Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Advice for Businesses Archives - Guider
Categories
Advice for Businesses

Tackling the Talent Crisis in the Insurance Industry

The results are in, 43% of insurance companies are saying that it’s getting harder to find skilled candidates in a number of areas, including claims.

And this isn’t just a short-term trend. The talent crisis in the insurance industry has been brewing for a long time, exacerbated by the pandemic. From difficulties in attracting graduate talent to retaining employees at all levels, these issues are being seen across the insurance industry.

So, what’s the solution? It’s time to think beyond the traditional methods to tackle these insurance industry challenges.

Here are 3 ways that mentoring can provide the solution to tackle the crisis.

How can mentoring tackle the talent crisis in the insurance industry?

Put culture first 🙌

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way that we work. Along with generational differences in what Millenials and Gen-Z expect from their employer, traditional methods of attracting talent are no longer enough.

Nice-to-have elements of workplace culture have become must-haves. These included DE&I, financial wellness, flexibility and career enrichment opportunities. By working on creating an inclusive working culture, that accounts for flexibility and learning and progression opportunities, you can stay competitive.

“People who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of employees with a negative experience, and they are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company.” (McKinsey, 2021)

With employees asking for pay increases that are unsustainable, investing in your culture is an intrinsic part of creating an environment that goes beyond pay in retaining top talent.

Mentoring is a fantastic way to build a company culture that addresses the top areas of workplace culture that people are looking for. By connecting people for peer-to-peer and social learning, you can foster inclusion, provide tangible growth opportunities, and, with virtual mentoring, provide a flexible learning solution.

Grow your own talent 🌱

Insurance graduate schemes have long been used to nurture top talent. High-potential employees can also be found early on through apprenticeships and earn-and-learn programs for school leavers.

Focusing on capturing new talent and nurturing them is important in an industry where talent is continually ageing out. Building the processes where you can grow your own talent are vital for creating a resilient talent pipeline.

When growing your own talent, mentoring can play an important role in insurance onboarding and developing new starters as well as in their long-term career progression.

“As we seek to attract new people into the business, they have to know that there is mentorship and somebody that feels responsible or accountable for the development available to them.” Chris Conrade, Conrade Insurance Group

Building human connections is incredibly important. It not only leads to skills development and faster time to competency, but can support mental health and employee engagement too. By incorporating mentoring into your graduate or earn-and-learn schemes, high-potential employees will gain invaluable insight into the business.

Who better to get your new hires up to speed on the industry and company culture than your own people?

Go digital 💻

The final way that mentoring can tackle the talent crisis in insurance is through virtual mentoring. In our ever-more digital workplaces, there are many ways to continue to connect and develop your employees. We know that relying on traditional ways of working is no longer effective.

“Forced virtualisation of work during the pandemic has fueled revolutionary changes in employee expectations and upended many traditional employment models” (Deloitte, 2023)

Whether you’re still expecting in-person recruitment events to bring in new starters or thinking that in-person learning opportunities will still yield the same results they used to, it’s time to rethink the methods you’re using to engage your people.

Virtual mentoring is a great way to provide a flexible learning opportunity that can be used across remote and hybrid employees. Mentoring software, such as Guider, makes implementing mentoring across your organisation simple.

Through virtual mentoring, you can connect employees across the business, breaking down siloes and creating connections that have a big impact on employee happiness.

Working in insurance is a fulfilling and rewarding career. For top insurance companies to stay competitive, it’s important to focus on attracting and retaining top talent by moving with changing times. By utilising mentoring and peer learning solutions, such as Guider, you can improve culture, grow talent and tackle the talent crisis head-on.

Want to find out more? Book a chat with our team today.

Categories
Advice for Businesses

The Benefits of Coaching vs Mentoring

We get it, mentoring and coaching are easy to confuse.

Given that they both relate to personal development and involve working with others to achieve goals, there are a lot of shared elements to coaching and mentoring.

Luckily, we’ve already covered the differences between coaching and mentoring in a previous article. Read it here if you need a refresher!

But what about the benefits of both practices? It’s one thing to know the differences but that doesn’t always tell you which one your workplace needs. That’s where we’re here to help!

Find out the top benefits of mentoring vs coaching below to help you make the right decision for your people.

What is coaching?

