Advice for Businesses Advice for Mentees  Benefits of Mentoring  Skills Development

Why You Need a Corporate Mentoring Program

In today’s competitive business landscape, companies are constantly searching for innovative ways to enhance their employees’ skills and foster a culture of continuous learning. One such effective approach gaining popularity is the implementation of corporate mentoring programs. These programs provide invaluable support and guidance to individuals at various stages of their careers, offering them the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals within their organisation. 


By nurturing talent, transferring knowledge, and fostering professional growth, corporate mentoring programs have emerged as an essential tool for companies looking to invest in their workforce and stay ahead in the market. In this article, we will explore why having a corporate mentoring program is crucial for businesses and how it can yield numerous benefits for both mentors and mentees alike.


Understanding corporate mentoring programs

Definition and importance:

A corporate mentoring program is a structured and formalised initiative within an organisation that pairs experienced employees (mentors) with less experienced employees (mentees) to provide guidance, support, and professional development opportunities. This program aims to foster personal and career growth for the mentees, while also benefiting the mentors by enhancing their leadership skills and job satisfaction. Corporate mentoring programs typically involve regular meetings or check-ins between mentors and mentees, where they can discuss various topics such as goal setting, skill development, problem-solving, and networking.


The importance of a corporate mentoring program cannot be overstated in today’s fast-paced business environment. Firstly, it helps in knowledge transfer from senior employees to their junior counterparts. Seasoned professionals possess valuable insights gained through years of experience that cannot be easily acquired through training or academic qualifications.


Types of corporate mentoring programs:

Corporate mentoring programs come in various types, each designed to cater to specific needs and goals. 


Formal mentoring program 

This is a type of mentoring program where a structured relationship is established between a more experienced employee (mentor) and a less experienced employee (mentee). This program usually follows a set timeline and focuses on skill development and career advancement.


Peer mentoring program

A peer mentoring program is where employees at similar levels mentor each other, fostering mutual learning and collaboration. Peer mentorship programs offer one-on-one mentoring in a relaxed environment while empowering individuals to become peer leaders.


Diversity mentoring program

Diversity mentoring, also called affinity mentoring, happens when individuals with a similar background work together as a mentor-mentee pair. Companies may create a corporate mentor program to address specific employee needs. This program allows individuals of the same ethnic background or gender to offer guidance based on shared life experiences.


Reverse mentoring program 

On the other hand, a reverse mentoring program involves pairing senior executives with younger employees to exchange knowledge and insights about new technologies or trends. Reverse mentors are new employees who have unique skills and perspectives. They collaborate with long-term employees to teach them new skills. During their onboarding period, they focus on building relationships with their new team.


Leadership mentoring program

Leadership mentoring matches high-potential employees with successful top-level employees. Both the mentor and mentee invest time and effort into building a strong personal and professional relationship. When working remotely, individuals can connect with their mentor through scheduled calls for structured guidance or seek casual advice when needed.


Each type of corporate mentoring program offers unique benefits and opportunities for professional growth and development within the organisation.


Benefits of Corporate Mentoring Programs

Employee development and engagement:

Corporate mentoring programs offer numerous benefits for both employees and organisations. One significant advantage is the development and engagement of employees. Through mentoring, employees have the opportunity to expand their skills, knowledge, and capabilities, providing them with valuable professional growth and advancement. 


Mentees can learn from the experience and expertise of their mentors, gaining insights and guidance that can enhance their performance and effectiveness in the workplace. This development not only benefits the individual employee but also contributes to the overall success and productivity of the organisation as a whole. 


Additionally, the engagement fostered through mentoring programs increases employee satisfaction and loyalty, leading to higher levels of retention and a positive company culture.


Retention and succession planning:

Retention and succession planning are two important aspects of corporate mentoring programs. Through mentoring, experienced employees have the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with less experienced employees, helping them to develop and grow within the company. This not only increases employee engagement and satisfaction, but it also encourages loyalty and commitment to the organisation.


Additionally, mentoring programs help identify potential future leaders and groom them for higher positions, ensuring a smooth transition when current leaders retire or move on. By investing in mentoring programs, companies can proactively plan for the future by nurturing and developing their talent pool.


Diversity and inclusion:

Corporate mentoring programs can provide a variety of benefits for both the mentee and the mentor. One important benefit is the promotion of diversity and inclusion within the company. By pairing individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, mentoring programs help to break down barriers and foster a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture. 


Mentees can gain valuable insights and guidance from mentors who have different perspectives, and mentors can also learn from their mentees’ unique experiences. This exchange of ideas and knowledge helps to create a more inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and included.


📖 Read more about mentoring benefits in our guide 📖


Key elements of successful corporate mentoring programs

Clearly defined objectives and goals:

Setting clear objectives aligned with organisational and individual needs is essential for successful corporate mentoring programs. These programs are designed to foster professional growth and development, both for the mentee and the mentor. By clearly outlining the specific goals and objectives of the mentoring relationship, both parties can work towards achieving them effectively. 


This clarity helps ensure that the mentorship is focused and aligned with the overall objectives of the organisation. It also provides a measurable framework for evaluating the success and impact of the mentoring program. Without clear objectives and goals, the mentoring relationship may lack direction and purpose, reducing its effectiveness and potential for meaningful outcomes.


Thoughtful matching process:

Having a thoughtful matching process is crucial for the success of corporate mentoring programs. When mentees are paired with mentors who align with their goals, interests, and aspirations, it enhances the overall experience and ensures that mentees receive the guidance and support they need. 


By carefully considering factors such as industry experience, expertise, and personality traits, organisations can create effective mentorship pairs that allow for meaningful connections and valuable knowledge exchange. A well-executed matching process lays the foundation for productive mentoring relationships and contributes to the overall success of the program.


Structured program framework:

Structured program frameworks play a critical role in the success of corporate mentoring programs. These frameworks provide guidelines and structure for both mento

rs and mentees to follow, ensuring that the program is organised and effective. By implementing a structured framework, organisations can create a clear roadmap for mentorship engagements, setting goals, defining expectations, and outlining the steps necessary to achieve them.


One key element of a successful structured program framework is goal setting. Mentoring programs that have clearly defined goals are more likely to be successful, as they provide direction and focus for both mentors and mentees. Goals could include career advancement, skill development, or even personal growth. By establishing these objectives at the beginning of the program, participants can work towards achieving them throughout their mentoring relationship.


In addition to goal setting, another important aspect of a structured program framework is regular check-ins or progress evaluations.


Communication and support:

Corporate mentoring programs have gained significant popularity in recent years as organisations recognise the immense benefits they bring to both individual employees and the company as a whole. Amongst the various elements that contribute to the success of these programs, communication and support emerge as crucial factors. Effective communication ensures that mentors and mentees are on the same page, fostering trust, understanding, and shared goals. Moreover, it allows for regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and open dialogue to address any challenges or concerns.


In addition to effective communication, providing adequate support is paramount in successful corporate mentoring programs. Mentors play a pivotal role in guiding their mentees through their professional journey by offering insights into their own experiences. By being accessible and approachable to mentees, mentors create an environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking guidance or asking questions.


Training and resources:

Another key element that contributes to the success of corporate mentoring programs is the provision of adequate training and resources. By equipping mentors with the necessary tools and knowledge, companies can ensure that their mentoring relationships are effective and impactful.


Training plays a vital role in preparing mentors for their responsibilities. It helps them understand their role as a mentor, establish clear objectives, and develop effective communication skills. Through training sessions, mentors learn how to provide constructive feedback, set achievable goals, and guide mentees towards personal and professional growth. Additionally, training provides an opportunity for mentors to enhance their own leadership skills and gain valuable insights from experienced professionals within the organisation.


Apart from comprehensive training programs, providing resources is equally important for successful corporate mentoring initiatives.


Best practices for implementing corporate mentoring programs

Leadership support and buy-in:

Leadership support and buy-in are essential for the successful implementation of corporate mentoring programs. When leaders in an organisation show their support for the program, it communicates the importance and value of mentoring to the entire workforce. This support encourages employees to participate and invest in the program. 


