’s infancy; that doesn’t mean it can’t already be used for coaching and for mentoring. Here we outline the creative ways that you can start adopting AI into your coaching or mentoring practice.
How is AI being adopted for coaching and mentoring?
First up, let’s look at the ways that AI can be used in coaching and mentoring on an industry level.
There are a few different areas in which AI is thriving in the industry, and already has the power to change how businesses operate.
1. Psychometric testing
A psychometric test is used to understand an individuals skills, knowledge, abilities, personality traits, attitudes and job/academic potential.
Psychometrics can be largely automated with the help of AI. It’s already a big part of certain industries practices and the answers provided can give recruiters an interesting insight into the skills and abilities of certain candidates.
Using an AI psychometrics test, candidates can be evaluated without any human involvement. An AI program will also be able to keep a record of the skills and personality traits they record, helping to establish what areas the candidate or staff member may need help to improve.
This can be used for both coaching and mentoring alike in order to understand a mentee or coachee’s current state and measure their improvement on skills and personal development.
Matching mentors and mentees, or coaches and coachees can be tricky to get right. And a wrong match can do more harm than good. This is actually one of the reasons the need for mentoring software was recognised.
Matching is one of the key ways that AI can also help with coaching and mentoring. An AI program will keep a database of the team and their core skills, and match them to a specific mentor or coach who they will get the most benefit from being paired with.
Also, AI tools can also provide ideas for courses and coaching, training, and mentoring that can improve potential weaknesses for a group of employees.
AI coaching uses AI software to help provide specific feedback and create coaching plans for staff members and students. The process allows companies to set goals and employees and individuals can work towards these goals in a more structured way.
AI coaching can also use a chatbot method to respond to specific questions, which means more specific and relevant feedback and information.
Which begs the question, should we be preparing for a future in which coaching is accessible to all through AI programs? Or is that still science fiction!
How can I use these tools in my mentoring and coaching practice?
The good news is that there are many ways that you can use existing AI tools for your coaching or mentoring.
These can be integrated into the day-to-day operations of your business to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of mentoring and coaching.
Our top 5 recommendations to try are:
Jasper is a powerful AI tool for writing, and it can help to generate content that is full of interesting information for those who want to upskill.
For instance, Jasper can write a full article that is tailored to a specific department or staff member, providing tips on how to improve their skills or work towards a more effective outcome for their business.
Jasper can also be used by mentors and coaches, taking a few of their ideas and putting them into coherent learning materials for the mentee or coachee. By using AI writing tools you can speed up the creation of personalised reading and learning materials. As long as you remember to edit them thoroughly after!
Similarly, using a video content creation tool like Movavi, can help mentors, coaches and organisations create engaging learning materials.
Written content can certainly be dry and boring. With Movavi, it is easy to take content and ideas and create training videos that are specifically tailored to the mentees or coachees.
Something that would once have taken a long time and expertise to create is now quick and simple, and makes information easier to digest.
ManageBetter is an AI tool for performance management that can be integrated into many aspects of a business and its workflows, from sales to HR.
As well as helping to organise teams, it has many different features that can help with coaching and mentoring. For instance, there is a feature called Review Builder that can help to create personal reviews for team members based on peer feedback, strengths, and weaknesses. These can help to identify areas to work on and training to take part in.
This tool may be useful across your business to better manage the performance and development of your people. Employed for mentoring and coaching, it could improve the impact of your programs.
Probably the most talked about AI tool out there currently, ChatGPT is a conversational AI tool that can answer user questions in seconds.
While it’s not specifically built for coaching and mentoring, with the right prompts help with a variety of coaching purposes. For example, staff can ask ChatGPT which courses they should take to improve a certain skill or to help create clear goals for mentoring and coaching.
ChatGPT is immensely powerful, but it’s a tool that requires a lot of human input if you are going to get the best results.
5. Adaptiv Academy
Adaptiv Academy uses Ada, the AI-powered mentor that can answer career related questions and provide advice to users.
Ada has been built to ask specific questions to individuals who need a bit of coaching, mentoring and guidance. Ada then takes this information and uses it to provide advice on specific courses, skills that need to be worked on, and even career paths that may be most suitable for someone’s skillsets.
