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

Personal Development: How to Take Responsibility for it

Personal development has become quite the buzzword in recent years as we’ve all become a bit more aware of our own emotions, skills and strengths.

But what’s caused this hype around personal growth and self-awareness?

Partly we can put it down to the rise of social media, and with it the increase in public conversation and shared experience. What was once private information – privy to the experts of cognitive psychology, business coaching, and behavioural science – is now shared over Twitter and YouTube, and is accessible to us all.

As well as that, it turns out that millennials are hungrier to know themselves than the generation before. Described as the most socially conscious generation since the 1960s, millennials care deeply about their mental health, careers and working lives.

Where in the past, work may have been seen as something you had to do to put food on the table, something distinct from personal life (hence the classic ‘work life balance’ doctrine), a lot of millennials see things differently.

With the expectation to find a job that is fulfilling and inspiring, comes the strong desire to learn and develop in order to feel happy and healthy at work.

Where do you begin with personal development?

It’s one of those terms that’s easy to say but harder to break down into something tangible.

We’re typically not taught to self-reflect, which is why it doesn’t always come naturally. However, it’s important to remember that you are the best placed person to solve your own problems (most of the time) and so personal development is something that needs to be actively worked on.

Find out more about the benefits of mentoring for learning and development with Guider.

Simple personal development strategies…

‍Here are 6 easy ways you can take responsibility for your own personal development:

1. Write things down

This may not sound groundbreaking, but studies have shown that we are 40% more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down.

This figure goes up to 70% if those goals are also shared with a mentor, but more on that later.

Firstly, formulating the jumbled thoughts in your head into clear words on a screen or paper helps you understand and action them better. It is both cathartic and methodical.

Secondly, writing to-do lists and goals down physically holds you accountable to them.

And thirdly, writing down how you are feeling increases your emotional intelligence as you can start to recognise patterns and understand why you are feeling a certain way.

So grab that notepad and kick off your personal development journey.

‍2. Set goals

If you’re not in the habit of setting goals, now’s the time to start (put that notepad to good use).

To set effective goals, you must outline what you want to achieve and where you want to be so you can think of the best way to get there. If you’re having trouble formulating your goals, you can use this model to keep on track.

SMART goals are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Check out our essential tips to goal setting here!

3. Understand how you work and utilise it

We’re all different. From energy levels to concentration span to methods of learning. What works well for one of us can cause stress and anxiety for another.

A crucial step in personal development is understanding how you work best, which can only happen if you make a conscious effort to analyse your behaviour at work, school or university.

  • What time of day do you feel most productive?
  • In what environment do you feel most creative?
  • When you have an idea, do you prefer working it out on your own before sharing it, or do you have to tell people straight away?

The answers to all of these questions point to methods of working and learning that can help us work smarter once we understand them.

4. Work on your strengths, not  just your weaknesses

When thinking of personal development, it’s easy to default to the need to work on things we’re not good at, such as: ‘getting less distracted’, ‘increasing confidence in meetings’, and ‘planning better’.

But it’s also really important to keep getting better at the things we are good at.

Part of becoming more self aware is identifying your strengths. Try listing what you think you’re good at. If you’re prone to self-deprecating thoughts you might find it difficult, but that’s why it’s even more important to do it!

You can then set goals to get even better and turn your skills into expertise.

This is a really important part of coaching too. So, if you’re struggling to find your strengths, consider speaking to a career coach!

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

5. Find a mentor

Mentoring is another term – like ‘personal development’ – that seems easily said but not as easy to action. But the reason it’s so discussed is because the benefits are endless.

Those with mentors are more likely to increase:

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

Sounds good right? But how do you find a mentor? The simplest way is to speak to your organisation and find out about any workplace mentoring programs they are running.

You can avoid any bad mentoring experiences by using mentoring software to find the perfect mentoring match!

6. Commit to and invest in your personal development

Like any skill, practice (and effort, dedication and passion) makes perfect. You’re not going to see results unless you commit to your self-development. And you’re not going to commit unless you want to.

Think of ways (that work for you) to ensure you actually put these strategies into practice. Your analysis on the way you work should help you also understand how you learn, which can help you think of ways to make personal development a habit, not a pipe-dream.

Set reminders on your phone, make a personal development plan, take up meditation, start journaling, ask mentors or friends to hold you accountable for goals or actions – start small and find what works for you!

Personal development is an ongoing exercise.

The whole point of it is that it doesn’t end, which is why it’s often so hard to start.

What’s important is to start putting small behaviours into practice that help you understand yourself and get you to where you want to be!‍