Additionally, leaders can help to align the mentoring program with the strategic objectives of the organisation, ensuring that it serves as a vehicle for talent development and succession planning. When leaders actively participate in mentoring programs themselves, it sets an example and creates a culture of mentorship throughout the organisation. Ultimately, leadership support and buy-in are crucial for creating a successful and sustainable mentoring program within a corporate setting.


Promote program awareness:

Promoting program awareness is crucial when implementing corporate mentoring programs. By creating a strong awareness campaign, employees are more likely to understand the benefits of participating in the program and are encouraged to get involved. This can lead to increased engagement and participation rates, ultimately resulting in a more successful mentoring program. 

Promoting program awareness can be done through various channels, such as internal communications, company-wide meetings, and targeted marketing efforts. By highlighting the benefits and success stories of the program, employees will be inspired to participate and support the growth and development of their colleagues.


Continuous evaluation and improvement:

This practice ensures that the program is effective and aligns with the goals and objectives of the organisation. By continuously evaluating the program, companies can identify areas that need improvement and make necessary adjustments to enhance the outcomes. It allows mentors and mentees to provide feedback and address any challenges or concerns that arise during the program. 


Additionally, ongoing evaluation and improvement help to measure the success of the mentoring program and make data-driven decisions for future program enhancements. Overall, continuous evaluation and improvement are key components of a successful corporate mentoring program.


Measure success and impact:

Corporate mentoring programs can have a significant impact on the development and success of employees. By implementing best practices for measuring success and impact, companies can ensure that their mentoring programs are effective and beneficial. This can be done through various methods such as conducting surveys to gather feedback from participants, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as employee retention and promotion rates, and collecting qualitative data through interviews or focus groups. 


By consistently assessing and evaluating the outcomes of the mentoring program, companies can make informed decisions and adjustments to improve its effectiveness and ensure that it aligns with their overall organisational goals and objectives.


Overcoming challenges in corporate mentoring programs

Overcoming resistance:

Corporate mentoring programs can often face resistance from both mentors and mentees. However, overcoming this resistance is essential for the success of these programs. By addressing concerns and doubts, providing clear communication, and offering support and training, organisations can help mitigate resistance and create a positive and inclusive mentoring environment. 


By overcoming resistance, corporate mentoring programs can effectively address challenges, foster professional growth, and ultimately contribute to the overall success of the organisation.


Managing expectations:

Managing expectations is a crucial strategy in overcoming challenges in corporate mentoring programs. Setting clear expectations from the beginning helps ensure that both mentors and mentees have a common understanding of what they hope to achieve from the program. This includes clarifying goals, defining roles and responsibilities, and establishing a timeline for the mentoring relationship. By managing expectations, organisations can avoid misunderstandings, minimise potential conflicts, and create a positive mentoring experience for all participants. 


Additionally, regularly revisiting and adjusting expectations throughout the program allows for flexibility and adaptation as the needs and goals of individuals may evolve over time. Ultimately, effectively managing expectations can lead to a more successful and impactful corporate mentoring program.


Nurturing mentoring relationships:

Another effective way to overcome challenges in corporate mentoring programs is by nurturing mentoring relationships between mentors and mentees. Building strong connections based on trust and mutual respect can help mentees navigate the complexities of their careers, while also fostering a supportive environment for both parties.


A key aspect of building nurturing mentoring relationships is providing mentorship training that equips mentors with the necessary skills and knowledge to guide their mentees effectively. Mentorship training should cover topics such as active listening, providing constructive feedback, goal setting, and career planning. By enhancing mentors’ capabilities in these areas, they can better understand and address the unique needs and aspirations of their mentees.


Additionally, regular communication plays a vital role in nurturing mentoring relationships within corporate programs.


In conclusion, a corporate mentoring program is an essential component of any successful organisation. It not only benefits the mentees by providing them with guidance and support but also enhances the skills and knowledge of mentors. Moreover, such a program fosters a positive and collaborative work environment, leading to increased employee engagement and retention. 


Additionally, it promotes diversity and inclusion within the organisation by creating opportunities for individuals from different backgrounds to connect and learn from each other. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to invest in developing a robust corporate mentoring program that can drive growth and success. So, why wait? Start implementing a mentoring program today to reap these countless benefits and create a thriving workplace culture.


How Guider Can Help

Guider AI is an award-winning mentoring platform that provides support, reporting and ongoing optimisation to develop people and businesses through mentoring.


If you’d like to find out more information about the help and support we have available, then feel free to get in touch with our team or book a demo today.

Benefits of Mentoring  Skills Development

Retain or Regret: How Mentoring Can Stop the Legal Talent Drain

You don’t need us to tell you that the legal sector faces unique challenges when it comes to talent development and retention. The question isn’t whether these issues exist; it’s what you’re doing to address them. With the next generation of legal minds knocking at your door, there’s never been a better time to invest in their growth. According to UK research, over 30% of millennial and Gen Z legal talent rank formal mentorship as the key factor in selecting an employee – on par with compensation (Law Gazette).

So, let’s cut to the chase: this blog explores how mentoring and peer-learning aren’t just buzzwords – they’re essential strategies for nurturing young talent and enhancing retention in your firm.

The talent crisis in law firms (yes, we know you know)

We get it; you’re well aware of the high turnover rates plaguing the legal industry. The constant grind to meet billable hours and the cutthroat competition aren’t news to you. But let’s put some numbers to the narrative: around 20% of newly qualified solicitors in the UK leave their initial firms within two years, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. And the cost of this attrition? Up to 125% of an employee’s annual salary when you factor in recruiting, onboarding, and training.

The point isn’t to belabour what you already know, but to underline the urgency. Young talent isn’t just a pipeline; they’re potential future partners, innovators, and the very lifeblood of your firm. Ignoring their development is akin to leaving money—and opportunity—on the table.

Investing in young talent – it’s not just nice, it’s necessary

You’re no stranger to the value of experience, but let’s not overlook the untapped potential sitting in your junior associates’ seats. They’re not just placeholders until something better comes along; they’re your firm’s future. Young talent brings more than just fresh energy – they bring innovative approaches, tech-savviness, and a different kind of ambition.

The bottom line? Investing in your junior staff isn’t just a feel-good move; it’s a strategic imperative. According to a UK-based study, firms that invest in employee development are 2.5 times more likely to see increased employee performance. So, if you’re aiming for a competitive edge, look no further than your own corridors.

Mentoring – the secret sauce for legal talent development

We know, mentoring isn’t a new concept in the legal world. But let’s face it, not all mentoring programmes are created equal. A well-structured mentoring system isn’t just a senior associate giving occasional advice over coffee; it’s a formalised, ongoing process that can significantly impact skill development, confidence, and career trajectory.

UK statistics reveal that employees who have mentors are 70% more likely to be promoted than those who don’t. This isn’t just good for the mentee; it’s a win-win. Senior staff get the satisfaction of shaping the next generation, while the firm benefits from a more skilled, engaged, and loyal workforce.

Find out how Clyde & Co are transforming their L&D through mentoringPeer-learning – the underutilised asset

You’ve probably heard the term ‘peer-learning’ thrown around, but have you ever considered its real-world impact? It’s not just about colleagues sharing notes; it’s about creating a culture where continuous improvement is the norm. Peer-learning complements mentoring by offering real-time feedback and shared experiences that are immediately applicable.

UK studies indicate that peer-led initiatives can increase skill retention by up to 20%. So, if you’re not leveraging the collective wisdom within your firm, you’re missing out on a valuable resource.

Case studies – proof in the pudding

Let’s talk about the real impact. Clyde & Co implemented a structured mentoring and peer-learning programme with Guider, alongside a reverse mentoring programme. Since then, they’ve seen a dramatic increase in utilisation and engagement with learning initiatives:

“We’ve not had to run any internal mentoring training sessions to get people signed up or engaging with mentoring since using Guider. Having everything in one place, including a customisable learning library, has made mentoring training self-serve and more accessible.” Naomi Boachie-Ansah, Senior Digital Learning & Platforms Advisor  

On the flipside, employees at Clyde & Co who are being mentored have demonstrated the unparalleled benefits to them and their career progression:

“Using Guider to find a mentor and then working with my mentor on a monthly basis has already helped me immensely in my career, particularly in goal setting and career planning.”Senior Associate 

These aren’t just throwaway comments; they’re a testament to the transformative power of investing in talent development. It’s not just about keeping your staff; it’s about enhancing the quality of your entire operation.