Essentially, it is an AI mentor that can help people that aren’t quite ready to find an in person mentor to work with them!
The wrap up
While a lot of the best training and mentoring still comes with a human touch, that doesn’t mean that AI tools can’t enhance your experience.
There are many different ways that they can integrate and assist the relationship between mentor and mentee, and coach and coachee.
AI tools also have the power to identify weaknesses and specific training options to address these, as well as take away the time-consuming elements of being an exceptional mentor or coach.
How Guider can power exceptional mentoring and coaching
While we love exploring new technology, it’s important to remember that the human connection of mentoring and coaching is where the magic really happens.
Finding someone you connect with and being able to spend time with them working on your personal development is a game-changer.
For program leads, our powerful reporting features are there to help you steer your program towards your business goals and ensure that you’re getting ROI from your program.
Find out more about how Guider can transform personal development at your organisation. Book a call with our expert team today!
About the author: Vlad is a partnership manager at Movavi. He has 4 years of experience in the e-commerce and marketing industries, having written articles on these topics for various publications. Vlad is passionate about helping businesses grow and reach their full potential. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends when he’s not working.
Staying up to date in the world of L&D and mentorship is a full-time job in itself. Luckily we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of podcasts we love covering a range of exciting and fascinating topics in the L&D space.
Podcasts are a simple way to stay in the know. With bite-size episodes, you can listen to on the bus, at your desk, or simply over a cup of tea. There’s a reason we’re living in the age of podcasts – it’s a fantastic way to take learning into your own hands and find inspiration from experts you can trust.
We’re here to give you the down low on the best podcasts out there. Our list includes our favourite episodes and why you should give each your precious time and attention.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
Top L&D podcasts to follow in 2023
1. Guided, Guider
First on our list is our very own podcast, Guided. Brought to you by the fantastic hosts Nicola and Danika, our podcast brings together industry experts to explore the human side of work.
The team have assembled a line-up of truly inspirational figures in L&D, DE&I and Talent to talk about a range of topics from developing young leaders to cultivating true equity. These are the topics that we’re passionate here at Guider and we wanted to share these insights with as many people as possible!
Come for the big questions and stay for insights from industry experts that you can action in your work life today.
We recommend giving our first season a listen to hear more, starting with this insightful episode with Julie Dennis on menopause in the workplace.
We love our friends at HowNow’s podcast, L&D Disrupt. They’re here to help you keep up with the fast-paced changes in the world of work.
Their podcast covers a range of topics across the L&D space. With short and long-form content, as well as their new series ‘Path to CPO’, you’re sure to find inspiration across the board. It’s essential listening if you want to become a fast-learning, modern and agile company.
We recommend this short-form episode on ‘Marketing Principles for L&D Teams’ with Hannah Waddams to get you started.
3. The Learning & Development Podcast, David James
With more than 20 years experience, David James has an impressive career under his belt in Talent and L&D. This is what makes his podcast a go-to place to learn about top topics affecting the profession today.
If you want to hear from experts at top companies, then this is the podcast for you. James brings together impressive contacts to have lively debates on topics across the board.
This episode on ‘Performance-Oriented L&D’ with Lila Warren of Pret a Manger is a great place to start.
Brough to you by 360 Learning, the L&D Plus podcast focuses on how L&D teams can work together to achieve L&D goals. They want to make learning a team sport.
And we agree! Collaborative learning is not just a buzzword – it’s an essential way for learning to thrive in your organisation. That’s why we love this podcast. It’s all about bringing people together to support learning across your organisation.
To get started, why not check out the episode ‘L&D Plus Operations: What to do when talented people get bored’.
For those interested in how to incorporate coaching into your practice to become a better leader, this podcast is for you.
Hosted by Jo Wheatley and Zoe Hawkins, they expertly guide listeners in effective coaching techniques. Here, you can learn how to get the best of your people, and at the same time learn more about ourselves.
We loved this episode on ‘People Pleasing in Coaching’ and think it’s a great place to start listening!
This is the perfect podcast for anyone that wants to see ROI on digital HR and L&D tools.