First, let’s define coaching. Coaching is the act of a trained coach working with a person, known as a coachee, on specific performance objectives, skills and goals. Sounds similar to mentoring, right?

Well, a key difference in coaching is that the coach doesn’t need to have direct experience in the industry or job function of the coachee. Instead, they use tools and techniques learned through training to develop them. They will not share their personal experience throughout the sessions, which means that learning is often more structured and focused in coaching. ‍

“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve. Bill Gates (Source)

What are the benefits of coaching?

Reports show increased confidence, greater productivity and ability to work towards goals after coaching. In fact, as many as 80% of people who receive coaching report increased confidence. This has to be the biggest benefit of coaching; the huge impact on confidence. On top of this, coaching gives your people dedicated time to work on their skills and behaviours.

Coaching can lead to…

        ✅ Increased confidence

        ✅ Better communication skills

        ✅ Greater self-awareness

        ✅ Unlocking potential

Coaches work on areas such as communication, confidence, and career planning. It’s all about unlocking people’s potential through targeted sessions that challenge limiting thoughts or beliefs.

What’s best about this tool is that it’s so focused on the individual. Through questions, exercises and other techniques, coaches work on the underlying issues that affect your team. Another bonus is that you can find trained coaches easily, confident in the knowledge that they are accredited and ready to help your people develop.

How can my organisation benefit from coaching?

The benefits of coaching on an organisational level are vast.

Offering coaching to your people shows your investment in their development. It’s a great way to up-skill your workforce and address the underlying issues that hold people back at work. As well as confidence, coaching can benefit mental health too.

On top of this, 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment in coaching and more. Coaching can benefit talent retention, employee engagement and productivity. It also provides an attractive workplace benefit for any organisation.

By hiring coaches from outside your organisation, or training individuals internally, you can provide targeted support to develop your people.

Further benefits of coaching for your organisation include:

        ✅ Identify high-potential employees

        ✅ Improve individual performance

        ✅ Create targeted learning and development

        ✅ Improve retention, engagement and productivity

        ✅ Benefit mental health and job satisfaction

Coaching is the kind of benefit your employees are asking for. By providing them with 1:1 support from a trained coach, you’re investing in your talent and helping them to grow. This has lasting impacts on employee engagement, satisfaction and retention, as well as your bottom line.

Banner advert for coaching, mentoring and sponsorship e-book by Guider

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is the act of helping another person through support and guidance in their personal development. There are many different types of mentoring that can support people in different ways and at different times. For example, mentoring has powerful benefits when used in onboarding.

Find out more about the different types of mentoring in our guide.

Similar to coaching, mentoring involves targeted support for individuals looking to grow. However, in mentoring, mentors are there on a voluntary basis and will use their direct experience to guide their mentees. These relationships can last for a short time or a lifetime.

It’s a practice that’s been around since the age of Socrates and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon!

What are the benefits of mentoring?

For both the mentor, mentee and the organisation, mentoring has a wide range of benefits.

Participating in mentoring can increase self-confidence, self-awareness and help your people to practice communication and leadership skills. By learning from other people’s perspectives, or sharing your own, cultural competency will improve at your organisation.

It’s also a great way to support diversity and inclusion initiatives, boost employee mental health and create a culture of knowledge sharing. The best part about mentoring is that great mentors already exist in your business. By tapping into your people’s expertise and sharing it, you can amplify learning and development.

As well as this, organisations that have mentoring programs see improved engagement, retention and productivity. In fact, 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring and 55% felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits.

The top benefits of mentoring include:

        ✅ Widening perspectives

        ✅ Creating support networks

        ✅ Progressing careers

        ✅ Up-skilling

        ✅ Building personal networks

Find out more on the benefits of mentoring in full here.

Given that it’s voluntary, long-term and based on personal experience and connection, it can be easy to get started in mentoring. Whether through an informal mentoring relationship or using mentoring software such as Guider, there are many routes to mentoring. ‍

The benefits of both coaching and mentoring include…

As you can see, both practices have major benefits for your people and your organisation. They both involve building trust and unlocking potential.

The common themes are:

  • Personal growth
  • Problem-solving
  • Employee engagement
  • Skills development
  • Employee bonding and connection
  • Improved retention
  • Leadership development
  • Takes the burden off line managers

With all these benefits of running a mentoring or coaching program, which one should you choose?