How mentoring software can help – the missing piece of the puzzle

You’ve got the intent, but what about the execution? That’s where Guider comes in. Our mentoring software is designed to make talent development seamless and effective. From mentor-mentee matching to tracking progress, we’ve got you covered.

Why does this matter? Because a well-executed mentoring programme isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s a ‘must-have’ for any forward-thinking law firm. With Guider, you’re not just adopting a tool; you’re adopting a strategy for long-term success.

We’ve laid out the facts, and you already know the stakes. Investing in young talent through mentoring and peer-learning isn’t a sidebar; it’s the headline. The future of your firm depends on the actions you take today to develop and retain your rising stars.

So, what’s your next move? If you’re committed to elevating your talent and boosting retention, the path is clear: invest in mentoring and peer-learning. And if you’re looking for a partner to make that journey easier, Guider is here to help. Book a free, no-obligation discovery call with our team today to hear all about our platform and how it’s helped legal firms across the world improve their talent development.

Skills Development

Learning How to Give Effective Feedback is a Game-changer for Your Workplace

Ahh feedback. It’s one of those things we all love to receive, but how many people know how to give it? Feedback is essential to personal and professional growth, serving as a tool for improvement and allowing individuals to understand their strengths and weaknesses. 

Effective feedback can boost productivity and help employees develop their skills in a work environment. In an ideal world, managers and mentors only have to give positive feedback – but constructive criticism is also important. 

There’s no doubt that giving feedback is integral to a company’s growth, and it can build stronger relationships between managers and employees when done right – but that’s easier said than done. 

Luckily, we’re here to clear everything up for you. So, sit back, relax and learn all about the game changer that is effective feedback. 

Why is quality feedback so important?

At its core, feedback is a tool for improvement. Whether it’s evaluating how a product works or individual and team performances, feedback isn’t there to insult anyone but to help them work on their weaknesses—and celebrate achievements. 

Here are the main reasons why effective feedback is so important: 

  • Clarifying expectations: All managers have expectations for their employees, and feedback establishes clear guidelines on what each person should accomplish. 
  • Strengths & weaknesses: Feedback allows individuals to recognise their strengths and weaknesses and then take steps to improve them. 
  • Fostering a growth mindset: A growth mindset is vital for each employee and team member. Feedback is a foundation for people to improve their skills and contribute to a company. 
  • Building relationships: Constructive feedback can improve relationships between managers and employees by promoting collaboration and open communication. 

Some stats on the power of effective feedback 

  • Managers that regularly receive constructive feedback have 8.9% higher profitability (Gallup).
  • Around 69% of employees would work harder if they received feedback from their employer (Harvard Business Review). 
  • 43% of engaged employees get feedback from their employer once a week (E-Learning Industry). 

What are the effects of bad feedback?

There’s a difference between effective and bad feedback, but some people find this out too late. If your feedback lacks clarity or empathy, it can lead to an employee feeling embarrassed and misunderstood, which impacts motivation. 

Breakdowns in communication can also hinder professional development and halt production levels, which could have a knock-on effect on other employees. 

According to People Management, a whopping three in five employees are disengaged in the UK, but businesses can potentially reduce these numbers by creating a better work environment and prioritising effective feedback. 

Guider’s 10 top tips for giving effective feedback 

So, now you know more about effective feedback, it’s time to look at ten great tips to help you provide constructive feedback and build better relationships with your team.

1. Be objective and specific 

When giving feedback, it’s always best to be clear and concise with any information. For example, if someone’s developing a marketing plan and there are certain areas you feel aren’t right, focus on those areas. 

Generalisations might seem friendlier, but they often lead to miscommunications. Be specific on which areas require improvement, and the person receiving the feedback will know what they need to do. 

2. Offer examples 

It’s also a good idea to support your feedback with specific examples, which help the individual understand the context and provide evidence to reflect on. 

People respond well to examples, but it shows that you’ve reviewed their performance and are interested in the employee’s growth potential. 

3. The sandwich technique 

The sandwich method is highly popular because it combines positive feedback and constructive criticism. For example, the person giving feedback will start with a positive comment about the employee’s performance and then provide areas for improvement. 

To soften the impact of criticism, it’s also best to end with a positive comment to soften the impact and leave the individual feeling reassured that they have your respect. 

However, there’s a delicate balance between offering praise and going overboard, so make sure the individual understands the negative feedback too. 

4. Focus on behaviour, not personality

Remember, feedback should never be personal, so focus on actions and leave personalities out of it. Focusing on actions ensures you maintain professional boundaries and don’t insult the individual. 

Management teams have to be objective and ensure employees feel comfortable with receiving feedback, so it’s best to set actionable goals based on performance. 

5. Don’t wait for ages 

There’s no point in waiting for ages to give feedback because the individual might not even remember what they were working on. Employees can reflect on their actions when you offer constructive criticism soon after the event or observed behaviour. 

Remember, being timely is also essential when giving positive feedback because you want to ensure your employees remain engaged and receive recognition for their contributions. 

6. Have empathy 

Ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? Your employees have them too. For example, maybe someone’s just given a presentation that didn’t go to plan, or perhaps they missed a deadline due to personal issues. 

The critical thing to remember here is to approach the situation carefully and give your employee time to calm down. Using the sandwich method in situations like this is advisable because you can keep the individual calm. 

7. Utilise active listening 

Active listening is crucial when giving feedback, as it allows you to understand the recipient’s perspective. Two-way conversations are always more effective than one person talking and the other just listening. 

Ask your employee how they feel about the feedback, and be sure to clarify any uncertainties they might have. 

8. Prioritise growth and development 

As Gallup reports, Millennials value roles with development opportunities more than any other age group. By 2025, this generation will become the most dominant, which means companies need to focus on making each job a chance for growth and progression. 

Framing feedback as a growth opportunity instead of criticism allows the individual to realise their full potential and look forward to developing their role within the company. 

9. Don’t bring others into the feedback 

It might seem better to use ‘we’ statements when giving feedback, but it’s always best to use “I” when talking to employees as they don’t like feeling ganged up on. 

The meeting is between you and the individual, so ensure they understand that you’re offering opinions and perceptions. 

10. Practice makes perfect 

Last but definitely not least, practice makes perfect. If you’re unsure how to give constructive feedback, practice with other people and ask for advice from senior managers or more experienced professionals. 

Once you learn how to frame your opinions and remain professional, you can feel comfortable giving feedback to anyone. 

Remember, receiving feedback is a skill too!

Giving feedback is as important as getting it, and most individuals, whether they’re managers or owners, will receive some kind of feedback from co-workers or clients. With that in mind, we’re finishing up with these tips for individuals on the receiving end of constructive criticism: 

  • Be open-minded: Approach feedback with an open mind and a willingness to learn and improve.
  • Seek clarification: If something is unclear, ask for clarification or examples to gain a deeper understanding.
  • Listen actively: Pay attention to the feedback and actively listen to the perspective of the person providing it.
  • Reflect and take ownership: Reflect on the feedback and assess how to apply it to your personal and professional growth.
  • Express gratitude: Show appreciation to those who take the time to provide you with valuable feedback.

The bottom line 

Following the tips in this post will ensure you give and receive feedback like a pro. With time and effort, you can be confident in your abilities, so don’t forget to practise regularly and be willing to learn from others. 

If you enjoyed reading this post, why not check out our blog for helpful guides and tips?

Read more:

How to Set and Achieve Long-term Career Goals

The Importance of Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Career Progression Plan

10 Questions to Build Self-awareness

Top Characteristics of a Good Mentor

The Importance of Positive Self-Talk

How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them!

Skills Development

Top Mentoring and L&D Podcasts to Listen to in 2023

Staying up to date in the world of L&D and mentorship is a full-time job in itself. Luckily we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of podcasts we love covering a range of exciting and fascinating topics in the L&D space. 

Podcasts are a simple way to stay in the know. With bite-size episodes, you can listen to on the bus, at your desk, or simply over a cup of tea. There’s a reason we’re living in the age of podcasts – it’s a fantastic way to take learning into your own hands and find inspiration from experts you can trust. 