The episodes are focussed on providing you with hacks that you can implement today – making it a go-to resource for digital-adoption strategies.
We highly recommend this episode from Nick Shackleton-Jones, a big name in L&D for a reason. He talks about his journey in L&D giving advice to leaders on creating the right L&D program for your organisation.
All these podcasts are full of insights for anyone looking to learn more about L&D, mentoring, and leadership. Remember, learning is in your hands – so why not make time to pop on a podcast and get your daily dose of new inspiration?
Ready for more? Check out our further L&D content:
According to a report by LinkedIn—94% of employees would stay longer at a company if more learning opportunities were provided. Moreover, organisations that recognise employees for their efforts and appreciate them saw a 14% increase in employee productivity.
These statistics paint a clear picture that a positive and encouraging work environment and culture are what the workforce wants. And as the increasing level of pressure and competition is a significant cause of burnout, a cohesive and supportive workplace can counter that feeling by providing a sense of satisfaction, security, confidence, and most of all, peace of mind.
This guide will focus on the importance of occupational wellness, why companies should focus on creating a better environment, and how prioritising their employees’ well-being can benefit both.
To learn more, read on…
What is occupational wellness?
Occupational wellness means achieving a balance between work and other responsibilities. This balance, in turn, lessens work stress, improves co-worker relationships, and enables employees to seek satisfaction in their work and enjoy recreational activities.
It enables employees to find value in themselves and their work and allows them to branch out to try new and different prospects should they feel the need because people only have that mentality when they’re comfortable.
Additionally, a healthy balance of work and other activities in daily life is essential to maintain good mental health, which, in turn, is vital for good workplace performance. Moreover, according to research, 79% are more likely to stay with a company that provides good mental health care.
Why is occupational wellness important?
Occupational wellness is essential today because of ever-increasing job competition and pressure. More often than not, work takes priority over recreational activities and connecting with friends and family. This imbalance can have devastating effects on people’s wellbeing.
On the flip side, if household responsibilities are overwhelming, they can affect performance in the workplace. So, establishing a balance is crucial so neither obligations suffer a drop.
Providing opportunities and supporting employees during challenging ordeals, whether at home or in the workplace, eases their burdens and allows them to destress and collect their emotions which is important to achieve much-needed balance.
Only after that can employees see an increase in productivity and job satisfaction, be more motivated, and experience the same outside of the workplace.
Key stats on occupational wellbeing:
15% – 20% of voluntary turnover is due to experiencing burnout.
82% of employees suffering from mental health issues did not report it, fearing negative feedback.
Companies with a good well-being program saw 89% of their employees recommending them as excellent workplaces.
35% of employees reported a negative impact due to workplace stress, and 2% reported overwhelming stress that hindered their ability to work.
Companies with poor or no employee well-being programs have to pay 20 times more yearly than those who do.
Examples of occupational wellbeing:
1. Acknowledge employees
Appreciating employees for their efforts and rewarding them accordingly massively boosts their confidence and encourages them to perform at the same level or go even further beyond. Confident employees are more likely to be satisfied with their work and organisation, increasing the company’s chances of retaining employees.
2. Remote or hybrid working models
Introducing or encouraging employees to opt for different working models according to their preferences will create a sense of comfort and security. It will also boost diversity as the company can hire people worldwide. Their perspectives and experiences will be valuable in creating an enriched working environment.
Applications and tools that help individuals manage and focus their emotions and energy with the help of exercise or meditation can be an excellent option to promote wellness in the organisation. Providing employees with subscriptions to these applications will help them better manage stress and burnout at their own pace without any financial repercussions.
52% of U.S. companies have occupational wellness programs,
72% of companies decreased their healthcare costs,
and 80% of employees reported enjoying their work more.
These statistics clearly show how important occupational wellness is for an organisation and its employees—and embedding wellness programs into your organisation will only improve the culture, environment, profits, employee satisfaction, and retention rates.
Here are 6 ways to embed occupational wellness in your organisation:
1. Open communication
Employees should feel heard and valued in any organisation to be efficient and do their best work. Incorporating and encouraging a culture where open communication takes priority will provide employees with a safe space to speak their minds, share their troubles, and ask for help and guidance to work through them.
