Benefits of Mentoring 

5 Top Universities Thriving Through Mentoring in 2023

From student mentoring to peer learning programs for academics – there are so many different ways that mentoring can support your university.

And the benefits of mentoring are vast. With applications for diversity and inclusion initiatives, supporting mental health and upskilling your people, there are so many reasons to start a university mentoring program.

To give you even more inspiration, we’ve put together a list of 5 top universities that understood the assignment. These institutions are thriving through mentoring and we’re here to tell you that you could too.

The important thing to bear in mind is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s so much more out there. But in the spirit of highlighting some great programs, let’s get started!

How is mentoring used in academic environments?

Mentoring programs are highly beneficial additions to any academic institution, and for good reason – there are so many different ways to implement mentoring. 

For instance, they have powerful benefits for inclusion. King’s College London is a shining example of this as they integrated peer mentoring into their institution in order to support BAME students.

This powerful level of support helps new BAME students to find resources, make the most of their courses, and get up to speed on university life. All while helping them to feel seen, heard and included.

Another advantage that mentoring can be used to create Alumni Groups. These support networks provide support to students in their post-university career progression. This is a highly valuable element in the ether of overwhelming professional decisions that we all face.

And the best part is, these efforts help your institution stand out in terms of support, and that can be terrific PR. 

📖 We’ve covered how to implement mentoring in your university in more detail in this guide 📖

5 universities with fantastic mentoring programs

Let’s get stuck into 5 UK and US universities that are thriving through mentoring:

1. University of Cambridge 

This world renowned university needs no introduction. And unsurprisingly its student mentoring program is top quality. 

The program has a laser focus on mentee aspirations, and so is great if you’re a Cambridge student looking for that additional support and opportunities for learning. If you’re willing to take on the responsibility of mentoring, then you’ll see great benefits. 

What’s more, it the university stresses the importance of picking the best mentor for your personal development needs, and has that a focus on holistic development.

2. University of Westminster:  Future Ready Mentoring Program

Westminster University’s ‘future ready’ program pairs students up with an expert in order to develop their skills, gain insight into progressional future, and even has a focus on networking, which is a highly beneficial skill to learn at the beginning of their career.

Further to this, according to TechJury, the most fundamental disadvantage of online meetings is “poor networking opportunities”, as deciphered by 69% of scientists. Now that we are moving back into a (partially, but more than before) in-person professional sphere, it is important to land networking opportunities where we find them, and what better place to start than University?

3. University of Southampton: Career Mentoring Program

This program is geared more towards training students to become mentors, rather than being mentored. If you’re a career mentor, or a newly-qualified academic striving to become one, programs such as this are often the first step on your career ladder. Plus, it’s good to help students in areas where you have had similar struggles, such as career planning. 

4. University of Washington

Now for the specialised areas! At the University of Washington, an undergraduate mentoring program is available to students studying  Economics. This means that the course is a little more niche in terms of the direction that it gears you towards. But the program itself covers a huge number of areas from career development to interpersonal relationships in the workplace.

In fact, it even offers practical advice such as managing a healthy work-life balance, which is a highly stressed element of work today.

5. University of Florida:  Multicultural Mentor Program

Finally, the University of Florida provides a Multicultural Mentor programme that offers monthly connections, ‘goal accountability’ (important for our development and finessing our career objectives), and general support. It’s advertised as a boost for first-year students to have a deeper relationship with the University as a whole.

Once again, this program works for students and aspiring (or seasoned) mentors alike, as it also offers the chance for career mentors to get onto the program and become a source of expertise at the Uni.

The verdict

Overall, when implemented and used to the fullest advantage, mentoring programs can transform your university in the best of ways. Not only does it up the ante in terms of support levels, which we all need for our career paths (which can be complex and confusing after we have graduated) but also promotes inclusion, and provides great PR for your institution.

When you implement mentoring through a platform like ours, you can scale your program with ease. Connecting students and faculty around the world has never been easier. Book a demo today to find out more. 

Benefits of Mentoring 

Mentors Assemble: The Benefits of a Personal Advisory Board

There’s nothing better than refining our goals and achieving them. One-on-one mentoring is one such way to get you there, but if you want to up the ante then a personal advisory could be the way to hit your targets and transform your growth faster. It’s reported that 74% of companies are implementing this so why not apply the methodology to individuals? 

In this guide, we share everything you need to know to make the most of a mentoring advisory board including a definition, how to tell if you need one, and whether it is a better strategy for your company than mentoring.

What is a personal advisory board?

A personal advisory board is essentially a group of experts that you assemble who act as a sounding board for your ideas. It can be made up of mentors, coaches, peers – whether paid or unpaid – that you consult about the range of challenges that you face in the workplace. 

The key element here is expertise. You want to create a group of people that you can turn to with expertise in different aspects of your work. It’s great for people in leadership roles, or for people taking on major new projects that need to learn new ways of working fast. 

For instance, you may have a financial mentor on your board that can give relevant advice on ROI and the risks involved in a particular plan. Equally, you might also find a coach that can help you work on leadership techniques. The goal is to create a valuable braintrust that you can turn to at any time for feedback and ideas development. 

📖 Find out more about the powerful benefits of mentoring in our guide 📖

What are the benefits of finding an advisory board?

There are naturally many benefits to assembling an advisory board, it really comes down to the people that you bring into the fold. Different individuals will bring unique expertise to the role – from long trusted mentors to peers that you turn to for advice. 

You’ll see benefits to your ability to problem-solve, overcome challenges and tackle new projects with fresh insights. Essentially, you get all the benefits of mentoring and coaching, and then some.

Once you have assembled your team of advisors, you’ll need to set up regular meetings and agree on the best way to communicate. Then you can reap the rewards of having a team of experts on your side guiding the way. 

Listen to Angie Vaux on the Guided podcast on the importance of mentoring, coaching and personal advisory boards.

Is a personal advisory board better than a mentor?

This really depends on who you are and the complexity of your role or industry. Generally, multiple experts are better than one, as you can cover much more ground this way and gain a wider range of perspectives. 

If you wish to implement a structured, formal braintrust to turn to for rigorous advice, feedback and guidance, then an advisory board might be right for you. It’s also a great way to widen your network and make yourself known to more people. 

Otherwise, if you’re looking for something less intense then one-on-one mentoring could be right for you. Not only do mentors assist you with career development and sharpening your skills, but develop confidence and communication skills too. 

5 signs you need a mentoring advisory board

Sign 1: Lack of structure

If there is a distinct lack of structure in your work life, then a mentoring advisory board can help you to redefine and reinvigorate your work, not to mention help you stay accountable to your goals. 

Sign 2: Unrefined objectives

When we don’t refine our objectives, we can end up being productive without a cause, which can lead to a misguided trajectory. A mentoring advisory board can help you to recalibrate your objectives, so that you can then chart the right path to get you there. 

Sign 3: Conflicts of interest

Sometimes we are run off course by conflicting priorities and interests. Using a personal advisory board, you can get a range of perspectives on any issues that arise and keep yourself on track.

Sign 4: Commitment issues

If you or your team are having trouble committing to the work, an advisory board can be there to realise this for you, which can lead to getting back on track. Often, commitment aversion happens without our knowing it, and so it is helpful to have a team in-house to remedy this quickly.