We’re here to give you the down low on the best podcasts out there. Our list includes our favourite episodes and why you should give each your precious time and attention. 

So, without further ado, let’s get to it! 

Top L&D podcasts to follow in 2023 

1. Guided, Guider 

First on our list is our very own podcast, Guided. Brought to you by the fantastic hosts Nicola and Danika, our podcast brings together industry experts to explore the human side of work. 

The team have assembled a line-up of truly inspirational figures in L&D, DE&I and Talent to talk about a range of topics from developing young leaders to cultivating true equity. These are the topics that we’re passionate here at Guider and we wanted to share these insights with as many people as possible! 

Come for the big questions and stay for insights from industry experts that you can action in your work life today. 

We recommend giving our first season a listen to hear more, starting with this insightful episode with Julie Dennis on menopause in the workplace. 

🎙Listen on Spotify: Menopause at Work: Breaking down stigma and retaining top talent with Julie Dennis

Listen to Angie Vaux on the Guided podcast on the importance of mentoring, coaching and personal advisory boards.2. L&D Disrupt, HowNow 

We love our friends at HowNow’s podcast, L&D Disrupt. They’re here to help you keep up with the fast-paced changes in the world of work. 

Their podcast covers a range of topics across the L&D space. With short and long-form content, as well as their new series ‘Path to CPO’, you’re sure to find inspiration across the board. It’s essential listening if you want to become a fast-learning, modern and agile company. 

We recommend this short-form episode on ‘Marketing Principles for L&D Teams’ with Hannah Waddams to get you started. 

🎙Listen on Spotify here.  

3. The Learning & Development Podcast, David James

With more than 20 years experience, David James has an impressive career under his belt in Talent and L&D. This is what makes his podcast a go-to place to learn about top topics affecting the profession today. 

If you want to hear from experts at top companies, then this is the podcast for you. James brings together impressive contacts to have lively debates on topics across the board. 

This episode on ‘Performance-Oriented L&D’ with Lila Warren of Pret a Manger is a great place to start. 

🎙Listen on Spotify here.  

4. L&D Plus: A Collaborative Learning Podcast

Brough to you by 360 Learning, the L&D Plus podcast focuses on how L&D teams can work together to achieve L&D goals. They want to make learning a team sport. 

And we agree! Collaborative learning is not just a buzzword – it’s an essential way for learning to thrive in your organisation. That’s why we love this podcast. It’s all about bringing people together to support learning across your organisation. 

To get started, why not check out the episode ‘L&D Plus Operations: What to do when talented people get bored’. 

🎙Listen on Spotify here

5. The Coaching Crowd 

For those interested in how to incorporate coaching into your practice to become a better leader, this podcast is for you. 

Hosted by Jo Wheatley and Zoe Hawkins, they expertly guide listeners in effective coaching techniques. Here, you can learn how to get the best of your people, and at the same time learn more about ourselves.

We loved this episode on ‘People Pleasing in Coaching’ and think it’s a great place to start listening! 

🎙Listen on Spotify here

6. The Digital Adoption Show

This is the perfect podcast for anyone that wants to see ROI on digital HR and L&D tools. 

The episodes are focussed on providing you with hacks that you can implement today – making it a go-to resource for digital-adoption strategies.

We highly recommend this episode from Nick Shackleton-Jones, a big name in L&D for a reason. He talks about his journey in L&D giving advice to leaders on creating the right L&D program for your organisation. 

🎙Listen on Spotify here

7. The Learning Leader 

Hosted by Ryan Hawk, this podcast is for people that love hearing interviews with top professionals. Each episode, Ryan interviews leaders so that we can all learn to be better leaders. 

With guests including, Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Kat Cole, Adam Grant and more, there are so many topics covered across the series you won’t get bored! 

Why not start with this insightful episode on ‘Lessons from the world’s longest study on happiness’ with Dr Marc Schulz. 

🎙Listen on Spotify here

A laptop, headphones and podcast microphone8. How I Met My Mentor

Last but not least, we’ve loved ‘How I Met My Mentor’ for obvious reasons! In these half hour episodes, we meet women from around the world talking about their successes and challenges. 

This is a great podcast for anyone in need of a little inspiration in their work life. With each interviewee acting as the mentor for the listener, there’s so much to learn from these inspiring women. 

We recommend starting with this episode ‘Perfectionism paralyses you’ with Jodi Tingling.

🎙Listen on Spotify here

All these podcasts are full of insights for anyone looking to learn more about L&D, mentoring, and leadership. Remember, learning is in your hands – so why not make time to pop on a podcast and get your daily dose of new inspiration? 

Ready for more? Check out our further L&D content: 

How to Take Responsibility For Your Personal Development

The Importance of Positive Self-Talk

How Failure Leads to Success

Supercharge Career Progression With These Top Tips

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Career Progression Plan

The Importance of Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

How to Set and Achieve Long-term Career Goals

Skills Development

How to Set and Achieve Long-Term Career Goals (With Examples)

For many ambitious and proactive employees, setting long-term career goals is essential for steering your career in the right direction.

Setting long-term goals can be complex and can get overwhelming if you allow it to. But with a careful, pragmatic approach that puts achievable goals in the front view, you will quell that feeling and enjoy each productive step forwards.

This article explores the importance of long-term goals, introduces a 5-step approach that will change how you perceive goals, and tells you exactly why mentoring is a fundamental piece of the puzzle in goal-setting.

Let’s get planning!

People development header imageThe importance of setting long-term career goals

Long-term goals are essential, especially if you have a specific career trajectory in mind. Without goals, we can easily go off-course and even stagnate in our careers. A solid career plan will reinforce the work you do every day, and imbue you with purpose that takes you where you want to go. Not to mention, keep you focused and on track. 

Before we go on, it’s important to remember that a long-term career plan doesn’t need to be set in stone. Your goals may change and grow as you do and that’s ok. And of course, you can change it at any time, and adjust it as you evolve through your journey. A career plan is there to help you, calibrate your focus, and maintain the motivation you need to achieve ambitious goals. 

In either case, a long-term career goal is a set of milestones that lead you to a particular ‘ultimate’ goal. This might be the CEO of your own company or perhaps you’re striving for a level of financial security or creative expression through work.

In any case, planning is involved to get the ball rolling. To do so, you might prefer to use your ingenuity and smarts to do it yourself, but you can help yourself along a bit by taking a look at how you can start.

📖 Find out more about putting together a career progression plan in our guide, today 📖

Examples of long-term career goals

If you’re looking for inspiration of the kinds of long-term career goals you can set to ensure success, we’re here to help.

Long-term goals can be anywhere from 1-year to 20-years in the making so think big!

Here are 5 top long-term goal examples:

1. Salary

Financial security is increasingly important as the world changes. With the cost of living crisis and redundancies across once secure businesses, prioritising your salary goals is important.

There are many steps you can take to get to your goal salary, showing your management team that you’ve got what it takes. Don’t forget, sometimes being up front with your goals is necessary, so don’t be afraid to communicate your ambitions with your employer. 

Remember, salary is only one part of your work package. Negotiating across the spectrum of benefits is important, for example your employer pension contribution can massively affect your ability to retire securely in future.

2. Retirement

Which brings us nicely to our next point, for many people a long-term goal may actually be when you plan to stop working. Perhaps you want to retire comfortably by the age of 55 or you have a goal of the pension fund you need to enjoy your golden years.

Either way, planning is key to ensure you can have the retirement that you want when the time comes.

3. Mastery

They say that mastery takes 10,000 hours of practice. Mastering a skill can be a fulfilling and rewarding goal that is not focussed on material gain, but on the emotional rewards of progress. Setting this as a long-term goal is a great way to remind yourself why you do what you do.

This may include reaching a level of education or training associated with your profession and works well for careers that have a clearly defined process for certifying skill. Equally, you may find that years or accolades help you understand what mastery means to you.

4. Job title

For some people, their long-term goal is about reaching a certain job role or title. Whether it’s CEO, or Head of Department, there are lots of long-term goals that you can set around rising the ranks in your career.

Equally, you may want to set goals around variety of role or industry – for many a squiggly career is fulfilling and being able to leave your career having reached a number of interesting roles is what you are looking for.