Which do I need, coaching or mentoring?

Whether it’s for you personally or for your organisation, deciding whether you need to find a mentor or a coach is tricky.

If you’re looking to build lasting, long-term connections between your employees then mentoring could be right for you. It’s great for creating a culture of social learning and draws on the expertise of your existing employees – meaning less training is needed!

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

However, if you want to up-skill and develop your people with a more targeted approach, coaching could work better. Coaching is great for providing structured development programs that hone in on core skills and objectives.

The first step is to consider the problem you are trying to solve, what resources you have and consider whether coaching or mentoring is the right solution.

Once you understand the problem or need you are addressing, it should be clearer which one you need. From there, the only way is up! Setting up a coaching or mentoring program is easy with Guider.

If you’re looking for help setting up a mentoring or coaching program, we’re here to help! Talk to one of our expert team today and get going with Guider.

Categories
Advice for Businesses

Why Mentoring is Essential for Sales Leaders

In a job market where sales turnover is higher than ever, sales leaders are struggling to find and retain productive talent.

This issue is driven by a lack of ownership of the onboarding process and supporting new sellers, ultimately increasing the likelihood of employee churn. The process may be managed by a sales leader or an HR specialist who would take this on as an additional responsibility, instead of as an essential part of recruitment. This can leave new sellers feeling under-equipped and undervalued in their roles.

Michael Smith, a Managing Director from Blue Ridge Partners, puts this growing issue into numbers when he says; “We’ve seen companies lose 80% of their talent following an acquisition. Fast-growing businesses in attractive and growing markets are unable to keep pace with that growth almost entirely due to their inability to attract and retain sales talent. In Silicon Valley, it’s not unusual for firms to lose 25% or more of their sellers every quarter.”

Tackling employee churn in sales is vital for building high-performing and productive sales teams. The good news? Sales mentoring has the power to transform your teams.

Find out more about the importance of mentoring in the workplace in our guide

Attracting and retaining top sales talent

When firms lose a large number of their sellers, there is a direct negative impact on their business activity – including revenue, costs, and margins.

Research by Blue Ridge Partners indicates that “A five percent increase in sales rep attrition across your sales team can increase selling costs 4-6% and reduce total revenue attainment by 2-3% overall”. Not to mention the difficulty of fostering long-term relationships between short-term sellers and customers and motivating your sales team throughout.

Therefore, it’s in your company’s best interest to develop its talent. If you can do so successfully, the results are two-fold. Not only will the seller be less likely to look for a new job, but the entire company will see a boost in production. A recent study by McKinsey & Company, which included more than 600,000 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes reveals that “High performers are 400 percent more productive than average ones”. So, the idea is simple: when you can recruit and develop sales members into high-performing employees, business performance increases.

A bar chart showing the productivity gap between average performers and high performers.
Source: Attracting and retaining the right talent | McKinsey

Reducing the turnover rate of your sales team

This is a lot easier said than done – and something that many senior executives do not have time to take on. Mckinsey & Company found that, “a whopping 82 percent of companies don’t believe they recruit highly talented people. For companies that do, only 7 percent think they can keep it”. There’s clearly a problem.

The great news is that companies don’t have to tackle this challenge alone. Internal mentoring software, such as Guider exists for these reasons. Here at Guider, we understand the difficulties faced by sales leaders – a lack of resources, dealing with poor employee experiences, and fluent communication in an age of hybrid working. To assist sales leaders, Guider provides one centralised innovative mentoring platform with everything you need to launch or scale impactful mentoring programs and prove ROI.

Our mentoring platform can transform mentoring and coaching in your organisation. With uses across the recruitment, onboarding and team development process, mentoring software is a solution that effectively reduces employee churn. With Guider’s mentoring platform you can:

        ✅ Offer an attractive benefit to new candidates

          ✅ Improve the efficacy of your onboarding process

          ✅ Develop and up-skill your sales team

          ✅ Offer greater opportunities for learning and growth

          ✅ Develop your teams networks across the business

Our mentoring software can be implemented virtually too, making it a great solution for hybrid and remote first companies.

