Harnessing the Power of Our People: Mentoring at Clyde & Co

1 minutes

Following the events of 2020, which shook the world and transformed the way we work, communication and human connection became more important to organisations than ever.

From managing distributed workforces, to virtually onboarding new hires, to supporting diverse talent – businesses have faced a number of challenges which primarily revolve around people and personal development. That’s why mentoring, with its human-centric approach, is a powerful and multifaceted solution for organisations.

This focus on people and human connection is exactly what drives Clyde & Co’s global mentoring initiative…

Launched in 2018, the global mentoring initiative was established to encourage mentoring across the business. With offices in over 50 cities on 6 continents, there was a huge opportunity to connect Clyde & Co partners and staff through mentoring relationships.

“We think it’s really important that everyone has the opportunity to be part of Clyde & Co’s global mentoring initiative. It doesn’t matter where your office is or what your role is…mentoring has something to offer everyone and can play a significant role in supporting you with your personal, professional and career development.” David Wood, Global Head of Learning & Development

As with the start of many mentoring programmes, Clyde & Co had a very manual process to initiate match making, using an internal directory of names, job titles and locations. Individuals were encouraged to reach out to a Mentoring Ambassador for their advice to help facilitate recommendations for matchmaking. This put the onus on the mentee, which was quite intimidating given the seniority of many of the ambassadors. Naturally this limited exposure to potential mentors, making it inaccessible for certain people, which contrasted with the firm’s vision for mentoring. Embracing technology to enhance the user experience and increase the scope, scale and quality of matchmaking was a priority for Clyde & Co to improve and grow their mentoring offering.

“Guider has the potential to transform lives, at scale, one conversation at a time. The platform achieves a great balance of delivering a clear, accessible user experience with technology that underpins and supports the process to enhance what is fundamentally a human story of connection, relationships and experience sharing. Bravo! Guy Wilkins, Senior Digital Learning & Platforms Manager

Guider began working with Clyde & Co in early 2021 to help scale the mentoring programme and allow the benefits to be felt globally. This also fed into Clyde’s inclusion goals, by giving everyone equal opportunity to a mentor and making it more accessible.

We are now connecting more people than ever, regardless of their job role, seniority, department or location. There was a common misconception in the past around mentors needing to be a partner or at a senior  level, which was something Clyde & Co were keen to challenge, as a reminder that we can all learn from each other.

“I used Guider to find a mentor within the firm and have been very pleased so far. My mentor is someone I would never have found through other means.” Mentee

The surprise, and unexpected value, from the mentoring matches has been a recurring theme since launching the programme through Guider in March, hopefully creating a shift in mindset around who qualifies as a mentor. Exposure to new and different perspectives is one of the most valuable outcomes of mentoring, and can improve empathy, self-awareness, and cultural competence within a workforce. When using mentoring software to match mentors and mentees, you get pairs that would never have been put together if it was done by a programme lead, or by the individuals.

A woman in headphones speaks on a video call on her laptop.

As well as encouraging a more inclusive company culture, mentoring is supporting individuals in their career development across the firm. Skills such as career development, building client relationships, self confidence and networking are the most highly sought after skills within mentoring relationships, as they rely less on technical training, but can be developed through sharing knowledge, wisdom and experiences with another person.

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

Another area of mentoring Guider has supported Clyde & Co with is preparing and guiding participants through their relationships. In the past, mentorship training would happen all in one go at the onset of the programme, meaning that the content was front loaded and was not always timely. Now, training and resources are delivered to users in the flow of their mentoring journey, increasing engagement and helping maintain momentum. 

“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

This naturally frees up a lot of time for the programme managers, particularly as the self-service nature of using Guider means they’re not having to chase people to understand how relationships are progressing. Guider has provided Clyde & Co with visibility over all the connections taking place within the firm, data which was not previously captured. These HR metrics make mentoring more tangible from a business perspective, allowing Clyde’s to use the mentor and mentee skills data and broader relationship metrics to support other development goals or L&D content requirements.

Clyde & Co are just at the beginning of their mentoring mission, with the goal for it to be a core part of the firm’s aspiration to build a learning and growth culture. Every new joiner will have the opportunity to connect with a mentor, and there are plans to expand the programme to include reverse mentoring to support diversity and inclusion efforts further.‍

A grey haired woman smiles while talking to a man.

“I find this mentoring process incredibly helpful and fun, and I always look forward to our next session right when we finish one. It is amazing to have a plethora of choices of mentors who are committed to helping you grow and advance in your career!” Mentee

With the belief that everyone should have access to and reap the benefits of mentoring, no matter your background or job title, Clyde & Co are leading their industry forward by harnessing the power of their people. Guider are delighted to be supporting them in their vision for a more connected, inclusive, and truly global firm.

The Complete Mentoring Toolkit

Everything you need to create and scale an effective workplace mentoring programme. Includes: setup checklist, matching guide, expert advice, proving ROI and much more.

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