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Mentoring - Is It Good For Business?

Updated: Jun 18

Mentoring in business is reasonably common now in business… but it is not ubiquitous.


You are most likely to see mentoring in a formal environment; when senior people or board level executives will hire an executive mentor from outside the business.


Mentors tend to help those individuals with decision making, challenges and gaining clarity on objectives of what really matters – to them, their business and their people. It’s easy to get lost in the fog and demands of the day-to-day, and mentoring often acts a way of taking (valuable) to time to re-group, share the pain and seek guidance from someone not clouded by history or relationships in that business.


Although mentoring is not new at executive level, it is also starting to happen much more in the office and the factory floor, informally.


For example, with new starters being placed with an experienced member of staff or a skilled supervisor to teach them the tricks of the trade. But it’s not called ‘mentoring’; it’s just called ‘passing on skills’, and most businesspeople know this has to happen regularly across the organisation; and the passing on of knowledge, experience and guidance is the only way that people can learn a job role (in most cases).


Some of the best businesses now know that using the knowledge of your experienced and skilled staff in a formal mentoring practise will ensure that staff are up-skilled faster and are able to perform their roles easier, overcome challenges and achieve their goals much easier. It’s a kind of accelerator of knowledge sharing. Those businesses will think of a mentor as someone not just there to offer sound business advice, but someone who can help that person grow and develop their skills and knowledge, leading to a growth in confidence, better performance and realise the potential for faster, more effective career development.


The benefits of mentoring


So, what are the business benefits to building a formal companywide mentoring culture and implementing mentoring practise into an organisation?

Well, the benefits are two-fold: There are benefits for the company and there are benefits for the individual receiving the mentoring.


Company benefits


Research tells us that mentoring programs have huge benefits for an organisation and go way beyond the personal development of the mentee involved. The organisational benefits are significant, including:

• Greater Employee engagement

• Greater Employee satisfaction

• Greater Employee loyalty


All 3 are crucial to businesses. Improved engagement provides the bedrock of progressive change and ability to rise to the challenges of change (which happens – or should happen - ALL the time – reactively and proactively).


Improved employee satisfaction is reflected in the way people interact with each other internally and, perhaps more importantly, how they interact with the customer.


And greater loyalty has significant commercial benefits – not just the hard cost related to staff replacement, but also the soft costs of time and the potential impact on the company’s culture and reputation.


Mentoring is a great way to deliver enhanced (real and perceived) employee benefits. Both for the mentee (the person receiving the mentoring), and the mentor (the person providing it) It is so important not to underestimate the value realised for the mentor themselves; it’s as valuable as it is to the mentee – being trusted and empowered to provide mentoring to others has a really positive influence on the mentor themselves.


Sun Microsystems carried out a review of their mentoring system and compared the career progress of approximately 1,000 employees over a 5-year period. Here’s what they found:

• Both mentors and mentees were approximately 20% more likely to get a raise than people who did not participate in the mentoring program.

• 25% of mentees and 28% of mentors received a raise – versus only 5% of managers who were not mentors.

• Employees who received mentoring were promoted FIVE times more often than people who didn’t have mentors.

• Mentors were SIX times more likely to have been promoted to a bigger job.


The benefits to an organisation (based on the research conducted by Guider.com), is that organisations that implement mentoring programmes achieve clear benefits and from the data.


It’s clear that the large blue-chip companies understand this and are achieving great value from it.


Of the 84% of Fortune 500 companies implementing mentoring programs the benefits for both mentees and the organisations are significant when a companywide mentoring programme are implemented.

• 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow.

• 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring.

• 55% of businesses felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits.

• Mentoring programs boosted minority representation at the management level from 9% to 24%.


Looking at the evidence, companies that invest the time and effort in to mentoring programs can expect to see significant benefits that enrich the business in all the right areas; staff performance, employee satisfaction, and staff loyalty, with the company benefiting with improved performance and improvement in profitability.


Having spent over 30 years in management and leadership roles in fast-paced and demanding businesses, I have seen too many times when good people either leave a business or do not realise their potential in that business. I have made the mistakes myself and know how painful and frustrating it can be – not just for the business commercially but for the wider team morale and culture.


And that is not only a real shame for the employee, but it can be expensive, and it can be disruptive to that team or business.


But it can be avoided through an effective mentoring programme. Maybe it’s time to think about mentoring for your business.


Adam Noble

Adam’s career spans over 35 years of sales, sales leadership and senior leadership roles at a regional and national level as Sales Director, Managing Director, Commercial Director and CEO in market-leading businesses with annual sales ranging from £10m to over £150m.


Adam has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), is ILM Level 5 qualified in coaching and mentoring, and CMI Level 7 qualified in strategic management and leadership.


To find out more about one-to-one mentoring services or how to create a mentoring programme for your business, contact Adam at adam@tsp-ukltd.com or visit www.tsp-ukltd.com for more information.


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