Find out more about improving onboarding with mentoring in our guide

Internal mentoring software simplified

By working with us, your sales team will be set up for success. With out dedicated customer success and engagement teams on hand, we go the extra mile to get your people connected through sales mentoring. We take care of the groundwork by taking care of the following:

Build your mentoring program

Before going live, we build your mentoring platform with:

 ☑ Customised landing pages unique to your program

 ☑ Work with our expert team to create a recruitment and promotion plan

 ☑ Customise the Guider platform with your branding

 ☑ Customise sign-up forms

 ☑ SSO and user integrations

Find out more about the cost of not doing mentoring in our guide

Launch and match

Using our sophisticated matching algorithm with a 96.5% matching accuracy, we customise your mentor matching:

 ☑ Match within the same or different regions

 ☑ Match with different job level ranges

☑ Limit the amount of relationships mentors can have

Measure your success‍

‍Let Guider guarantee you hit your success criteria and help align mentoring to your overall business goals. Our real-time metrics give you access to:

☑ Live data dashboard

 ☑ Engagement metrics

 ☑ Skills Reports aligning with your program objectives

This is all essential for calculating the ROI of your program.

Find out more about how mentoring software works in our guide

Time and time again, mentoring has proven to boost retention rates for companies around the world. Frank Jules at AT&T understands the value of mentoring programs and describes its benefits when he says; “If you don’t invest in training and enabling your people, you wind up spending a significant chunk of resources dealing with rep churn, finding new reps, and ramping them. In the end, very few of them will develop into the top talent you need to outperform the competition.”

To avoid this common problem, give your team the edge by investing in mentoring for your sales team. By partnering with us, you can improve both business performance and retain long-term sales talent. The benefits of mentoring are remarkable why don’t you find out for yourself?

Want to find out more? Talk to us on the chat below about how we can transform your sales team through mentoring

Categories
Advice for Businesses

Why Mentoring Programs Fail

 

We all want our mentoring programs to be successful, it’s why we set them up and why we invest in mentoring software to support them, but there are key problems that can turn a mentoring program from full of promise to a total flop.

That’s where we’re here to help. Because while some mentoring programs may fail, yours doesn’t have to!

If you want to reap the rewards of mentoring in your organisation, such as increased employee engagement, lower employee churn and higher employee satisfaction, then it’s important to anticipate challenges before they happen. By understanding some of the common mentoring mistakes that can lead to program failure, you can set your workplace mentoring program up for success.

Why mentoring programs fail (and what to do about it)

There are a number of reasons that workplace mentoring programs can fail, from lack of direction to loss of mentoring momentum. Thankfully there’s plenty that you can do to ensure your mentoring program is set up for success.

So, let’s look at the most common workplace mentoring mistakes and what to do about them:

1. Not setting clear goals

Starting a mentoring program without a clear goal in mind is a common mistake. A mentoring program that doesn’t properly outline what it wants to achieve will by default fail. We need to know where we are going in order to know when we get there!

So, by setting clear mentoring program goals, it’s much easier to measure your success.

Example goal: 

  • To run a 6-week cross-company reverse mentoring program to support BAME employees career progression. The program will reach X number of senior leaders to increase awareness, cultural competency and encourage action in tackling systemic barriers and bias in the organisation.

What’s the solution? ✅

Spend time outlining your program goal or goals. It’s best to do this in the design phase, but you can always retroactively define your goal if your mentoring program has already started.

Some key questions to ask:

  • Who is the program for?
  • Why do you need a mentoring program?
  • What will success look like?
  • Will I utilise mentoring software?

As with any goal, it’s important to make it SMART. This stands for, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Using the SMART framework to set your mentoring program goals will help you to measure progress and stay on track.

When you have a clear goal set out, it’s time to sense check that your plans align with the people that you’re aiming to help. This way you can be confident that your program will have impact and maintain momentum later on.

Find out more about designing a mentoring program for success in our guide

2. Low sign-ups

Another key problem that programs can face is low sign-ups. For many of us, mentoring sounds like a great idea in theory but this doesn’t always translate to people signing up for the program in practice.

There can be many reasons for low sign-ups. Whether it’s a lack of knowledge around what mentoring is, what the commitment of the program is or its potential benefits, there are many reasons people may be reluctant to commit.

What’s the solution? ✅

First up, it’s important to check the facts. Are the group or groups that you are aiming to help getting the information they need to understand what the program is?

When launching and maintaining a mentoring program, it’s important to be realistic about the amount of promotion you need to do to get people involved.