By providing employees with internal, external, and remote opportunities to learn and grow their skillset, they will feel encouraged to pursue their interests and better themselves for their current positions. This will create a sense of support from the organisation, and employees will have a higher sense of security, confidence, and satisfaction.
3. Group workouts
On-site group workouts are an excellent strategy for promoting wellness in the organisation. Group workouts can be physical and mental, and providing different options to employees to take care of their stress and issues however they deem fit will increase morale, dedication, and overall efficiency as they will have a sense of gratification from their work and feel happy about it if they’re free of stress.
4. Destress zones
Many organisations have adopted the strategy of providing their employees with dedicated zones where they can retreat to destress, collect, sleep, and reinvigorate themselves.
Employees like these zones as they don’t have to travel much to access peace and can return to work quickly once fully charged. This also provides employees with space to catch up with their co-workers, engage in recreational activities, etc.
5. On-site healthcare
According to a study—organisations that provided healthcare saw a 60% increase in productivity. This shows the value of healthcare for employees in a company. Adding to their convenience by providing on-site checkups and vaccinations will increase employee satisfaction. It will motivate them to provide high-quality work for the organisation that cares for them.
6. Mentoring and coaching
Providing mentoring and coaching programs can support mental health and occupational wellbeing throughout your organisation. These development tools are great ways to build the quality of people’s relationships, helping them to feel seen and heard. They can also have a huge benefit for employee mental health.
Organisations catering to their employees’ well-being see a significant increase in productivity, profits, and retention rates, allowing them to compete at the highest level in the market. Mentoring is also an excellent option to help the workforce deal with their issues, learn from experienced employees, and have a support system. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to embed occupational wellness in your organisation – the benefits could be huge.
These aspects combined create a company culture that promotes engagement and communication and provides equal career growth opportunities for all. So having a mentor guide you through your career can be highly beneficial as they can chalk out a pathway for you to follow and guide you through difficult decisions.
This guide will discuss the benefits of having a career mentor, why you should opt to be part of a mentoring program, and how you can look for a mentor that best suits you.
What is a career mentor?
A career mentor is someone who has more experience and expertise in their field. Their responsibility is to guide new hires or present employees towards their goals. It can be anything from improving their communication skills to availing promotion opportunities or managing their work-life balance.
Since mentors are generally more experienced employees that have been through the hurdles the new generation is experiencing—they can provide valuable insight and guidance on how to deal with issues and make the best of the situation.
This doesn’t mean that the relationship between a mentor and mentee is strictly professional. A mentor can be a friend and an ally that can act as an anchor when times are turbulent, and having someone like that in your corner can do wonders for employees’ morale and confidence.
Everyone needs help and guidance at one point or another. However, there are some factors that you can consider before applying to be a part of a mentorship program.
If you’re struggling with any of the below, you may want to find a career mentor:
1. Low confidence
Confidence is an important attribute that can be highly beneficial in the workplace or daily life. Conversely, a lack of confidence can be detrimental to performance, and poor performance can lead to low satisfaction and poor results, hindering your growth.
However, this is something natural, many people experience it, but it’s not without a solution. Having a mentor guide and push you to do better and find opportunities, network with others, and step out of your comfort zone can help increase or regain confidence.
2. Feeling as if you’ve plateaued
The higher you climb the ladder, the tougher the challenges get, and being ill-prepared to face them results in you feeling stagnated in your career. This feeling is normal, especially today, where the competition to excel is exceptionally high, and constant pressure exists to do better.
A mentor can help you deal with these feelings and guide you towards achieving your goals. They can answer any queries, help you choose the best action, and provide much-needed support.
3. Unclear about your goals
Having a clear goal is vital to career growth and success. Individuals with goals are ten times more likely to succeed than those who don’t. However, just setting goals isn’t enough—following through and setting milestones is also essential.
By being part of a mentoring program, you can receive help in creating SMART goals, planning an outline, setting milestones, and receiving guidance on how to follow through so that you can achieve them and progress forward.
Daily office work can be repetitive, and it’s easy to get swept up and lose sight of your goals and ambitions. It can be challenging to break out of a monotonous routine as it becomes part of your comfort zone, but that has more negative effects than positive ones.