Mentoring, coaching and sponsorship e-book bannerTop tips for hitting your goals

Ready to set you BHAG? (Big Hairy Ambitious Goal!) Then remember these top tips:

1. Make you goal SMART

The SMART goal-setting framework is a classic for a reason – it works.

SMART stands for:

Specific: The clearer the goal, the easier it is to see if you’ve hit it or not.

Measurable: It’s hard to see results if you can’t measure progress so make your goal measurable.

Attainable: Setting goals you can’t achieve is de-motivating! Make sure you can actually hit your goal, however ambitious it is.

Relevant: It needs to be tied into your other life goals and activities otherwise it can easily be sidelined.

Time-bound: Give yourself a deadline and work backwards from there to make sure you can achieve your goal.

This framework helps you to set goals that are clearly defined and achievable, which will help you to stay on track and see progress.

📖 Find out more about how to set goals and achieve them in our guide 📖

2. Find a mentor

Mentorship is vital for hitting your career goals, not the least because it allows you to vocalise your goals and get some genuine, honest advice about how to go about them. Regular meetings will increase your belief in yourself, and keep you on the right track. Plus, it allows you to see how others have achieved their goals. Look into this when you can!

3. Break goals down

It’s useful to break your goals down into smaller goals. For instance, if you have a large overarching goal like “I will become the CEO of a large multinational company”, it should be broken down into achievable sections with clear timeframes. 

Physicality is important here. Write your goals down on cards, or pin Post-it notes to a cork board. One way or the other, stay aware of them each day. 

4. Hold yourself accountable

It’s important to hold yourself accountable for your long-term goals. Firstly, acknowledge that they’re not going to come to you. It’s all down to you. It’s your responsibility. Then look at the cards on the table. How do you proceed? Figure the different avenues of this out and you’ll be well on the way. Then it’s a case of spending the appropriate amount of time per week with each avenue to achieve the results. You can even buy a journal and list weekly tasks with rewards.

5. Celebrate your success

Every successful step forwards must be celebrated. You should do something fun to reward yourself like a holiday or a new book. This self-imposed rewards scheme will give you that extra incentive to keep going so that you remain aware of the steps ahead of you but appreciate every milestone, however small.

The verdict

Putting a career goal into place will transform your working life and reinforce the validity of your daily tasks. The key thing is to stick with your plan once you have identified it and mapped it out, and assess the results and every step towards success. But also, remember to reassess the plan regularly. This allows you to make changes and remove low-priority tasks.

If you need more information about how to handle your career trajectory, then check out our related posts:

Mentors Assemble: The Benefits of a Personal Advisory Board

46 Inspirational Mentoring Quotes

The Importance of Positive Self-Talk

Top Mentorship Goals for Mentees

The Importance of Overcoming Limiting Beliefs 

Skills Development

The Importance of Overcoming Limiting Beliefs (With Examples)

Have you ever felt like there’s a daily battle going on in your head? We spend so much time thinking about what others think of us that we often don’t realise we’re our worst enemies. This is what’s known as limiting beliefs

In the wonderful journey that is life, we humans often encounter barriers that hinder our growth and progress. These barriers, known as limiting beliefs, can significantly impact our personal and professional lives. 

The worst thing is they’re completely self-imposed boundaries that only exist in the mind. Even the most confident people deal with limiting beliefs, and the good news is you can break through them and go on to conquer your fears and embrace new opportunities. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to identify limiting beliefs and deal with them so you can unlock your true potential and achieve success.

Signs saying doubt and believe pointing in opposite directionsWhat are limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are deeply ingrained convictions or assumptions about ourselves, others, or the world as a whole. They’re often formed in early life based on our experiences, upbringing, societal norms, or past failures. 

These beliefs act as filters through which we interpret events and make decisions.

However, they’re restrictive and prevent us from pursuing opportunities or taking risks. Self-limiting beliefs often leave you feeling unmotivated or without confidence – but you are not alone

Research reveals that many employees lack the confidence to put their ideas forward, ask for a pay rise and engage in meetings. Showing how much they can hold us back at work. 

Where do limiting beliefs come from?

Limiting beliefs can originate from a number of sources, and it’s not always about having a personal negative experience. You might not know where the limiting belief originated, but if you can work it out, it may help you move forward. 

Here are some common places limiting beliefs can originate from:

1. Childhood experiences

Negative experiences or feedback during childhood can shape our beliefs about ourselves and our capabilities. Criticism from parents, teachers, or peers can create self-doubt and limit our potential.

For example, if a teacher tells a student that they’ll never pass a particular exam, these experiences will impact their confidence later in life. 

2. Societal conditioning

Society often imposes certain expectations and norms that influence our beliefs. These societal pressures can limit our choices and create self-imposed boundaries. For example, if you’ve yet to reach a particular milestone, it might impact your confidence. 

The workplace is highly competitive, and failing to meet KPIs or other productivity initiatives can lead to limiting beliefs about your capability. 

3. Past failures

Previous setbacks or failures can instil fear and self-doubt, leading to the development of limiting beliefs. 

For example, going for a job interview and being unsuccessful or failing to get a promotion can impact your confidence, and your negative beliefs then act as protective mechanisms to avoid future disappointment or pain.

3. Comparisons and social media

Constant comparisons to others, primarily through social media platforms, can breed feelings of inadequacy and reinforce limiting beliefs. We live in a world of influencers and celebrity culture, so it’s sometimes hard to separate fact from fiction. 

4. Negative influences

Surrounding ourselves with negative or unsupportive individuals can reinforce our limiting beliefs, making it harder to break free from their grip.

A boss that criticises everything you do or negative relationships can slowly decrease your self-esteem, making it harder to believe in your abilities. 

Why do we need to overcome limiting beliefs?

Overcoming limiting beliefs is crucial for personal growth and success. These beliefs can hold us back from getting promotions, trying new things and so many more important steps in life. 

Here are some reasons why it is essential to challenge and overcome these self-imposed barriers:

  • Unlock your potential: Limiting beliefs prevents us from exploring our true potential and discovering our talents and abilities. We open ourselves to new opportunities and personal growth by overcoming these beliefs.
  • Increase self-confidence: Limiting beliefs erode our self-confidence and self-esteem. Overcoming them helps build resilience, belief in oneself, and empowerment.
  • Expand your comfort zone: Limiting beliefs create a comfort zone that keeps us within familiar boundaries. We can expand our comfort zone and embrace new challenges and experiences by challenging and overcoming these beliefs.
  • Achieve success: Limiting beliefs act as roadblocks on the path to success. By breaking free from these self-imposed limitations, we can pursue our goals with renewed determination and succeed.
  • Improve relationships: Limiting beliefs can hinder healthy relationships by creating barriers to intimacy, trust, and vulnerability. Overcoming these beliefs allows for deeper connections and more fulfilling relationships.

Examples of 10 common limiting beliefs:

So, now you know more about limiting beliefs, it’s time to look at some common examples of them in action. 

Ever said/thought any of these? 

I’m not: 

  • Talented enough to succeed in my chosen field.
  • Good enough to get a promotion or pay rise. 
  • Going to stay in this job because it’s not working. 

I’m too: 

  • Old to pursue my dreams.
  • Unimportant for anyone to listen to my ideas. 
  • Nervous to go to the interview, even though I want the job. 

I don’t: 

  • Deserve success or happiness. 
  • Take risks because they always lead to failure. 
  • Know how to do this so won’t try.

I can’t: 

  • Speak up in public because I’m too shy.
  • Do my job as well as others.
  • Ask for what I want because I won’t get it.

Mentoring, coaching and sponsorship e-book bannerHow to stop limiting beliefs holding you back in the workplace:

1. Identify your limiting beliefs 

Identifying your limiting beliefs will ultimately help you overcome them. You can start by reflecting on your thoughts and emotions to recognise any patterns of self-doubt or negativity. A journal can be helpful for recording and recognising patterns. 

2. Challenge your beliefs 

Question the validity of your limiting beliefs by asking yourself if there’s concrete evidence to support them or if they’re based on assumptions or past experiences.

Look for alternative perspectives that contradict your limiting beliefs. Confidence-building workshops and a supportive mentor are great for challenging our limiting beliefs. 