Here are our top tips for increasing sign-ups for your mentoring program:

  • Spread the word: Through your company intranet, internal comms, Employee Resource Groups and newsletters
  • Find your advocates: Get senior leadership on board and identify mentoring champions to help promote your program
  • Articulate the value: Through comms or events, it’s important that everyone understands what mentoring is and why they should join the program
  • Remove barriers to entry: Look at your program from the outside, is it easy to sign-up? If there are barriers to entry it’s important to identify and remove them where possible

Remember: When running your first program it’s better to have a small number of highly engaged participants over hundreds of less engaged people that don’t actively participate!

Focus on getting mentors and mentees that are enthusiastic and committed on board. These people will then become advocates of your program, spreading the word and helping your program to grow!

3. Disconnected mentors and mentees ❌

By disconnected, we mean mentors and mentees that are not engaging with the program or each other. They may have joined with good intentions but find themselves struggling to make time for mentoring – meaning fewer mentor matches and fewer sessions.

Sometimes mentoring can lose momentum. When this happens there are a number of ways you can revitalise your program.

What’s the solution? ✅

There are many reasons for program drop-off and fatigue. When this happens why not try:

In the planning stages, try to be realistic about what internal comms you’ll run to promote your program. If this is a brand new scheme, you may need to run several campaigns to build excitement and awareness around your program.

Pay attention to matching too! Reminding participants that they can screen several mentors through chemistry calls will help people find the right match for them. Disengagement can happen when mentors and mentees aren’t connecting despite having shared experiences.

4. Not enough feedback

A solid process for collecting feedback on your program and using it to improve is one of the keys to success. By not factoring feedback into your program design you’ll be missing vital opportunities to guide your program.

While asking for feedback can feel uncomfortable, not asking is a surefire way to miss out on important information on the health of your mentoring program.

What’s the solution? ✅

Factor feedback into the design of your program. Use short strategic surveys at the start, middle and end of your program or at regular intervals for an ongoing program. This way you can find out how your participants are getting on and find any potential problems.

By using feedback effectively, we can better anticipate issues. It’s also valuable data to have to prove success and ROI, as well as collecting valuable marketing materials such as quotes.

Provide support to your mentors and mentees to run a productive session with our guide.

5. Not building for scale

Manually matching participants on your kitchen table may have worked well when you had 20 participants. What do you do now that your program has grown?

Sometimes too much success can be the cause of failure! By not anticipating success, we can create problems later on when we want to scale. If you want to reach more people, grow your program and impact more lives, then you’ll need to build your program with this in mind.

What’s the solution? ✅

This is where mentoring software comes in. With a mentoring platform, you can take the stress out of running a mentoring program. Leaving you to focus on making plans to grow your program!

Here at Guider, our smart matching algorithm does the hard part for you. You can trust that mentors and mentees will find the right person for them with our smart mentor matching, without the headache of managing the matching process manually.

Once you have a mentoring software solution in place, it’s easy to add more programs or expand the ambitions of your scheme. With our data reporting functions, you’ll be able to show the effectiveness of your program with ease too.

Read our guide to how mentoring software works to find out more.

By paying attention to these mentoring mistakes in the design of your program, you can anticipate problems before they appear! Remember, building a successful mentoring program takes time. You’ll learn more and more with every program you try and you’ll build a bank of mentoring champions along the way.

Ready to start your mentoring program right? Book a chat with our team to find out more about how Guider can set you up for success.

Categories
Advice for Businesses

How to Establish Trust Through Workplace Mentoring

So, you want to build a successful and productive workplace? Great – of course, you’re not alone in this goal. But what separates good workplaces from the bad? Some will say having the right resources is the best way forward. Others will prioritise time tracking, focusing on improving work efficiency.

While these both help, there is an even more important factor in fostering a successful workplace: trust. There’s no point in having the best resources if your employees don’t trust each other, or your organisation. Without trust, group projects won’t run smoothly, and your workplace will lack the space needed for effective dialogue.

In a nutshell, a lack of trust can completely derail an organisation. But what can you do to make sure that this doesn’t happen? Well, implementing a workplace mentoring program is a really good place to start. But first, let’s look at the different types of trust.

Trust spelt in scrabble tiles
How do you build trust in the workplace?

What are the different types of trust?