Receiving help and support from someone with more experience can help employees deal with breaking out of this loop by providing a new perspective on how things are and how they can be. In addition, doing so can reinvigorate morale and determination to do better and branch out.
5. Need to expand your network
Networking can provide excellent opportunities that can be beneficial to career growth. However, it requires one to step out and make themselves available, with good communication skills and know-how of different companies and cultures.
By utilising the benefits of a mentorship program—mentees can learn from their mentors, improve their communication and networking skills and ask their mentors to introduce them to their network.
So, how do I find a mentor for my career?
Organisations are often aware of the benefits of a well-developed mentoring program and actively seek to implement and improve it—providing employees with ample opportunities to become a part of a mentoring program.
There are several different ways to find a mentor, these include:
Internal mentoring programs
Since both the mentor and mentee are part of the same company, internal mentoring programmes can be an excellent source for finding a mentor that best suits your needs and understands your ambitions and goals.
Mentors know the organisation’s inner workings and what challenges new or present employees can face, so they can better guide them towards reaching their goals, expanding their horizons, and learning new skills to help them in the future.
So, if your employer has set up a mentoring program, make sure you make the most of that resource!
External mentoring programs
New or smaller organisations, often do not have the resources to spare for internal mentoring or enough mentors and mentees to make it work. This is where an external program comes in.
These may be set up by an external body or several companies coming together to offer this benefit to their people. Either way, look out for established programs in your industry. Often external programs support people from specific groups such as our client Reed who run the women in technology mentoring program.
These programs are an excellent opportunity to find mentors from a different field that will provide an out-of-the-box perspective and bring different experiences to learn from.
Sometimes all you have to do is ask, and you find that the answer was there all along. Asking your colleagues and friends for mentorship opportunities inside and outside your company can open multiple pathways. Reaching out to people on LinkedIn or through your personal network is a great way to meet relevant guides.
You can also ask if anyone of them or their colleagues have experienced having a mentor, and if they have, asking for their recommendations can drastically decrease your search for one.
Ask your employer to help you
At times the direct approach is the best; asking for mentorship opportunities directly from your manager or department head can present multiple results.
Being clear about your goals and asking for their help can be beneficial as they’re senior employees of the company and have a better understanding of your situation and can guide you towards the right person, or they might even take you under their wing.
It could also be the catalyst your employer needs to start a formal mentoring program. Bringing other like-minded people together to ask for this together could bring about lasting change in your organisation.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the benefits of having a career mentor to guide you through and why you should have one. Mentoring doesn’t stop with just learning and growing; it has a domino effect as the mentee becomes a mentor, and the chain continues, which develops a positive culture for the next generation.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of implementing a mentoring system in your organisation, book a demo.
Every business knows the key to success lies in the ability to plan ahead. Especially when it comes to planning for key employees leaving the business and how to manage their exit.
This is why succession planning is so critical, as it ensures processes are in place to fill key roles and maintain institutional knowledge.
When used correctly, succession planning can ensure a smooth transition of leadership and facilitate the development and training of qualified individuals to step into specific roles immediately.
Most organisations rely on various tools and strategies to effectively implement succession planning—but which tools are best? Find out in our complete guide.
What is succession planning?
First up, let’s look at what succession planning really is.
When an employee leaves your business, it’s the HR department’s job to fill that position quickly, and the replacement needs to fit seamlessly into the company.
For every employee that leaves, there will be a loss of institutional knowledge and expertise. There will also be time where essential work that employee normally takes care of, will need to be covered by others.
Succession planning’s main objective is to ensure a smooth transition between people leaving roles and top talent entering them. This should aim to prevent essential work slipping, other employees being overloaded and prevent a loss of knowledge.
Why is succession planning important?
Succession planning is important because preparing for vacancies in key roles such as leadership means companies can achieve organisational stability and mitigate the risks of sudden departures or unforeseen events.
Establishing strong processes allows organisations to maintain continuity, preserve institutional knowledge, and sustain performance levels.
However, while this might sound easy, studies show that’s not always the case. According to Employer News, around 71% of boards and 75% of CEOs don’t actively participate in – or support – succession planning sessions.