Sign 5: Trouble prioritising workloads

When you learn quickly, take on responsibility or try to hit multiple objectives at once – it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Building a support network of multiple mentors and other trusted advisors can help you prioritise effectively and build the skills you need to lead. 

How do I assemble my board of mentors?

There are a few ways to do this, depending on what’s available to you. You can meet and find experts to form your advisory board through: 

  • Internal mentoring programs
  • Networking events
  • Your existing network
  • Reaching out to peers and colleagues
  • Professional coaching networks

It’s important to identify what areas you need more support in and search for people with relevant expertise in those areas. It may take some trial and error to find the right people, as what you’re looking for is that magic combination of expertise and chemistry. 

📖 Our article on finding a mentor has lots of relevant tips and advice for finding advisors too 📖

If you have been working in your field for some time, then chances are you have run into some fascinating professionals that you can speak to. In this instance, it’s a simple case of reaching out and asking for a coffee before asking them to mentor you. 

The verdict

A fully-fledged personal advisory board is a highly beneficial, influential juggernaut to assemble. It could be the difference between success and failure. So, if you’re taking on a new project, heading up a team or business, or about to step into a new promotion – then start assembling your experts today! 

If you need further guidance on mentoring, check out our other relevant content: 

What is Group Mentoring?

What is a Mentor? 

Top Characteristics of a Mentor

What is Peer Learning? Definition, Benefits and More

Top Mentoring Skills 

How to Run Effective Mentor Training 

Top 10 Companies Making the Most of Mentoring

Have You Heard of Mentoring Circles? 

Benefits of Mentoring 

46 Inspirational Mentor Quotes to Get You Ready For Mentoring

According to a report from HR Review, employee turnover rates are expected to hit 36.5% during 2023. Which feels like a good time to remind everyone that mentoring positively impacts employee retention 

So much so that many companies are using to mentoring programs to ensure each employee has a positive experience, where they receive ongoing support to develop their skills and grow. In fact, 84% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs. 

But that’s not all. People have been reaping the rewards of mentoring since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Its benefits are felt from people across industries, job roles and time periods.

That’s because great mentors know how to help people work towards their individual goals and inspire you to keep walking the path that gets you there. 

So, if you’re in need of a little inspiration to start or join a mentoring program, we’ve got what you need with these 46 mentoring quotes. Bookmark, share and enjoy! 

What is a mentor?

First up, if you need a refresher on what a mentor is, check out our article on just that!

In short, mentors offer support, advice and guidance to another person – also known as a mentee. Businesses use them to onboard new team members and ensure current employees receive the right opportunities and training for their needs. 

As mentors bring lots of experience, they can provide constructive feedback to mentees and support them through all areas of their professional life. Whether sharing past experiences, opening up new opportunities to mentees or helping them build their skills, mentors are role models. 

So, now you know what a mentor does, it’s time to look at some great quotes to inspire you on your journey. 

46 inspirational mentoring quotes 

  1. “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Oprah Winfrey – Host, Producer, Author & Philanthropist
  2. “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” John C. Crosby – Former US Representative

  3. “If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” J Loren Norris – Keynote Speaker

  4.  “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” Bob Proctor – Author
    Bob Proctor quote: "A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you."
  5. “My mistakes have been my greatest mentors.” Steve Maraboli – Author

  6. “Tell me, and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me, and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin – Former US President

  7.  “Mentoring is a two-way street. You get out what you put in.” Steve Washington – Musical Artist

  8. “The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.” John C. Maxwell – Author & Pastor

  9. “If I hadn’t had mentors, I wouldn’t be here today. I’m a product of great mentoring, great coaching. Coaches or mentors are very important. They could be anyone–your husband, other family members, or your boss.” Indra Nooyi – Business Executive

  10. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou – Civil Rights Activist, Memoirist & Poet

    Maya Angelou quote: "I've learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
    Image credit: Angelou, in 1969. Photograph © Chester Higgins, Jr./
  11. “My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!'” Jim Rohn – Entrepreneur

  12. “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” Steven Spielberg – Movie Director

  13. “Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” Samuel Taylor – Poet

  14. “You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself.” Diana Ross – Famous Singer

  15. “I have always been a huge believer in the inestimable value good mentoring can contribute to any nascent business.” Richard Branson – Entrepreneur
    Richard Branson quote
  16. “Mentoring can have a profound impact on your personal growth, but you have to be open to change.” Lois Zachary – Author

  17.  “Small business, you can give them capital, but when they often need as much is mentoring, advice, and help with their business plan.” Karen Mills – Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School

  18.  “What the great mentor is always looking for is a person who is willing to tap his genius, to put it through the refiner’s fire, to do the hard work to develop it. Indeed, mentoring is the mediaeval art of alchemy-turning plain old human steel into hearts and minds of gold.” Oliver DeMille – Author

  19. “I encourage all of you to seek out teachers and mentors that challenge you to think for yourself and guide you to find your own voice.” Renee Olstead – Actress

  20. “Mentors are all around us. Who makes you feel confident, inspired, focused, and is willing to share their experience?” Anna Letitia Cook – Career Coach

  21. “Teaching is calling too. And I’ve always thought that teachers in their way holy – angels leading their flocks out of the darkness.” Jeannette Walls – Author

  22. “We must find time to stop and thank those the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F Kennedy – Former US President

  23. “Are you my mentor? If someone has to ask this question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious.” Sheryl Sandberg – Tech Executive & Author

  24. “Every kid needs a mentor; every human needs a mentor.” Donovan Bailey – Olympic Athlete

  25. “You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as the end.” Jessica Herrin – Founder & CEO of Stella & Dot

  26. “Mentoring is a two-way street. The mentor gets wiser while mentoring, and the mentee gains knowledge through his/her mentor.” Marisol Gonzalez – TV Personality

  27. “If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” J Loren Norris – Author

  28. “One of the most exciting things about coaching is the buzz you get when you push out of your comfort zone, come up with a plan and put it into action! Life takes on a whole new meaning as you re-create your life or career the way you want it.” Emma-Louise Elsey – Coach

  29. “Coaches are aware of how to ignite passion and motivate people. They have an energy that is contagious and know exactly how to get their team excited.” Brian Cagneey – Motivational Writer

  30. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi – Indian Lawyer & Activist

  31. That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life but in a new way.” Doris Lessing – Novelist

  32. “The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” B.B. King – Singer

  33. “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Leonardo da Vinci – Artist

  34. “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” Confucius – Chinese Philosopher

  35. “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X – Minister & Human Rights Activist

  36. “Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardour and attended with diligence.” Abigail Adams – Wife of John Adams

  37. “Colleagues are a wonderful thing – but mentors, that’s where the real work gets done.” Junot Diaz, Creative Writing Professor
    Junot Diaz quote: "Colleagues are wonderful - but mentors, that's where the real work gets done"
  38. “Sponsorship is sometimes about people behind the scenes who are sitting in rooms determining your assignments and your next career step, and you don’t even know who they are.” Cathy Engelbert – WNBA Commissioner

  39. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Mohammed Ali – Boxer

  40. “No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank Diarist

  41. “It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” Ethel Percy Andrus – California’s First Female High-School Principal

  42. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King – American Minister & Activist

  43. “As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn – Famous Actress

  44. “Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.” Helen Keller – Author & Advocate

  45. “Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” Kathy Calvin – CEO of United Nations Foundation

  46. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama – Former US President

Interested in starting a mentoring program?