You might be wondering, how do you categorise trust? Believe it or not, there are actually two forms of trust: practical and emotional. Let’s take a closer look…

Practical  trust

This form of trust requires hard work. If an employee regularly arrives at work on time and puts in a full day’s worth of effort, you’re more likely to trust them. Similarly, if a team leader provides effective and dedicated leadership, their team is more likely to put their faith in them.

Practical trust is essential if you want people to believe that you’ll put actions to your words. 

Emotional  trust

It’s fair to say that practical trust is a little colder and more pragmatic than emotional trust – put simply, practical trust is built from commitment and effort. Emotional trust is slightly different in that it’s developed as employees bond with one another. When emotional trust is strong, they feel more confident about expressing their thoughts and feelings.

Emotional trust is essential if you want people to believe they can be themselves at work and trust you with their thoughts and feelings.

Which do you need?

You might have figured it out already, but the answer is that you absolutely need both. Without practical trust, people won’t make the effort to grow your organisation. Without emotional trust, workers won’t have strong enough ties to work together effectively.

But how do you build both practical and emotional trust? Let’s find out!

A pile of question marks on a blue background
How do you build a culture of trust through mentoring?

How to build a culture of trust with mentoring

Trust won’t come overnight; you’ll need to work towards it. To build a positive working environment, the overall culture of your workplace will need to change.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a workplace culture should embody your organisation. A culture of trust is one of openness and transparency, seen in all employees across the entire organisation.

One great way to do this is to implement a workplace mentoring scheme. This will build both types of trust as employees learn they can rely on one another and have a safe place to discuss their challenges and goals.

Building trust through mentoring

Mentoring is when an experienced worker shares their experience with a newcomer or ‘mentee’. Mentoring is a practice that is becoming more and more popular in the workplace. This for good reason – it can help employees develop new and valuable skills.

There are lots of proven benefits to this, including accelerated career growth and boosted levels of engagement.

But despite this, many organisations still don’t have their own mentoring programs. In fact, a recent study found that only 37% of employees have mentors. This is a shame, as mentoring is a great way of building trust between workers.

But what can you do to ensure that your mentoring program boosts trust?

Focus on providing strong leadership

You won’t build much trust without strong leadership. Leadership should be central to every mentoring program, as team members need a role model that they can look up to. When selecting mentors, you need to look for the right qualities. The following factors are essential:

A willingness to listen

Mentoring is about sharing knowledge, but it’s also about listening. Too many mentors forget this and spend too long talking about themselves as a result. If you want mentoring to be the foundation of strong trust, a mentor needs to ensure that the mentee feels heard and is allowed the space to ask questions.

Be ready to admit mistakes

It can take a lot of guts to admit that you’re wrong about something, especially from a position of leadership. But by doing so, a mentor is teaching mentees the important lesson of learning from one’s mistakes, which in turn builds trust. A mentor will appear both relatable and approachable as a result.

Stick to promises

One sure-fire way of losing trust is by breaking promises. If a mentor makes a commitment, they should stick to it. This means, for instance, that any discussions held under confidentiality should remain between the mentor and mentee.

A woman in a yellow top on her laptop
Mentoring is a great way to build trust

Trust is essential

Put simply, trust is essential for every workplace. Without it, you won’t get anything done. But as we’ve explored here, you’ll need both practical and emotional trust if you’re to succeed. Establishing these won’t always be easy. Just remember, trust begins with simple steps.

If you haven’t already, start planning a mentoring program, this is a great first step in creating a culture of trust; allowing workers to gain both emotional and practical trust. They’ll create stronger bonds by working closely with their mentors. They’ll also learn from high-ranking workers firsthand, inspiring them to work towards progression.

So, what are you waiting for? Book a chat with our team of mentoring experts today and start building trust through mentoring today!

About the author:

Jessica Day, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, at Dialpad

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimise marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Jessica has also written for other domains such as Recruitee and Bizmanualz. Find her on LinkedIn.

Categories
Advice for Businesses

Common Mentoring Myths (and How to Bust Them)

While many people are familiar with mentoring as an important part of learning and development, there are many common myths and misconceptions about the practice. Mentoring is the act of matching mentors with a wide skillset, knowledge and experience base, with mentees that are looking for advice, wisdom and encouragement. However many advantages there are to mentoring, it is still widely misunderstood. Many companies believe that mentoring is not an important tool to implement within their business, when this is just not the case.

Here at Guider, we believe that mentoring is an essential, not just a nice-to-have.

There is an abundance of information out there around mentoring, and the benefits not just to the mentee but mentors too. Yet, there are common mentoring myths that still hold people back from starting or joining a mentoring program.

Below, we discuss the common myths surrounding mentoring, as well as the truths of how we can bust these misconceptions.

Top Mentoring Myths

❌ You can’t be a mentor early on in your career

There is a common misconception that you’re too young to be a mentor if you’re only just starting out in your career and may lack the experience that more senior people may have. This is just not the case. Having a younger perception and perspective on your life, particularly if a younger mentor is supporting a younger mentee, can allow you to better relate to your mentee’s experience than someone who may be older. Through peer mentoring and reverse mentoring, you will find that early career mentors are incredibly valuable.

There really is no age limit on who can become a mentor. Instead it’s important to focus on the key skills and characteristics that mentors need to be successful. Even in the early stages of our careers there is valuable wisdom that we can share.

❌ Someone can only be a mentor or a mentee

It is often thought that you can only be a mentor or a mentee and not do both. Although not every individual has the time or capacity to act as both mentor and mentee, there are individuals who have the capability to have dual roles. By having a mentor and acting as a mentor, individuals get the opportunity to learn and develop in both areas. This can accelerate their personal growth enormously.

❌ Mentoring is time consuming

It’s true that mentoring takes dedication and commitment, which can often put professionals with busy schedules off. However, mentoring is not necessarily time-consuming. It just requires individuals to set times for mentoring around their workloads and other commitments. For example, scheduling sessions around breaks or over lunch when work is put to the side can help. Also, remembering that mentoring is an important part of professional development reminds you that it’s ok to prioritise sessions over other tasks.

As a program lead, it’s important to encourage people to take time for mentoring. One way to do this is by getting senior leaders active in mentoring. It sets up a culture of mentoring in your organisation that gives permission for others to put mentoring on their schedule.

❌ Mentoring doesn’t last very long

Sometimes mentoring is viewed as a short-term activity. This is often not the case and purely depends on the decision both the mentor and the mentee make collaboratively. In fact, some mentoring relationships will last for years!

It is usually recommended that goals are established in a mentoring relationship, which then provides individuals with a set timeframe to achieve them. However, these sessions do not have to stop once your goals are reached. They can be extended further if the mentor and mentee feel as though they could benefit from further sessions, perhaps for check-ins to see how the mentee is progressing, as well as having the option to develop their connections and build a wider network.

❌ Mentoring matches need to be perfect

It is commonly assumed that you must find and match with a mentor that’s perfect: someone with the same career path and background as you that fits your idea of a mentor. It is highly important mentees don’t let their preconceptions of a mentor determine their match. A mentor and mentee can still learn from each other without being in the same industry or job role, and in some cases may even be beneficial to not share industries or professionalism. Using mentoring software such as Guider, means that matches are made using smart AI that removes bias and widens peoples choices.

“A mentor can still provide a mentee with a different perspective on their life and still offer advice and support which can be highly beneficial, no matter what their profession is.” Naomi Ambrose, CEO of Talent Tap.

❌ Mentoring produces results overnight

We’re sorry about this one, but mentoring is not a magic fix! The results of mentoring are not as quick as often assumed, with mentors motivating their mentees over time to answer their own questions by encouraging them to share their thoughts, their prior experiences, as well as the mentor offering access to resources that will benefit the mentee’s career path. A mentoring relationship can also last longer than the sessions, it can benefit an individuals development throughout their whole life.

By investing in mentoring in the long-term, your people can reap the rewards for years to come!

❌ Needing a mentor shows weakness

Often, uptake of a mentoring program can be lower due to individuals not wanting to admit that they need help and are fearful that they may be judged. Yet this isn’t true. Many celebrities have publicly discussed the impact their mentors had on their success, including Christian Dior, Richard Branson, and Oprah Winfrey.

“It’s good to have a helping hand in your early career. I wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry without the mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker.” Richard Branson

Mentoring is not only for novices looking for advice and support, but also for high-performing individuals who are looking to expand their skill-base further in different areas and fields. There are and always will be areas in which every single person can develop in. Instead of thinking asking for help from a mentor means weakness, remember that it’s taking the initiative and being proactive to find the support you need to develop your skills further. Those participating in mentoring should be rewarded for taking their learning journey into their own hands.

So, there we have it, the top mentoring myths busted! These myths can distort how organisations view mentoring and prevent people realising the benefits that mentoring can provide. Of course, people can be successful without mentoring, but the perks that can be gained from mentoring are invaluable and can provide individuals with a wealth of knowledge beyond measure. As soon as mentoring myths are debunked and addressed, the sooner organisations, employers and managers can understand how important mentorship is for their morale and culture.

What are you waiting for? Book a demo with us today to find out how your organisation can benefit from mentoring!

Categories
Advice for Businesses

Do I 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. 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

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.

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. 

Categories
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

Calculating the ROI of mentoring

Now that we understand what the costs are of not implementing a mentoring program, let’s talk about the return on investment.

It’s important to understand from the start how to track the ROI of mentoring so that you can prove the savings gained from your mentoring program. To do this, there are several different metrics you should be tracking to show both the short and long-term benefits of mentoring in your organisation.

For short-term metrics, track engagement and impact.

  • Engagement metrics include: Number of matches, number of sessions, actions and goals set, and the total hours of mentoring.
  • Impact metrics include: Surveys on participation and results, and engagement and satisfaction scores.

For long term metrics, track retention rates and advancement.

  • Retention metrics include: Track the turnover rate of those participating in mentoring vs those that aren’t. Look at the turnover rate, number of employees in the program, % decrease in turnover, the cost to hire and total savings.
  • Advancement metrics include: Track the internal promotion rates, % salary increase, and the demographics of promoted employees, comparing those in the mentoring program vs those that aren’t.

Find out more on how to calculate the ROI of mentoring in our e-book:

Benefits of mentoring in a book

 

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

Categories
Advice for Businesses

Why Your Organisation Needs a Flash Mentoring Program

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

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

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

What is flash mentoring?

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

a man and women talk in an office setting

What are the key benefits of flash mentoring?

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

It can be a real game-changer for getting more people involved in your mentoring programs, as individuals seek out mentoring sessions quickly and without the pressure of investing in a long-term relationship.

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

For businesses…

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

For mentees and mentors… 

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

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

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

Here are some key challenges to look out for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is flash mentoring the right choice for your business?

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

If you need…

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

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

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

Uses of workplace mentoring
Categories
Advice for Businesses

5 Reasons to Start a Peer Mentoring Program

Put simply, peer mentoring is when individuals of a similar age or experience level mentor one another. Many people may already be benefiting from an informal version of this type of mentoring in their workplaces. Whether it’s a colleague that can troubleshoot problems or someone that can provide advice on specific topics, there is so much valuable learning to be gained from your peers.

By setting up a formal peer mentoring program in your workplace you are providing everyone with the opportunity to learn together and encouraging your people to recognise the value of their peer relationships.

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

Ultimately, this type of mentoring is all about creating formal support structures for peer relationships that can foster learning together and accountability.

Below we run through the top 5 reasons to start a peer mentoring program in your workplace today:

1. Widen your pool of mentors

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

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

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

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

Key benefit: Widen your pool of mentors and help your staff to develop their mentoring skills together.

2. Onboard with ease

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

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

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

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

Key benefit: From the get-go, new employees have a support network within their organisation.

3. Create a culture of allyship

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

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

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

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

Key benefit: Create a positive working culture in which everyone can feel seen, heard and accepted.

4. Support employee mental health and wellbeing

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

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

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

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

Key benefit: Preventing burnout and poor mental health in your organisation has lasting benefits for employee retention, productivity and happiness.

5. Develop the leaders of tomorrow

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

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

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

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

Key benefit: Build skills and confidence across your team so they’re ready to step up into leadership roles.

So, there we have it: 5 reasons why you should implement a peer mentoring program in your organisation today!

This type of mentoring not only facilitates building networks across your business but has lasting benefits for employee wellbeing and leadership development. Furthermore, it has a wide range of uses that can improve processes such as onboarding.

If you’re looking to find out more about peer mentoring and explore the other types of mentoring that you can utilise today, why not download our latest e-book ?

Or get in touch below and talk to us about how Guider’s mentoring software can help take the hassle out of your mentorship program

Peer Mentoring