3. Reframe your mind

Replacing negative self-talk with positive and empowering thoughts can reframe your limiting beliefs into more constructive statements that align with your goals and aspirations. 

For example, instead of saying, “I’m not good enough,” reframe it as “I am not good enough YET but I am continuously learning and improving.”

4. Take action

Overcoming limiting beliefs requires action, so start by setting small, achievable goals that challenge your self-imposed boundaries.

Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and use them as evidence to reinforce your new empowering beliefs.

5. Utilise mentors and coaches

Getting a mentor or coach can provide invaluable support and guidance in overcoming limiting beliefs. Mentors can help you gain perspective, provide accountability, and offer strategies to overcome challenges.

If you’re looking for a mentor, remember to ask them the right questions to ensure it’s a good match. 

6. Embrace a growth mindset

Adopting a growth mindset allows you to embrace learning and resilience. It helps you to understand that failure is an opportunity for growth and that setbacks do not define your worth or abilities. 

Embracing challenges as stepping stones moves you further toward personal and professional development.

The bottom line 

Self-limiting beliefs can leave you feeling demotivated and worried about your future, but following the tips in this guide will make a massive difference to your personal and professional life. 

Finding a mentor is a fantastic way to get the support you need to conquer fears and gain the confidence to embrace new challenges. 

With a little time and motivation, you’ll go from hiding away to out and about, getting ready to take on whatever the world has to throw at you. 

Learn more with Guider: 

The Benefits of Mentoring

Personal Development and Career Goals

Importance of Positive Self-Talk

How to Take Responsibility For Your Personal Development

Career Progression Top Tips

Skills Development

5 Steps To Perfecting Your Career Progression Plan

Whether you’re an employer or employee, career progression plans are essential for talent development. Not only do they create a clear roadmap of your employee’s future goals, but they’re also great for building stronger relationships and are a major factor in positive employee retention rates. 

Which is especially important if you’re a UK employer, as the UK has some of Europe’s worst employee engagement rates, highlighting a genuine issue with how businesses interact with their team. 

So, investing time into creating solid progression plans could be the secret to better retention. But creating effective progression plans can trip managers and managees up. 

In this guide, we’ll reveal five steps to creating top career progression plans that cover all bases and create clear roadmaps for all company members. So sit back, relax and let’s dive in. 

What exactly is a progression plan?

A career progression plan is designed to help people identify their goals and create a roadmap for achieving them. It’s an ongoing process that involves setting short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals to provide focus and direction. 

Businesses use them to set expectations and goals for each employee to move up the career ladder and work towards the company’s objectives. 

Career progression plans typically include milestones such as achieving certain certifications, acquiring new skills or competencies, taking on new responsibilities, and completing performance goals. 

They also often include timelines for achieving these milestones and may consist of specific training or development opportunities to help employees gain the necessary skills and knowledge to advance.

It’s important to remember that employers and employees find progression plans mutually beneficial. They can also help mentors support people more effectively. 

📖 Find out more about How to Be a Good Mentor in our guide 📖

Does everyone need a progression plan?

In a previous post, we explored the importance of career progression and how it ultimately defines a company’s success. It’s a known fact that people today look for more than just a job. 

According to research by recruitment agency Aspire, over 60% of people who participated in a survey said they were looking for a new job. 

With people being more likely to leave their roles if the opportunities aren’t there, employers need to support their team and help them develop plans that move each employee to their future goals. 

Some people might say that career progression plans are more of a luxury than a necessity, but forward-thinking companies can prepare for the future and avoid high employee turnover rates by utilising these plans. 

And the benefits go beyond retention. Setting a clear path for development helps you to build a high-performing team, with the right skills to do their jobs. A must in today’s ever changing workforce.

Find out how CLyde & Co are transforming people through mentoring5 steps to crafting a perfect progression plan

Most employee’s will have an idea of where they’d like to be in the future, and if employers work with them to reach these goals, they’re more likely to remain loyal to the company. 

When creating a career profession plan, both manager and managee should be involved to ensure clear expectations and that both parties know what they’re working towards. 

Next, we’ll look at five steps to crafting the perfect progression plan.

1: Set the direction

The first step is to assess your current skills and experience and determine what skills and experiences may be lacking. The main goal of any progression plan is to move forward, so understanding your starting point will ensure you’re going in the right direction. 

Looking at where you’d like to be in the future is essential. For example, an employee might want to go into a management position, while the employer’s goal could be integrating software and AI to improve the company’s productivity.  You need alignment in the end goal to create a successful progression plan. 

Career progression plans should include short-term goals and long-term objectives to ensure each person stays on track. 

2: Evaluate the current situation 

Understanding where you’re at will help you figure out how to reach your destination. Employees will think about their goals, but employers must also consider how those objectives could fit into the company’s bigger picture. 

Looking at any qualifications or certifications held will also highlight areas of weakness and enable managers and mentors to create effective training plans. It’s also essential to look at the skills needed for future roles and potential qualifications. 

Developing progression plans can also help employers and managers notice any areas of weakness that might impact the company. 

3: Make a timeline with action points 

Once you understand where you’d like to go and create a roadmap, it’s time to break it down into actionable steps—outlining specific actions such as taking courses or obtaining certifications to increase your chances of success.

For example, if a manager is onboarding a new employee, the roadmap could start with a current skills assessment and then map out training points to get the individual to the same stage as long-term employees. 

Progression plans should also map each person’s journey, from entry-level to senior managers. 

As the plan goes on, it should include various courses and workshops that will serve a purpose in getting the employee to reach their goals. 

4: Execute the plan 

Once the plan is complete, it’s time for the fun part; executing it. You might find that the initial plan changes once active because specific courses or training programmes might be unavailable. 

The important thing is to stay on track with immediate goals and far-reaching objectives in place. 

Once all parties know their responsibilities for ensuring the plan comes to fruition, it’s easier to keep track of things and successfully meet each point. 

📖 Finding a mentor is a key part of success in your career development. Find out more in article: The Importance of Mentoring 📖

5: Review progress and reevaluate 

Regularly reviewing and updating each career progression plan ensures it remains relevant and aligned with career and organisational goals. 

Employees might explore different courses and change their goals, which employers should accept and encourage if it improves the business. 

Regular reviews also highlight any issues with the company’s mentoring programme and enable them to evaluate whether the progression plan is in the best interests of everyone involved. 

Looking for more help? Find a mentor

As you can see, career progression plans mutually benefit both employer and employee, but they’re not always easy to set up. Someone with experience in your field can boost professional development and ensure employees get bespoke support. 

Mentors are invaluable assets for a company because they give employees the opportunity to learn new skills and move towards their dream careers. 

📖 Find out how mentoring makes great managers here 📖

There are so many statistics that prove the benefits of mentors. With 97% of people saying their mentor was valuable, it’s clear to see companies with mentoring programmes will reap endless rewards. 

As an employee, you should ask your manager to invest in a mentoring programme. And as a leader, you should be backing your people up! 

Mentors can ensure employees stay on track but also bridge the gap between high-level management and entry-level employees, highlighting what’s important and enhancing communication. 

Find out more about how Guider worksFinal thoughts 

Progression plans ensure individuals and companies reach their goals and build something together. Creating the perfect plan takes time, but the results far outweigh the initial investment. 

And if you back up your people’s progression plans with access to mentoring and other support systems, you’re sure to bring out the best in your people. Meaning better productivity, better retention and happier employees!

If you’re new to mentoring, the Guider blog features plenty of valuable resources to help you get started: 

How to Start a Mentoring Program: Step by Step

The Cost of Not Doing Mentoring 

Inspirational Mentoring Quotes

Top Tips For Retaining Female Talent

Skills Development

Supercharge Career Progression With These Top Tips

Do you wake up every morning feeling excited about your day? Or does the humdrum of getting up and going to work leave you feeling uninspired? If it’s the latter, you’re not alone.

According to The Independent, over a third of UK adults aren’t happy in their current jobs. But don’t despair, the study also found that people with a sense of purpose, such as teachers, were happier than employees in general management and sales roles. 

If you want to achieve more in your professional life, and feel more satisfied, you need to invest in developing your skills and take a proactive approach to climbing the career ladder.

In this guide, we’ll reveal top tips that will allow you to supercharge your career and open up new opportunities.