What are the four stages of succession planning?
Succession planning involves four steps that are integral to the process. Failing to follow each stage means HR teams might fail to identify top talent and ensure a smooth transition between roles.
Step one: Identifying key positions and roles
The first step in succession planning is identifying the key positions, such as leadership roles or jobs that require specialist skills and knowledge.
Identifying these positions allows organisations to focus on succession planning and ensure a smooth transition when these positions become vacant.
Step two: Assessing current talent
The next step is to assess the current talent within the organisation by evaluating each employee’s performance, skills, experience, and potential for growth.
The goal is to identify individuals who can fill the key positions in the future.
Step three: Developing talent
HR departments must also focus on developing top employees and giving them the skills and capabilities required for future leadership roles.
Training and development programmes, mentoring, and job rotations can give talented employees confidence and ensure they’re ready to step up when needed.
Step four: Implementing and evaluating the plan
The final step involves assigning individuals to specific development activities, regularly reviewing progress, and adjusting the plan.
Doing this ensures the succession planning strategy works and can identify any gaps or areas for improvement.
4 Succession planning tools you need today
So, now you know more about succession planning, it’s time to reveal which tools are best. These tools simplify processes and give HR departments the information they need to make informed decisions.
Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based talent management software company that provides a comprehensive suite of solutions designed to assist organisations in managing their human resources and optimising employee performance.
Using a visual-based data system, HR teams and external stakeholders can assess a range of ‘What If’ scenarios and run through them to evaluate different alterations.
What makes Cornerstone so great is its scenario feature, which simplifies succession planning, but you’ll have to install integrations using the API, so there are some drawbacks.
PerformYard is another software solution that aims to help HR teams develop succession plans by generating valuable data. The great thing about this software is it’s fully customisable and has different reporting features.
For example, you can choose a variety of performance management reports, including continuous feedback, project-based reviews, rating scales and 360-degree reviews.
The cascading goals can also turn into long-term career plans, which allow senior management and HR teams to evaluate each employee.
Things to remember about succession planning
Succession planning is an intricate process that requires a lot of dedication and commitment. The key to creating development plans that work is to continually monitor management members and put solid strategies in place early on.
Our top tips for succession planning include the following:
Prioritising the most critical roles first.
Let your employees know your plans and encourage loyalty.
Ensure you have good training and mentoring plans in place.
Be willing to adapt to the changes that will naturally occur.
Succession planning should be at the top of every company’s priority list, and following the tips in this post will help you create a bespoke plan that works for your company’s unique needs.
With so many software solutions available, you can combine systems to get the most out of your planning strategy. Guider is a top-rated mentoring solution that offers endless benefits and makes matching mentors with mentees a stress-free experience.
If you’re interested in seeing how Guider can work for you, book a free demo today.
For many ambitious and proactive employees, setting long-term career goals is essential for steering your career in the right direction.
Setting long-term goals can be complex and can get overwhelming if you allow it to. But with a careful, pragmatic approach that puts achievable goals in the front view, you will quell that feeling and enjoy each productive step forwards.
This article explores the importance of long-term goals, introduces a 5-step approach that will change how you perceive goals, and tells you exactly why mentoring is a fundamental piece of the puzzle in goal-setting.
Let’s get planning!
The importance of setting long-term career goals
Long-term goals are essential, especially if you have a specific career trajectory in mind. Without goals, we can easily go off-course and even stagnate in our careers. A solid career plan will reinforce the work you do every day, and imbue you with purpose that takes you where you want to go. Not to mention, keep you focused and on track.
Before we go on, it’s important to remember that a long-term career plan doesn’t need to be set in stone. Your goals may change and grow as you do and that’s ok. And of course, you can change it at any time, and adjust it as you evolve through your journey. A career plan is there to help you, calibrate your focus, and maintain the motivation you need to achieve ambitious goals.
In either case, a long-term career goal is a set of milestones that lead you to a particular ‘ultimate’ goal. This might be the CEO of your own company or perhaps you’re striving for a level of financial security or creative expression through work.
In any case, planning is involved to get the ball rolling. To do so, you might prefer to use your ingenuity and smarts to do it yourself, but you can help yourself along a bit by taking a look at how you can start.