Mentoring programs can boost employee retention rates and foster a proactive and productive workforce. If you’re new to mentoring, knowing what you need to do can be challenging, but there are plenty of available solutions. 

For example, utilising mentoring software such as ours, can help you focus on other areas of the program, and once your mentors are thoroughly trained, they’ll know how to support others. 

Find out more about Guider by booking a demo with our team today!

Benefits of Mentoring 

Why All Leaders Need Coaching and Mentoring

Empowering workers to adapt to change when needed and boosting employee productivity are just some of the advantages that coaching and mentoring can provide for organisations.

This is why 92% of small business owners with a mentor agree that it has directly bolstered their company’s growth and survival. However, not everyone has access to coaching and mentoring opportunities. In fact in the same study, 89% of individuals claimed they wished they had a mentor from whom they could draw support.

As Herman Stewart, founder of Every Child Needs a Mentor, says; “If we’re really going to turn the dial on productivity and growth, we need to significantly improve access to inspiring mentors that can help the next generation of business leaders to expand their horizons and achieve their goals.”

It’s evident that providing leaders with coaching and mentoring is essential for sustainable business growth. And, better yet, it’s what the leaders of tomorrow are asking for. 

📖 Find out more about the key differences between coaching and mentoring in our guide 📖

What are the benefits of coaching and mentoring for leaders?

Here are the top benefits that mentoring and coaching provide for leadership, today:

Providing direction and guidance

Firstly, having a mentor or coach can guide leaders into making more thoughtful business decisions. This is because these professionals serve as a sounding board, allowing executives to sit down and sift through certain ideas and check if they’re feasible.

This is exactly what Becky Shepherd, founder of social media agency, Swwim found“I was looking for focus. I had lots of ideas and good intentions, but without having anybody to report to, I struggled to refine my thinking and prioritise my actions.”

Becky’s experience showcases how the advice and direction given by mentors allows business leaders to implement sound business strategies.

Developing leaderships skills and capacities

With access to executive coaches, leaders can alter their attitudes and efforts to deliver better outcomes for their organisations. This is because executive coaching equips leaders with the skills they need to address their employees’ needs. As work environments become more complex, leaders must have an experienced coach to create strategies that can optimise their teams.

On top of this, J.P. Morgan’s survey on UK business leaders shows how 52% of executives believe that corporate responsibility can improve employee retention. Today, social concerns around employees are urging leaders to develop robust environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures. With the support of a professional coach, business leaders can better identify the demands of their workers and, potentially, lead impactful ESG initiatives which can support their employees.

📖 Find out more about supporting your ESG initiatives with Guider 📖

Increasing self-awareness

Executive coaches can motivate leaders to become more self-aware. This is an essential trait to have as it allows business leaders to recognise their company’s challenges and find ways to rise above these issues. As it stands, 61% of British business leaders anticipate economic growth to be better in 2025, while 63% believe their revenues will increase over the next three years.

In order to achieve these great business outcomes, executives need to be prepared to respond to economic pressures brought by inflation and unemployment. Fortunately, coaches can encourage executives to identify their organisation’s vulnerabilities and plan for challenges before they arrive.

📖 Start building self-awareness today with our top questions 📖

Providing support for mental well-being

Business leaders aren’t immune to mental health concerns and feelings of isolation. Luckily, mentoring can positively affect mental health. For one, a Harvard Business Review study shared that mentors can help minimise feelings of stress and anxiety. This is particularly beneficial for executives who worry about their ability to lead their teams.

In addition, having a mentor means having a support system. Business leaders can gain a safe space to build their skills and explore new ideas. This will significantly impact a business leader’s career progression and improve work performance, as well as developing communication skills and confidence. 

📖 Find out more about running traditional mentorship programs with Guider 📖

Leaders and executives are tasked with high-level responsibilities to ensure that their organisations achieve success. By leveraging coaching and mentoring effectively, business leaders can not only become more adept at their roles but become more self-aware and protect their well-being too. This is why coaching and mentoring are an essential part of your leadership development toolkit. 

To learn more about how Guider can transform your leadership development, book a call with us today.

Benefits of Mentoring 

National Mentoring Month: 6 Ways You Can Get Involved Next January

Are you ready to celebrate mentoring this National Mentoring Month 2024?

Whether you’re new to mentoring or a seasoned mentor program leader, now’s the perfect time to put mentoring front and centre in your organisation. National Mentoring Month is a dedicated month that’s all about the different types of mentoring – so let’s get planning!

As program leaders, managers and team members, you can raise awareness of the power of mentoring to achieve goals by getting involved in National Mentoring Month celebrations. This includes events, comms campaigns and taking the time to reflect on your own mentoring journey.

What is National Mentoring Month?

National Mentoring Month is a widespread campaign to spread awareness around the importance of mentoring in society, as well as celebrate its positive impact. It runs every January and includes Thank Your Mentor day on the 26th.

This can be a great way to launch both your team and company towards a successful year through mentorship. By focusing on key areas of internal improvement facilitated by individual self-development, effective goal setting & identifying areas for growth. You can scale and monitor this more efficiently throughout the year.

National Mentoring Month’s 3 key goals are:

  1. To raise awareness of all the different types of mentoring
  2. To inspire more people to become mentors, particularly younger people
  3. To advance the growth of mentoring by encouraging organisations to run mentoring programs for their people

Why celebrate National Mentoring Month 2023 with your business?

Yearly, more organisations are becoming aware of National Mentoring Month celebrations and how it can benefit not only the development of their business but the lives of their employees.

What started as a US youth mentoring movement, has snowballed into a global celebration of the benefits of mentoring in all areas of society, with many organisations, universities, and charities getting involved.

Returning to work this January, many employees will struggle with motivation and getting back into the work routine.

However, National Mentoring Month is an opportunity for organisations to unite their teams and kickstart the year – not just through goal setting, but also by addressing obstacles or key areas of concern hindering both employee and company development. Working collaboratively on setting a foundation for a prosperous year ahead.

Mentoring has benefits across the board: from building trust and psychological safety, to helping to onboard, retain and develop your people. There are so many reasons to get involved in mentoring, this January really is the perfect time!

How can you get involved with National Mentoring Month?

Whether you are a mentor, mentee, program leader or advocate it’s the perfect time to join the conversation. If you don’t yet have a mentorship program in your business then this is the perfect time to introduce it! Schedule a call with our team, to discuss how to set up the right mentoring program for your people.

If you already have an active mentoring program in your organisation, there are many ways to celebrate your fantastic mentors and mentees, as well as reinvigorate your program. This includes running a mentoring event to celebrate and promote your program.

Here are a few of our suggestions on what you can do this January:

  1. Start a mentoring program at work
  2. Find yourself a mentor
  3. Become a mentor
  4. Share your mentoring story
  5. Participate in Thank Your Mentor Day
  6. Keep up the momentum

Continue reading below to learn more…

1. Start a mentoring program at work

No matter what kind of organisation you work in, mentoring can be used for a wide range of purposes.

So if you want to make a real impact, you need to establish a mentoring program within your company. Mentoring has so many positive uses in the workplace, including leadership training, diversity and inclusion, onboarding, graduate retention, and more.

On a more general note – everybody wants to learn, develop and grow in their careers. By formalising and promoting that in a mentoring program, you will end up helping a lot of people and creating a better company culture.

The great thing is 89% of mentees go on to become mentors in the future, meaning any mentoring efforts you implement now will have a long-lasting impact.

Read our stats on mentoring in the workplace so you can approach senior leaders in your business and pitch your mentoring program with some killer numbers to back it up!

Ready to start a mentoring program? Download our detailed guide to help you get started:

2. Find yourself a mentor

The start of a new year is all about setting goals and thinking about what you want to achieve. With January fittingly being National Mentoring Month, it’s a great opportunity to decide to get a mentor for the year ahead.

Mentoring is an incredible way of increasing your self-awareness, career opportunities and confidence. Finding yourself a mentor is therefore one of the most effective ways to take responsibility for your personal development.

How to get a mentor:

  1. Determine why you want a mentor: what are your goals?
  2. Identify potential mentors in your network: who do you admire? Who could help you?
  3. Put in the groundwork – do your research, reach out, and be proactive
  4. Ask to meet to get their advice about a specific topic
  5. When you meet, assess their experience, characteristics and the chemistry between you to see if they could be a good fit
  6. Ask them to be your mentor!

For more detail, check out our full guide: How To Find A Great Mentor

Remember, mentoring is not a one-way relationship, but a partnership. The more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.

And you never know, there’s a lot your mentor could learn from you too!

3. Become a mentor

Being a mentor is a highly rewarding privilege. You have the ability to help somebody else realise their potential, achieve their goals and become the person they want to be.

As much as the reward of being a mentor is a feeling of ‘giving back’, it also has many additional benefits. Mentors experience higher levels of job satisfaction and fulfilment, as well as the opportunity to develop their leadership and management skills.

Harvard Business Review found mentoring to be good for mental health, with mentors experiencing less stress and anxiety at work, and describing their job as more meaningful than those who did not mentor.

A great way to get involved with National Mentoring Month is by becoming a mentor. The easiest way to do this is by speaking to your company and finding out if they have any mentoring schemes you can sign up to.

Using mentoring software such as Guider allows new mentors to sign up to their organisation’s mentoring program in a matter of minutes and input the skills and knowledge they feel they can share.

Think you’re not ready? Check out our top characteristics of a mentor, maybe we can change your mind!

4. Share a mentoring story

Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. If you’d like to get involved with National Mentoring Month, but perhaps aren’t in a position to get into a mentoring relationship, why not spread awareness of the good mentoring can do from personal experience?

We’ve all been exposed to mentoring in some shape or form in our lives, even if we’ve never had an official or formal ‘mentor’. Maybe a teacher at school, a colleague or a relative took particular care to teach or support you in some way?

These experiences of mentorship at a young age can be extremely formative, helping shape our lives and mindsets. By sharing these stories with others, you may be the person that inspires somebody else to become a mentor or seek out a mentor – it’s extremely valuable!

We would also love to hear how mentoring has impacted your life or career! Tweet us or drop us a message

5. Thank Your Mentor Day

National Mentoring Month concludes with an official #ThankYourMentor Day on January 26th 2023!

The whole month is an opportunity to reflect on mentoring and what it means for you, so it’s only right that the last day is an opportunity to thank those who have mentored you or the fantastic mentors in your organisation’s program.

On January 26th, remember to convey your thanks to the mentors in your life and encourage those around you to do the same!

One way to do this is to give your mentor a shout-out on LinkedIn or Twitter using the hashtag #ThankYourMentor or even post a more detailed story of the impact they’ve had on your life on LinkedIn. This hashtag will receive a lot of traction on social media channels on the day, so make sure you don’t miss out.

Equally, if you and/or your mentor are not social media people, send them a card or a gift to show your appreciation for their support. This will only strengthen your relationship, and serve as a reminder to them why being a mentor is a great thing to do!

IDEA: if you’re responsible for running mentoring programs or initiatives within your organisation, why not host a Thank Your Mentor Day event to get everyone in the mentoring community together to celebrate the relationships that have formed? It’s a great way to keep people engaged, and hopefully inspire a new generation of mentees to become mentors!

6. Keeping Up the Momentum

At the start of a new year, typically the habit is to create a list of goals & bucket lists or even form some S.M.A.R.T. goals. But admittedly, it is quite easy to lose commitment to your goals.

However, mentorship can provide added guidance that can nurture and direct organisations more clearly towards achieving goals.

Mentoring is not a one-time activity, but rather a long-lasting investment. It can be something you revisit moving forward as new goals & challenges enter your path. It is something innate in the knowledge-seeking part of us, as we pursue the act of exchange with the people that surround us, becoming mentors and mentees, to develop smarter ways to grow as an individual, organisation and society.

The biggest reason mentoring schemes fail is that they lose momentum – remember to use National Mentoring Month to spread awareness or launch a program, but then keep promoting the value throughout the year.

‍If you are a champion, leader or expert looking to develop your team through mentorship, Guider can efficiently scale this for you by making the experience as seamless and organised as possible to help you achieve your goals sooner rather than later.

Get in touch with the team to see how you can keep the new year momentum going for the rest of the year!

Benefits of Mentoring 

Why Every Organisation Needs a ‘Head of Mentoring’

You’d be stretched to find somebody who doesn’t recognise that mentoring is valuable.

The importance of mentoring has been widely documented; from celebrity autobiographies to business books, we’re reminded of the benefits mentoring can have for personal and career development.

These benefits don’t only apply to the individuals involved, but to the businesses they work in too. Positively impacting employee engagement, retention, diverse representation in leadership, company culture and more, mentoring is a powerful practice for organisations.

Yet time and time again we see mentoring not being given the dedicated time, resources, and ownership it needs to provide this impact at scale within businesses.

This article will outline the business need for a Head of Mentoring role, and demonstrate the immediate value this person could deliver within their organisation.

Find out more about embedding mentoring in your HR initiatives with Guider

But first to expand on the 3 observations that inspired this idea:

1. There’s no obvious home for mentoring in an organisation

Nobody is quite sure where mentoring sits within a business.

For something so people-centric, with the potential to impact every team and department, it surprisingly lacks clear ownership. In many organisations, mentoring is recognised as a part of their Learning & Development strategy. For others, mentoring sits within their HR functions. More commonly, mentoring is playing a key role in Diversity and Inclusion.

While these are the departments most often managing mentoring, it typically forms an additional part of a role – something someone takes up alongside their day job.

2. Mentoring rarely has a dedicated budget

Due to this lack of clear ownership, an issue that the program managers face, is their lack of budget. We’ve found in 80-90% of cases, L&D teams won’t have a budget specifically for mentoring.

If for example, a Learning & Development professional is managing their organisation’s mentoring program, they will likely have a L&D budget for schemes covering a wide scope. Mentoring can naturally fit into this scope, but rarely has its own dedicated budget. Depending on other objectives and goals, it can get de-prioritised, or runs on such a low budget that it’s near impossible to scale.

This issue of budget also varies across departments. If Finance decides to run their own internal mentoring initiative to share knowledge between generations, they might have a different budget allocation to a different department, leading mentoring to become even more siloed and inconsistent across a business.

3. It is happening, but it can’t scale (because of 1 and 2)

It’s important to acknowledge that mentoring is not new for the majority of businesses, and is often already taking place in some form. So it’s not that mentoring can’t happen without this Head of Mentoring role we’re suggesting, but it is that it can’t scale.

Without dedicated ownership, resources or budget, program managers will struggle to roll mentoring out as a widespread initiative across the organisation. This results in small, tailored programs which only run for a short period of time, and only benefit an exclusive group. For the same reasons, these programs struggle to deliver impactful results and metrics, which prevent wider roll-out. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle.

If organisations want to feel the true value and ROI of mentoring across the entire business, they need to stop expecting someone in the HR team to manage it on the side. They need to create a role for a Head of Mentoring.

From working with many organisations at Guider, we’ve spoken to a number of people currently managing mentoring within their business, frustrated with not being able to do as much as they’d like to. This is a common theme:

“I’m the only person responsible for a 200 person mentoring scheme, which I run manually alongside the rest of my job. We have hundreds more employees who would benefit from mentoring, but there’s only one of me and I’m at full capacity”.

If that resonates with you, I hope this piece inspires some thoughtful conversations in your organisation…

a woman stands before a group leading a meeting.

The Head of Mentoring Role

The Head of Mentoring owns mentoring across an entire organisation, including:

  • Developing, delivering and scaling specific program
  • Managing mentoring budget
  • Creating a good mentor and mentee experience
  • Developing innovative mentoring strategies to drive growth
  • Forming mentoring partnerships
  • Driving a culture of mentoring at an organisational level

Of course, other people are still involved with mentoring and the running of specific programs, but the Head of Mentoring facilitates and unites these across the organisation.

This role goes beyond simply the running of programs (although that’s a huge job in itself), and looks at mentoring as an innovative business growth strategy.

Here’s how:

1. Driving innovation

A crucial part of the Head of Mentoring’s role is aligning with the wider business objectives and vision, and harnessing mentoring as an innovative tool to drive growth and success.

So often mentoring is reduced to an HR function because it’s all about people, yet a mentoring culture has the power to affect productivity, retention, loyalty – even revenue. The Head of Mentoring can develop external partnerships with networks, or cross-company programs with other organisations – facilitating strategic relationships which benefit not only employees, but the business as a whole.

Across most organisations, mentoring program managers are responsible for:

  • Program development
  • Program promotion
  • Participant recruitment and training
  • Metric tracking
  • Proving impact / ROI

This alone is a huge amount of work, but it’s predominantly operational work: planning, logistics, ensuring the mentoring relationships are happening etc. What the Head of Mentoring does, is take this role beyond logistics. Elevating the need for mentoring at a senior level, understanding what the business needs, and coming up with innovative ways of using mentoring to get there.

2. Dedicated Ownership

The Head of Mentoring solves the lack of ownership issues.

Mentoring should not be seen as merely a function of Learning and Development, but as a cultural staple of a business. The effects of mentoring are felt far beyond a set team or department, and the way it operates in a company should reflect that.

We have spoken with current program managers about the desire to “do more” with mentoring in their organisation, yet they lack the capacity, authority, or budget. Paired with the fact this is typically being done alongside their day to day role, it’s no surprise they can’t take mentoring to the next level. Having a full-time Head of Mentoring removes the ambiguity from where mentoring ‘sits’, and provides the individual with the power to scale mentoring more widely.

For current Program Managers who can relate to these challenges, make a note of the mentoring growth opportunities you’ve identified but weren’t able to act on, or the business areas mentoring could add more value if you only had more capacity. When put together, this will showcase an abundance of missed opportunity and highlight the need for this role.

Another common reason mentoring fails to scale is not having leadership buy in. The Head of Mentoring, particularly being a senior role, addresses this issue. As with many things in business, behaviour filters down from the top. Mentoring programs are successful when senior leaders are advocating for and involved in them. Part of the necessity for a Head of Mentoring is to ensure this advocacy exists across the highest levels of the business. Where a HR Manager responsible for a graduate program might not be able to approach C-Suite, the Head of Mentoring can.

3. Breaking down silos

Typically, mentoring is very siloed, with multiple departments running their own programs with no clear way to share the learnings or impact across the wider business.

Suzie King, the mentoring program manager at M&S, said: “before using Guider, we used to have a very ad-hoc mentoring system – somebody would ask their line manager for a mentor, and a mentor would be found, but you were still in your siloed area”.

The Head of Mentoring exists to ensure the benefits of mentoring are being felt throughout the business across all groups, and therefore works to unite the organisation’s mentoring efforts.

This works on two levels:

  • Employees equally benefit from mentoring, creating a more inclusive work environment
  • There’s a consistent structure in place to run a program, meaning more mentoring can happen more easily

For any department, team, network, or group wanting a mentoring program – they now have a dedicated person to go to. This not only prevents silos forming, but also means there are set processes and strategies in place for how mentoring is done across the organisation. Rather than it taking a department 6 weeks of work from scratch, a program could be launched in a matter of days.

The Head of Mentoring creates this process for running a program to be scalable and repeatable, meaning that mentoring can impact more areas across the business.

The Missing Piece

If businesses want to scale mentoring successfully, and make it an integral part of their company – it cannot be done on the side of a full time role. Organisations are actually losing out on the full possibilities of mentoring by not creating a dedicated role for it.

A Head of Mentoring is therefore essential for any business who wants to truly see the value of mentoring across the whole organisation, not just among small groups. It solves the issues of lack of ownership, lack of budget, and siloed workforces, while creating innovative growth opportunities beyond an HR function.

At Guider we always want to talk mentoring. Hear from some of the businesses we currently support here, or book a chat with us.

Benefits of Mentoring 

What is a Mentor? Definition, Purpose & More

The figure of a mentor has been around since the days of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Nowadays, people often talk about the importance of mentoring in personal development and career contexts, with ‘get a mentor’ being a key piece of advice from successful business people the world over.

In the search to find a mentor, you may find yourself asking what is a mentor, really?

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a person who can support, advise and guide you. They typically take the time to get to know you and the challenges you’re facing and then use their understanding and personal experience to help you improve.

This relationship is additional to a manager or boss and benefits from a more personal and confidential structure. Mentors have the potential to become lifelong friends, or the relationship might only last until you’ve achieved a goal, there’s no one size fits all.

It’s a fantastic way to foster your personal development and to maximise continuous learning.

📖 Find out more about the benefits of mentoring in our guide 📖

Many celebrities have publicly discussed the impact their mentors had on their success, including Christian Dior, Richard Branson, and Oprah Winfrey.

What a mentor isn’t:

❌ While a mentor can provide invaluable support and guidance across a range of topics including mental health, they are not a therapist. It is important to establish this to all parties participating in mentoring.

A mentor is not the same as a coach. Coaches are paid for and provide time-bound teaching on specific topics. You can find out more about the difference between mentoring and coaching here.

Mentoring is not a magic cure. While mentoring can support a range of development goals and has many benefits for both parties and organisations, it isn’t going to fix everything. There are many complementary ways to develop your people alongside mentoring.

Mentoring definition

Definition: The act or process of helping and guiding another person to support their personal development.

Note that we’ve said ‘personal’ development here rather than ‘career’ development – and that’s because ultimately, mentoring is about people. If someone helps you improve your confidence or self-awareness, that’s going to translate beyond your day job.

What is the difference between mentoring and mentorship?

You may have heard the term mentorship used in various contexts and be unclear about what it means. Mentorship is simply the word for a mentoring relationship (mentor + relationship = mentorship). It can be used to reference both the act of mentoring and the relationship you have with your mentor or mentee.

What is the role of a mentor?

The purpose of a mentor is to help you grow as a person and become the best version of yourself.

This may involve helping you achieve your personal or career goals, introducing you to new ways of thinking, challenging your limiting assumptions, sharing valuable life lessons, and much more.

A mentor is someone that guides you and you may have several throughout your life and career. In fact, there are many different types of mentoring, from peer to peer, to group. You can find a mentor in many different ways.

📖 If you’re looking to go further than mentoring, you may need a sponsor. Find out more in our guide to mentorship vs sponsorship 📖

Why do people become mentors?

People choose to mentor others because it’s an incredibly valuable experience; seeing somebody grow and succeed as a result of your advice is highly rewarding. There are many benefits of mentoring for the mentor as well as the mentee, such as improving communication and developing leadership skills.

Harvard Business Review conducted a study researching the positive effects of mentoring, and found that people who served as mentors also experienced lower levels of anxiety, and described their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor.

What makes a good mentor?

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” — Bob Proctor

When asking, what is a mentor, it’s important to understand the difference between good mentors and… not so good ones. This quote highlights the essence of a good mentor: somebody that does not tell you what to do, but guides you to figuring it out for yourself.

When looking for a mentor there are certain characteristics to keep in mind. The traits of a good mentor include:

  • Being a good listener
  • Asking good questions
  • Showing empathy
  • Being encouraging and supportive
  • Self-awareness
  • A personable demeanour
  • Giving constructive and honest feedback

Read our guide on How To Be A Good Mentor

Misconceptions about mentoring

There are a few common misconceptions about mentoring that affect the way people think about what a mentor is.

We want to set the record straight in this mentoring myth-busting:

  • “Mentors have to be old” – Mentoring has no age requirements, and older people can benefit from being mentored by younger people, such as in reverse mentoring. What’s important is relevant experience and chemistry.
  • “Mentoring only benefits mentees” – Mentoring has heaps of benefits for the mentor as well as the mentee, including; improving communication and leadership skills, increased fulfilment, likelihood of promotion and more. Read all the benefits here.
  • “Mentoring is elitist” – It’s not about senior managers taking prodigies ‘under their wing’. Modern mentoring is fair and inclusive (when established right) and can break down unfair hierarchies.
  • “You’re either a mentor or a mentee” – In fact, 89% of people with a mentor go on to be a mentor themselves. You can be both a mentor and mentee, and even switch between the two in a peer mentoring relationship.
  • “My mentor has to be similar to me” – Familiarity is nice, but the best learning happens when you’re exposed to different ways of thinking. It can be better for your development to seek out opinions from outside of your usual spheres of influence.

How do you find a mentor?

If you have somebody that you admire in mind to be your mentor, we recommend you reach out to them for a coffee or a video call. Say you’d love to pick their brains about a certain topic and have some questions ready – don’t ask them to be your mentor straight away!

It’s important to build a relationship with them before making the ask. If you have good chemistry and you can see their experience being valuable to you in your career journey, then ask them if they’d be happy to meet more often and mentor you.

Read our full guide here: How To Find A Great Mentor

Sometimes it’s hard to find mentorship on your own. You might not know the right people, or feel intimidated to reach out to someone. In that case, speak to your organisation. More and more companies are running formal mentoring programs than ever, so there’s a good chance your company can support you. You can also find support through ERGs (employee resource groups).

So, there we have it! Everything you need to know about what a mentor is, and isn’t. If you want to learn more about mentorship download our e-book ‘Introduction to Mentoring’ to find out more!

If you’re an employer looking to establish or scale mentoring, get in touch with us by booking a demo.

Find out more about how Guider works
Benefits of Mentoring 

The Importance of Mentoring in the Workplace

Organisations are always looking for ways to nurture and retain their best people. Fortunately for them, most employees are similarly looking for ways to get fulfilment and satisfaction out of their work, making this a key area for businesses to cultivate.

This is where workplace mentorship comes in. In this article, we run through how mentoring can help you to retain and develop your people by creating a better working culture in which employees can learn and grow.

Jump to section

What is mentoring in the workplace?

Mentoring in the workplace is an established partnership between colleagues for the purposes of learning and growth. There are several different types of mentoring, the most common is 1:1 or traditional mentorship.

Having a mentor at work can traditionally be seen as senior and more experienced employees giving advice and support to younger employees earlier on in their careers.

This dynamic is known as ‘informal mentoring’, as it often comes about from the mentor taking a liking to the mentee and taking them ‘under their wing’, rather than a formalised mentorship.

There is a lot to be said for informal mentoring, and many successful people refer to these kinds of relationships as helping them get to where they are today, such as Yves Saint Laurent and his formative mentoring from Christian Dior.

However, the issue with informal mentoring is that it’s often exclusive and elitist, with people choosing to mentor individuals they see themselves in (not doing anything for diversity in the process).

These kinds of relationships also rely on sheer luck a lot of the time. How many successful entrepreneurs have you heard say they were “in the right place at the right time” when they met a crucial person that took a chance on them?

As a result of these biases, mentoring in the workplace needs to be established as ‘formal mentoring’ in order to give employees equal opportunities to develop.

When should I establish a formal mentoring program?  

There will likely be informal mentoring happening in your organisation already. The key question is, when do you formalise your program?

A formal program is when an organisation intentionally sets up a mentoring program in which they actively match mentors and mentees and support the relationships to develop long-term.

Mentoring programs can be run using spreadsheets and manual matching or through mentoring software, such as Guider. Mentoring software removes the headache, using AI to make mentor matches and providing integrated tools to manage the relationship effectively.

It’s helpful to consider the following questions when deciding when to set up a formal mentoring program:

  • How many people are currently accessing some type of mentoring in your organisation?
  • What is the potential reach of a formal mentoring program?
  • How does mentoring align with your learning and development goals?

By establishing a formal mentoring program you are opening up mentoring across your organisation and removing bias from the process. You are also actively encouraging the growth and development of all of your employees.

Benefits of business mentoring

The benefits of mentoring in your business are wide-ranging. From leadership mentoring to supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives, there are many ways that mentoring can support your business.

Mentoring in the workplace will also impact your people’s personal development, can positively support mental health and improve employee retention.

Here are the key points to get started:

Benefits to the mentee

Finding a mentor at work can help you build a host of essential skills. Those with mentors at work will benefit from an increase in:

  • Self-confidence
  • Self-awareness
  • Job satisfaction
  • Aspiration
  • Likelihood of promotion
  • Loyalty to their company
  • Fulfilment at work

89% of those who have been mentored will also go on to mentor others, and so contribute to this cycle of learning and development within an organisation.

Benefits to the mentor

There are also many positive benefits for those doing the mentoring. Studies have shown an increase in:

  • Self-confidence
  • Communication skills
  • Job satisfaction
  • Loyalty to their company
  • Fulfilment at work

Harvard Business Review conducted a study researching the positive effects mentoring can have on the mentors themselves and found that people who served as mentors experienced lower levels of anxiety and described their job as more meaningful than those who did not mentor. Leadership mentoring is also a key way to develop your leadership skills.

Benefits to your organisation

The positive outcomes of mentoring stretch far beyond personal development for the people involved in the mentorships. Mentoring in the workplace has huge benefits for the organisations themselves, increasing:

  • Employee engagement
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Employee loyalty

All of these contribute to employee retention!

It can also improve:

  • Diversity in leadership
  • Knowledge sharing
  • On-boarding ease
  • Strong company culture

Not to mention reducing learning costs as you are sourcing experts from within your organisation to foster the development of others.

Another benefit for organisations offering mentoring in the workplace is recruitment opportunities. Studies have shown that 79% of millennials see mentoring as crucial to their career success. Given that by 2025, this demographic will comprise more than 75% of the workforce, it ought to be a top priority for businesses of all sizes.

You can read more on the Benefits of Mentoring here

Mentoring in the workplace key statistics

Above we mention some key statistics for implementing a mentoring program in your business. Yet, this is only a fraction of the data out there that shows the efficacy of mentoring in the workplace.

Tell me more…

  • 84% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.
  • 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow.
  • 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring.
  • 55% of businesses felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits.
  • Mentoring programs boosted minority representation at the management level from 9% to 24%.
  • Top reasons for millennials wanting to quit their jobs are ‘Not enough opportunities to advance’ at 35% and ‘Lack of learning and development opportunities’ at 28%.
  • 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.
  • More than 4 in 10 workers who don’t have a mentor say they’ve considered quitting their job in the past three months.
  • 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships and have developed greater confidence.

As shown in the numerous studies on the positive effects of mentoring in the workplace, it’s one of the simplest things organisations can do to keep their employees engaged, productive and motivated. This is true across the different types of mentoring too.

We’ve written a more detailed guide to Mentoring Statistics if you want to explore even more research!‍

How to implement business mentoring

Implementing mentoring in the workplace is not only about what your business can gain, but, as we’ve shown, the opportunity cost of not investing in mentoring can be huge.

Now we’ve established how important mentoring in the workplace is, you’re probably itching to find out how you can implement an effective mentoring program within your organisation.

Luckily we’ve put a full step-by-step guide together

Read: How To Start A Mentoring Program

So, there we have it—everything you need to know about the importance of mentoring in your workplace. As you can see, mentoring is not just a nice to have but an essential part of your learning and development toolkit.

By implementing a formal mentoring program you can benefit from a whole host of lasting changes. The question isn’t “why is mentoring important”, but rather “why don’t we already do it!”

Want to learn more about how Guider’s mentoring platform can help your business thrive? Click ‘book a demo’ and arrange a call with our team today.

Benefits of Mentoring 

The Positive Impact of Mentoring on Mental Health

In an increasingly fast paced world, it is difficult to find time to be there for people and even for ourselves. As a consequence, spaces to talk about mental health are shrinking.

The day has therefore been set aside to create supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all need good mental health. By talking about it, we can support ourselves and others.

What’s mentoring got to do with mental health?

At its core, mentoring is about helping another person. A mentor is somebody who advises, supports and guides another in the right direction.

There are many benefits of mentoring, which is why this type of relationship is established in schools, universities and organisations the world over. Many celebrities have cited their mentors as having played a huge role in their success, and finding a mentor is on the top of many people’s career development lists.

But less often discussed is the positive impact, for both the mentee and the mentor, that the relationship has on mental health and wellbeing. And it’s important for people from all areas of the business – from stressed out sales leaders to overworked junior engineers. So let’s find out why you should be putting mentoring high on your employee wellbeing action plan.

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

How mentoring helps mental health

Here are 5 ways that mentoring has a positive effect on mental health, for both the mentee and the mentor involved:

1. Supporting isolation

Those struggling with mental health issues often feel isolated.

While the stigma around mental health issues is thankfully decreasing, it can still be very difficult to speak up, particularly in a workplace. This stigma can leave people feeling isolated, and believing it’s better to stay quiet. This is even more relevant following the effects of 2020, with feelings of loneliness reaching a record high in UK adults.

In their guide to supporting mental health at work, the Mental Health Foundation lists mentoring as an effective solution. Having a support system in the form of a mentoring programme for those who have lived experience of mental health can have a huge impact. This could be in the form of peer, group, or team mentoring, or equally traditional one on one mentoring can provide someone struggling from mental health issues with a person who is invested in their success, leading them to feel less alone. You can read more about the different types of mentoring here.

 In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Week, remember to check in on your colleagues regardless of whether or not you are formally mentoring them. We never know what someone else is going through, and knowing that people are looking out for you does a lot of good for someone suffering from feelings of isolation.

A person wearing a large backpack and hiking gear looks across a lake at a scenic mountain view.

2. Reducing levels of anxiety

Those who suffer from constant anxiety are likely to worry about everything from the simplest of tasks, to the people around them, to their own abilities.

Anxiety at work drastically impacts general wellbeing, and is a huge set back for many people and organisations. In fact, the World Health Organisation estimates a global cost of $1 trillion per year in lost productivity as a result of depression and anxiety.

There are many actions that businesses can put in place to support their employees better and reduce that impact. Mentoring is one of those methods that has been proven to reduce anxiety, particularly around one’s own ability. Those feelings and worries are minimised by sharing them with a mentor who can encourage and inspire you.

‘Work politics can be a real challenge when we have mental health problems. It can be helpful to find a mentor or a small group of trusted colleagues with whom you can discuss feelings about work.’ – Mental Health Foundation

While we often focus on the benefits of mentoring for those receiving it, this also works the other way. As the Mental Health Foundation highlight in their choice of kindness as 2020’s theme, helping other people feels good.

Harvard Business Review conducted a study researching the positive effects of mentoring on the mentors themselves, and found that people who served as mentors experienced lower levels of anxiety, and described their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor. These findings were also found in a study by Cambridge Judge Business School, with mentoring reducing anxiety in mentors.

3. Increasing self-confidence

Mental health charity Mind says: ‘while low self-esteem isn’t a mental health problem in itself, they are closely linked’.

An increase in confidence can therefore positively impact mental health, and help to challenge those limiting assumptions about ourselves that mental health issues cause us to feel.

Those with mentors frequently report an increase in their self-confidence, particularly as they feel supported in their decisions and career path. Mentoring relationships are a safe space for mentees to explore new ideas and grow without fear of judgement, as well as receive reassurance from someone they admire. These factors naturally work to increase their confidence in themselves, and so can really help to tackle mental health issues such as depression.

Mental health issues feed off limiting beliefs about ourselves. Feelings of worthlessness and futility are closing linked with depression, and so investing in building the self-confidence and self-esteem of your employees is a highly effective way of improving mental health across your workforce.

Mentors similarly experience improved self-esteem and confidence from the act of helping others achieve their goals. This rewarding feeling also results in improved mental health across the board.

A smiling man with a beard looks at the camera from behind a neutral grey desk.

4. Feeling listened to

This may seem obvious, but having a safe and formalised space where you feel listened to and valued has a positive impact on mental health.

It’s not often that those safe spaces are available to us in our day to day lives, particularly in our working lives. For those who do not have a family or friend unit they are close to, these spaces can be hard to come across full stop.

A mentoring relationship, especially one established formally through work, is built around mutual trust and confidentiality. It therefore provides a space to share without judgement, to be listened to and supported. This obviously comes more naturally if the mentor and mentee get along on a personal level, which is important when matching mentoring pairs.

For those suffering from mental health issues who might not have many people to talk to, mentoring can be very cathartic and supportive. However, it’s important to remember that a mentoring session is not a therapy session, and a mentor is not a therapist. If running a mentoring programme for mental health support, this is an important reminder to share with all participants throughout the programme.

5. Hope for the future

For those suffering from mental health issues, fear and anxiety about the future is a common struggle. People can feel dread and detachment when thinking about what lies ahead for them. This is another experience which has become more widely addressed during the Covid-19 pandemic, and something which mentors can support with.

As a mentor helps someone work towards achievable goals and accelerates their progress, they can reduce these anxieties and instil hope and optimism around the future.

The Advocacy Project shared some of the feedback from their mental health mentoring programme, with mentees describing the experience as ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’ and their mentors giving them ’empowerment and belief in you’.

This is truly powerful and can make a huge difference in the lives of those suffering from poor mental health. If running a mentoring programme tailored towards mental health support specifically, ensure your mentors have received adequate training in how to broach topics surrounding the future, so as not to overwhelm or panic their mentees.

Typically, mentors may look to discuss and set long term career or personal goals with their mentees. However, for someone suffering from mental health issues this could be overwhelming and lead to them putting undue pressure on themselves. Mentors need to be aware of this and work on short term achievable goals to boost confidence and reduce anxiety.

For more practical tips to support employee mental health while working from home, check out this blog post.


With more and more emphasis on workplace wellbeing and mental health, organisations needs to be ensuring their people are happy and healthy at work. For the reasons discussed in this article, starting a mentoring programme is a highly effective way to tackle mental health issues while also supporting personal development.

Don’t be reactive to mental health support. Mentoring helps to create an inclusive culture built around community, mutual support and growth. Find out how Guider can help, book a chat below.

Benefits of Mentoring 

5 Ways to Support Employee Mental Health While WFH

Only 6% of employees were working from home pre-lockdown, which quickly rose to 46.6% in April 2020, a huge shock to the system for the majority of people.

69% of UK adults are currently worried about the negative impact of Covid-19. There has also been an increase in adults who’ve never previously experienced poor mental health, now finding themselves struggling.

While the world is learning to adapt and respond to changes brought on by Covid-19, World Mental Health Awareness week 2022 is themed around ‘loneliness’ and serves as a reminder that we all need to take care of one another, as well as working on our own mental health and social networks.

Find out more about how to embed mentoring in your diversity and inclusion initiatives with Guider

This article explores how businesses can support their employees’ mental health, and continue on the track of positive growth and development.

1. Ensure Open Communication for Returning to the Office

CIPD found that employee anxiousness was lower when staff felt their employers adequately consulted them about workplace measures for their return. However, 62% of employees felt anxious about returning due to lack of consultation. The UK Government has put in place a series of guidance articles to help you decide which steps to take to ensure the wellbeing of employees.

CIPD suggests that employers should ask three questions before returning to the workplace:

  • Is it essential?
  • Is it safe?
  • Is it mutually agreed?

Fears can be reduced and alleviated when employees feel heard and employers clearly communicate why employees must return. Fears can also be reduced by putting in place effect measures. Some workplaces have made the process of returning gradual with flexible scheduling, allowing employees who use public transport to travel outside of rush hour and limiting the number of days inside the office.

Employees ultimately want to be heard. Acknowledge and empathise with their concerns and work with them to develop a plan of action that’s best suited for the workplace to help improve employee mental health.

2. Create a Supportive Environment

WFH has seen the end of the casual “water-cooler chatter,” according to Insider.

As humans are social, small-talk is good for us. It inspires creativity, leads to deeper discussions, allows us to share a connection and ultimately improves our mental well-being. Supportive work environments improve employee mental health by reducing stress and allowing creativity and productivity to flourish.

Employers can support employees by filling in these communication gaps with social events like virtual lunches, coffee breaks and drinks. Employing the use of instant messaging platforms such as Slack, Discord and Microsoft Teams, and setting up channels for a casual chats between colleagues and team members.

Appointing mental health champions gives employees a space to discuss and work through any issues. Their goal is to help you educate employees and managers on mental health, challenge the stigma, and raise awareness.

Another way to raise awareness and create a supportive environment is to put together a mental health training programme. Effective mental health awareness training educates employees and managers on mental health, they’ll understand how to maintain their own mental well-being, while also looking out for signs that their colleagues may need help.

Training doesn’t need to fall by the wayside because of lack of face to face interaction. Online mentoring software offers flexibility for staff and can be an effective way to track and monitor their growth and progress.

Ensuring you have effective and supportive training and onboarding programmes can also reduce the rate of new hires quitting, due to the level of guidance offered. Prioritising employee mental health from the offset can therefore benefit retention and loyalty.

3. Virtual Training & Mentoring

In the hectic move from in-office to virtual work environments, many workplaces found it difficult to keep track and ensure employee development.

Companies such as Marks & Spencer have improved employee engagement through virtual mentoring programmes, as mentees develop more self assurance. They’ve also experienced a positive impact on mental health of employees, feeling a sense of community and belonging through mentoring:

Creating a mentoring programme improves employee mental health by ensuring that isolated employees have an avenue to communicate with mentors, discuss how they are adapting, and even help them discover solutions to work related stress issues. This is particularly important in the case of mentoring graduate students who may be entering the workforce for the first time.

63% of adults in the UK are worried about the impact Covid-19 will have on their future. Mentoring helps alleviate fears by helping employees set and achieve development goals, giving them a clear vision of what they can achieve, ultimately boosting their self confidence.

Mentoring Software


4. Put Together a Wellness Action Plan

A wellness action plan sets guidelines on how to best support everybody’s physical and mental health. In this plan, you set objectives for employees to follow, and clarify the support and guidance available.It helps employees and management identify workplace or day to day triggers, and can be the push they need to finally identify and combat any personal mental health issues. These practical steps help you to create a company culture of education, support and empathy.

Action plans can include a list of definitions of relevant terms, such as ‘mental health’ and ‘vulnerable groups’, creating a universal understanding regarding discussion points. It should also contain tips on how employees can take care of their mental health, such as effective time planning and remembering to take a break.

You should talk about who they can contact if they’re experiencing any issues. Is there a mental health champion? Do they have access to an employee assistance program? Advice on how to bring up their issues with their manager and what to expect.

As mentioned in a previous section, people feel less anxious when they are heard. Discuss with employees where they think the company is lacking in terms of mental health support and education. Use this to inform an action plan for the company’s leadership. Let employees know what changes will be made, why, and what issues they will solve. have written effective wellness action plans for employees, team leaders and those working from home that you can download or use as inspiration for your own plan.

5. Remind your Employees to Take Breaks

Finally, with virtual working in place and entire offices being relegated to a corner desk, employees may be spending more time inside and sitting down.

We’re no longer stretching our legs around the office, or taking a walk to our favourite sandwich shop for lunch. Remaining sedentary takes a toll on employee mental health as it increases the risk of depression and anxiety.

Spending too long on the computer can cause eye strain. Talking a walk and stretching increases blood flow to the brain, improves moods and boosts creativity. Walking in nature especially reduces stress, this could be especially useful for employees with children who need time outside to blow off some steam.

Experts suggest setting a phone reminder every hour to 90 minutes to ensure that employees give themselves an opportunity to stretch, encourage blood flow and clear their minds.

As the world changes, we’re all looking for new ways to adapt. Technology can help to alleviate some of these issues but it’s human connection that makes it most effective.

While some people see work as a way to get through certain issues, others may find it hard to adapt. By encouraging open communication among employees, you can ensure that your employees will see a reduction in anxiousness.

This way we can create a more productive, communicative and happy workforce.

This article is summarised in the infographic below:

Source: NCC Learning