What is career progression?

In simple terms, career progression is where a person continues to develop their knowledge and take on more specialised and senior roles during their working life. It might involve taking courses to diversify your skillset or moving from junior to management roles.

Career progression looks different for everyone, but its main premise is to set long-term goals broken down into short-term objectives.

It’s important to remember that there’s no set path. Some people might want to move into a different area during their working lives. Others might have more clearly defined goals for getting a better salary and taking on more responsibility. The point is, it’s your career and you’re in the driving seat. 

Find out more about taking charge of your personal development in our guide. 

Why is career progression so important?

There was a time when people would leave school and head straight into the workforce – often working in similar jobs to their parents. A job was a job, and security was more important than a person’s wants and dreams.

Today, most workers change jobs every four years, and the Millennial generation was the first to display less loyalty to their employers, with Gen Z following suit and earning the label ‘the quit generation.’

With economic conditions meaning that many people are simply not earning enough to live comfortably, career progression, for many, is no longer a nice-to-have – but a necessity.

Here’s why career progression is so important:

  • Financial stability: More money equals fewer problems – and nobody would turn down the opportunity to boost their salary.
  • Job satisfaction: We all want to be happy in our careers and take on new challenges. Climbing the career ladder will often result in higher job satisfaction rates.
  • More confidence: When a person builds their skills and steps up to the plate to take on more responsibility, it inevitably boosts their confidence.
  • Less instability: Technology will continue to evolve, and AI could mean many people have to either update their skills or completely retrain. When you focus on career progression, you can future-proof your job and ensure you’ll always have a seat at the table.

How can I develop my career?

So, now you know why career progression is essential; it’s time to look at how to supercharge your career and take advantage of all available opportunities. From sitting down to evaluate your wants and needs to invest in training courses, there’s so much you can do.

Let’s take a look at the best career progression tips:

Goal setting

Goal setting is central to a successful career because it keeps you on track and lets you define what’s most important to you. It isn’t all about money – career progression can mean taking on more responsibility or changing industries and to do this you need to set clear goals. 

Once you know what you want, it’s easier to focus on identifying key areas you’ll need to focus on to reach those goals.


Never underestimate the importance of mentoring because it really can change your life. Imagine having access to an industry expert who will give you the skills you need to tackle any challenge head-on, and you’ll understand why mentoring is invaluable.

The best thing is most mentors enjoy sharing their experience and success, so you’ll receive hands-on learning from an industry expert. There are also many types of mentoring, so you can be sure to find the right style for you. Plus mentoring is a great way to boost your employee wellbeing! It’s a win-win all round. 

If you’re considering exploring this route, here are 50 questions to ask a mentor and get the desired results.

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


Ever heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? Well, networking is one of the most important – and valuable – career progression tips.

It can open up new opportunities and introduce you to key people who will help your career in the long term.

The best thing is, networking no longer needs to be a headache because platforms like LinkedIn and mentoring software such as Guider, make it easy for anyone to meet other professionals in their industry.

A study in the USA found that people who network frequently receive better job offers than those who do not. So, if you’re not networking already, now’s the time to start!

Learning and development

Benjamin Franklin once said, “For the best, return on your money, pour your purse into your head“. It couldn’t be more accurate because learning and development opens so many doors for career progression.

Whether it’s going on training courses provided by your employer, or investing in new qualifications, when you expand your knowledge and develop your skills, the world is your oyster.

Taking a short course could result in that much-wanted promotion, and showing a commitment to personal development shows you’re a proactive employee.

Know your industry

Industries are moving at lightning speed today as technology continues to evolve and define how we live, communicate and work. Staying informed about what’s going on in your industry is essential for navigating your career path.

When you stay ahead of the curve, you can adapt to new technology and set yourself apart from other, less proactive employees.

What can I do as an employer?

Employers should also focus on providing employees with career progression opportunities because it increases productivity and boosts retention rates.

According to PR News Wire, a whopping 82% of employees would consider leaving their job if there were limited training and development opportunities, so employers need to be on the ball.

📖 Find out more about developing leaders with coaching and mentoring in our guide 📖

Employers should focus on providing their teams with regular training workshops, access to mentorship and allow each team member to develop their skills.

Providing mentoring for career development is a fantastic idea because you can utilise your top-performing employees to help less experienced team members learn on the job, resulting in higher productivity and profits.

Many employers are already benefitting from setting up a mentoring programme. Unfortunately, a lack of planning and understanding can cause mentoring programmes to fail.

Planning ahead and seeking specialist advice ensures you have a mentoring scheme that enhances retention rates and gives your team the training they deserve.

Find out more about setting up a mentoring programme in our guide. 

The wrap-up

There will be plenty of changes in the years to come as we begin to integrate our lives with AI and machine learning. By staying ahead of the curve and utilising every opportunity available, you can safe-proof your career and look forward to continued growth.

Whether you’re an employee or employer, focusing on career progression can result in financial security, enhanced retention rates and a more capable workforce.

Looking for more advice? With Guider, developing talent is made simple. Talk to our team today to find out more. 

Skills Development

Retain and Develop Your Engineers With Mentoring, Coaching and Sponsorship

Employee churn in engineering teams is a major headache for team leads.

With staff turnover in the IT industry greater than in any other sector (13.2%) and even higher for software engineers specifically (21.7%), this is not an isolated problem.

Hiring software developers and engineers costs money. Recruitment, developer onboarding and software developer training are not free and when your top employees churn you’re losing valuable knowledge, skills and morale. On top of this, many companies are grappling with a high risk of engineer burnout and an incredibly competitive hiring landscape.

With so many companies competing over pay and benefits, how do you attract, retain and develop top engineers?

This is where holistically developing your engineering team through learning and development comes into play. By utilising mentoring, coaching and sponsorship in your engineering team, you can go a long way to develop your engineers, retain talent and avoid burnout.

Find out more about embedding mentoring in your engineering team with Guider.

Why is turnover so high in engineering teams?

There are a number of reasons for this. The top reasons developers leave their jobs are cited as; seeking higher compensation, a lack of advancement in their current role, more career growth opportunities, and being unsatisfied with leadership.

This is bad news for company budgets with the average cost to replace a highly-skilled employee estimated at 213% of their annual salary. Given the competitive hiring landscape, many companies are struggling to compete to attract top talent.

Pay isn’t a magic fix, however. Even large companies such as Google and Amazon suffer from a median employee tenure of just a year. The problem is that unhappy engineers can easily be lured elsewhere by better compensation, but quickly experience the same struggles and burnout that they had before.

So, if higher pay isn’t the answer, then we can quickly see that engineering teams need a solution that addresses the other root causes of employee churn. It’s time to look at software developer training, developer onboarding and pastoral care.

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What tools can I use to develop my engineering team?

A key tool to prevent employee churn is learning and development. This is where mentoring, coaching and sponsorship play a key role (but more on that later!)

Often, engineers can feel as though they’re coding machines, expected to deliver high-quality results without being offered the pastoral and holistic care to help them develop. Utilising software developer training is an important way to develop your team.

There are two key ways that learning can become a core pillar in your retention strategy:

1:1 support in technical skills development

A major perk for attracting and retaining talent is providing 1:1 support. By pairing engineers with senior engineers for mentoring and skill development you can provide a key channel for continuous, collaborative learning in your team. This will also build relationships and networks.

1:1 support in holistic development

Through mentoring, coaching and sponsorship, you can provide support in wider holistic development. Because engineers are not just there to code. We all need a range of people and communication skills in order to progress in our careers. Whether you want to develop your team or inspire future leaders, providing the right development opportunities is essential.

When you support people to hone their technical and communication skills, build relationships, successfully navigate power structures and implement change in their organisation, it impacts not just their performance but how they feel at work.

Helping people to feel seen, heard and valued improves job satisfaction and engagement. This in turn affects retention, preventing employee churn. So, by offering core benefits focussing on learning and development you can tackle multiple areas at once.

download our mentoring, coaching and sponsorship e-bookHow do mentoring, coaching and sponsorship benefit and develop engineers? 

Mentoring, coaching and sponsorship are three great ways to support learning and development in your engineering team. They work to improve both technical skill sharing and holistic development.

The benefits of mentoring engineers

Mentoring is the act of helping another person by listening, giving guidance and sharing your experience. It’s a powerful personal development tool that is centred on human-to-human connection.

Find out more about mentoring in our Mentoring FAQs.

For engineering teams, mentoring has multiple benefits. As codebases change, engineers need to be constantly learning to keep their skills up to date. By pairing engineers with a senior mentor, they can share skills and knowledge, creating a culture of social learning.

Mentoring can also up-skill your team in other areas such as communication, leadership, networking and confidence-building. It provides relationships outside of line management in which your developers can build their wider skillset.

The good news is that we know mentoring improves retention rates, with 72% retention for mentees and 69% for mentors. It can be used as part of developer onboarding and software developer training to make sure your hires want to stay.

Find out how to start a mentoring program in this step-by-step guide.

The benefits of coaching engineers

Coaching is the practice of a trained coach working with groups or individuals to develop in specific areas. While it’s similar to mentoring, the main difference is that coaches do not need to have experience in what the coachee is going through to be effective.

Find out more about the difference between coaching and mentoring in our guide  

Coaches are focused on building wider skills through the tools and techniques they learn in training. By asking the right questions, they can help you to find a solution. Offering coaching to your engineers creates targeted learning opportunities that unlock your team’s potential.

This tool is great for developing communication and personal skills, showing your developers that they are valued for their whole selves, not just their knowledge.

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

The benefits of sponsorship for engineers

Finally, sponsorship is when a more senior person, the sponsor, acts as a champion to someone more junior, the sponsee. They focus on opening doors and putting the sponsee forward for opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

A sponsor will go beyond the role of a mentor and actively provide their sponsee with opportunities for progression, promotion and more. Sponsorship has wide-ranging benefits for career progression, as individuals that may struggle to put themselves forward for opportunities have a channel to find further support.

It is also a powerful tool for diversity and inclusion. We know that there’s a diversity issue in the field, with women making up just 16.4% of the IT workforce. Done right, sponsorship programs are a fantastic way to break down systemic barriers to career progression for under-represented groups.

How do I implement mentoring, coaching and sponsorship?

That’s where we’re here to help! With our mentoring software, you can set up and scale programs in mentoring, coaching and sponsorship with ease.

Our easy-to-use platform connects developers with the right people that can help them to:

✅ Up-skill

✅ Build networks

✅ Find holistic support

Find out more in our guide: What is Mentoring Software.

We guide you through the whole process, from set-up and promotion to feeding back the ROI at the end of the program. The Guider platform is a secure and simple solution to embedding social learning in your company culture.

Implementing a mentoring, coaching or sponsorship program will lead to better retention, engagement and productivity, while also helping to prevent burnout. Your engineers are the backbone of your company. By proactively investing in their development, you can create a team that’s built to last.

Want to find out more about how we can help implement a mentoring, coaching or sponsorship program at your organisation? Book a chat with our team today! 


Skills Development

What Makes a Good Mentor?

Ever wanted to become a mentor?

It’s on a lot of our to do lists surely. Yet for many of us, identifying yourself as a mentor can feel… audacious. We get it.

Stepping into the role of the trusted advisor takes confidence. A common blocker is that many people just don’t see themselves as ready.

I mean mentors are older, grey-haired, all-knowing entities, right?


There are plenty of qualities that make you an excellent mentor beyond job title or years of experience.

In fact, you probably have most of these skills already. You just need to put them into practice by becoming a mentor!

So, what are the qualities you need to be a good mentor and how do you know if you make the cut?‍

What makes a good mentor?

You’re a great listener

Listening is not just a core characteristic of a great mentor but of a colleague, manager and leader.

As a mentor, a big part of your role is to create a space in which your mentee feels safe, validated and heard. While you will impart wisdom and advice, it’s important to remember that your job is to listen to your mentee first and foremost.

If you already count yourself as a great listener or are trying to grow in this area, becoming a mentor is a great way to do this.

Try practising the art of listening, validating and responding thoughtfully. It’s a key way to build positive relationships, show others that they are supported and prepare yourself for senior leadership in which listening is a key, yet underrated, skill.

You’re invested in others

Mentoring requires investment on both sides of the relationship to work. As the mentor, being able to commit time and energy to your mentee is essential.

If you’re someone that genuinely enjoys helping other people to learn and grow, and gets personal satisfaction from helping others in the process, then you could be a great mentor.

Investing in others also has profound benefits. Mentors report feeling less stress and anxiety than non-mentors, plus they often find a greater sense of meaning and satisfaction in their work.

Remember: It’s not just about the feel-good factor. Becoming a mentor ups your chances of promotion by 6 times and can increase your chances of a pay rise by 20%!

You have a growth mindset

Your job as a mentor isn’t only to give advice. There’s learning on both sides of the relationship. By adopting a growth mindset and an open mind, a mentor can benefit enormously from the relationship. This also ties into a commitment to continuous learning, an essential skill to foster.

Mentoring opens up your network to a range of different people and perspectives. Throughout the relationship, you will be working together to learn how best to achieve the development goals set out for the mentee. In order to do this, a mentor needs to stay flexible and attentive to how they too can adapt too.

Staying open-minded about what you can learn from your mentee will turn you from a good mentor, into a great one.

📖 These qualities are also important in a buddying system, find out more in our guide 📖

You’re respectful and responsive

Similarly, a good mentor is both respectful of others and responsive. Your mentee will bring with them their own life experience and perspective, the goal of a mentor is to help them grow and to do that you need to create space for them to be themselves and overcome limiting beliefs.

Respecting differences, whether it’s of opinion or life experience, creates the right environment for mentoring to work. Without this, the mentoring relationship would be negative and unproductive for both parties. Imagine sitting down with someone for a mentoring session only to find that they are disrespectful of your thoughts and opinions.

Respect and responsiveness are core skills needed as a manager and leader. Becoming a mentor is a great way to practice and nurture these important skills.‍

“Every day that you come into contact with different types of people and work through different challenges, issues, successes, you learn something. Every single time you have a conversation, you learn something about people’s behaviour, you learn something about their motivations, and you learn something about yourself…it’s rich, it’s rewarding…it’s a win-win.”James Newton-Brown, Head of Product Development at Marks & Spencer

Read more about our work with M&S here

You give quality feedback

We all know that feedback can be as tricky to give as it is to receive. But constructive, tactfully delivered feedback is essential for personal growth and development.

As a mentor, you need to be comfortable giving and receiving feedback so that both sides of the mentoring relationship can develop. Feedback isn’t a one size fits all process. There are many different tricks and techniques to doing it well, the key is to work with your mentee to find the right way to deliver constructive criticism.

Learning how to tactfully deliver and receive feedback is an essential skill. It’s also another vital skill in management and senior leadership positions. If this is a skill you have or are looking to grow, you might make an excellent mentor!

Hear first-hand from our fantastic clients Clyde & Co the benefits of becoming a mentor. Find out more:

You have relevant knowledge and experience

Last but not least, having relevant knowledge and experience that you can impart to a mentee is a must. But hold on before you think you need to be an expert in your field before you can become a mentor.

The point of a mentor is that you use your experience to guide others. This doesn’t mean having all the answers. Supporting someone to work things out for themselves is a more powerful way to learn than simply being told what to do.

As a mentor, you may have experiences that you don’t count as mentor ready yet. Completed a few rounds of appraisals? Managed a team? Successfully transitioned career? These are all skills that many people value and need advice on.

You don’t need 20 years of experience to become a great mentor, in fact, it can be more helpful to provide advice when you are closer to a specific problem or experience.

Remember: Knowing all the answers doesn’t necessarily make you a good mentor. Guiding someone to the right answer does!

📖 Find out more about how mentoring boosts employee wellbeing in our guide 📖

‍Becoming a great mentor isn’t about age or job title, it’s about your attitude and the skills you bring to the table. With some positive self-reflection, many more people will find that they have what it takes to become a mentor than they realised.

There are many different ways to mentor someone. For example, peer mentoring is an excellent way to develop your skills and confidence as a mentor before stepping into a traditional 1:1 relationship.

So, if you have some or all of these top traits then why not become a mentor today?

Looking to start a mentoring program? Talk to our expert guides today.