If you’re looking for inspiration of the kinds of long-term career goals you can set to ensure success, we’re here to help.
Long-term goals can be anywhere from 1-year to 20-years in the making so think big!
Here are 5 top long-term goal examples:
Financial security is increasingly important as the world changes. With the cost of living crisis and redundancies across once secure businesses, prioritising your salary goals is important.
There are many steps you can take to get to your goal salary, showing your management team that you’ve got what it takes. Don’t forget, sometimes being up front with your goals is necessary, so don’t be afraid to communicate your ambitions with your employer.
Remember, salary is only one part of your work package. Negotiating across the spectrum of benefits is important, for example your employer pension contribution can massively affect your ability to retire securely in future.
Which brings us nicely to our next point, for many people a long-term goal may actually be when you plan to stop working. Perhaps you want to retire comfortably by the age of 55 or you have a goal of the pension fund you need to enjoy your golden years.
Either way, planning is key to ensure you can have the retirement that you want when the time comes.
They say that mastery takes 10,000 hours of practice. Mastering a skill can be a fulfilling and rewarding goal that is not focussed on material gain, but on the emotional rewards of progress. Setting this as a long-term goal is a great way to remind yourself why you do what you do.
This may include reaching a level of education or training associated with your profession and works well for careers that have a clearly defined process for certifying skill. Equally, you may find that years or accolades help you understand what mastery means to you.
4. Job title
For some people, their long-term goal is about reaching a certain job role or title. Whether it’s CEO, or Head of Department, there are lots of long-term goals that you can set around rising the ranks in your career.
Equally, you may want to set goals around variety of role or industry – for many a squiggly career is fulfilling and being able to leave your career having reached a number of interesting roles is what you are looking for.
Top tips for hitting your goals
Ready to set you BHAG? (Big Hairy Ambitious Goal!) Then remember these top tips:
1. Make you goal SMART
The SMART goal-setting framework is a classic for a reason – it works.
SMART stands for:
Specific: The clearer the goal, the easier it is to see if you’ve hit it or not.
Measurable: It’s hard to see results if you can’t measure progress so make your goal measurable.
Attainable: Setting goals you can’t achieve is de-motivating! Make sure you can actually hit your goal, however ambitious it is.
Relevant: It needs to be tied into your other life goals and activities otherwise it can easily be sidelined.
Time-bound: Give yourself a deadline and work backwards from there to make sure you can achieve your goal.
This framework helps you to set goals that are clearly defined and achievable, which will help you to stay on track and see progress.
Mentorship is vital for hitting your career goals, not the least because it allows you to vocalise your goals and get some genuine, honest advice about how to go about them. Regular meetings will increase your belief in yourself, and keep you on the right track. Plus, it allows you to see how others have achieved their goals. Look into this when you can!
3. Break goals down
It’s useful to break your goals down into smaller goals. For instance, if you have a large overarching goal like “I will become the CEO of a large multinational company”, it should be broken down into achievable sections with clear timeframes.
Physicality is important here. Write your goals down on cards, or pin Post-it notes to a cork board. One way or the other, stay aware of them each day.
4. Hold yourself accountable
It’s important to hold yourself accountable for your long-term goals. Firstly, acknowledge that they’re not going to come to you. It’s all down to you. It’s your responsibility. Then look at the cards on the table. How do you proceed? Figure the different avenues of this out and you’ll be well on the way. Then it’s a case of spending the appropriate amount of time per week with each avenue to achieve the results. You can even buy a journal and list weekly tasks with rewards.
5. Celebrate your success
Every successful step forwards must be celebrated. You should do something fun to reward yourself like a holiday or a new book. This self-imposed rewards scheme will give you that extra incentive to keep going so that you remain aware of the steps ahead of you but appreciate every milestone, however small.
Putting a career goal into place will transform your working life and reinforce the validity of your daily tasks. The key thing is to stick with your plan once you have identified it and mapped it out, and assess the results and every step towards success. But also, remember to reassess the plan regularly. This allows you to make changes and remove low-priority tasks.
If you need more information about how to handle your career trajectory, then check out our related posts: