The Vital Importance of Mentoring at Work

In this article, we'll explain why mentoring is vital in the workplace, how it works and how you can implement a mentoring program to ensure your organisation's learning culture thrives.

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Mentoring is an essential element of any successful organisation. Of course, we'd say that. At PushFar, mentoring is the heart and soul of what we offer. Just hear us out, though. In this article, we'll explain exactly why mentoring is vital in the workplace, how it works and how you can implement a mentoring program to ensure your organisation's learning culture thrives.

Mentoring in the workplace is a process by which an experienced individual shares their knowledge, skills and/or expertise with a colleague, to help them to develop, progress and grow. It happens every day – more often it is carried out informally. However, increasingly, organisations are creating formal mentoring programs and embedding platforms like PushFar's mentoring software, to launch, run and scale actionable, effective and engaging mentoring.

There are so many benefits to mentoring and they play a crucial role in personal and professional development. They benefit the individual, the organisation and the wider learning culture. Mentoring has become increasingly popular in the modern workplace. The pace of change in the workplace is faster than ever before, and the competition for jobs in certain industries and markets is truly fierce. Mentoring is an effective way to bridge the gap between the skills required and the skills possessed by an individual. It provides an opportunity for personal and professional development, which ultimately leads to job satisfaction and career advancement.

The Benefits of Mentoring for the Individual

We'll talk about the importance of workplace mentoring for organisations, slightly later on in this article. Let's start with some of the more common benefits for the mentor and mentee. After all, if your employees are seeing these benefits, they should be engaged and happy.

Mentoring benefits to mentors and mentees at work can include:

• Improved interpersonal skill development
• Support with skill development – both in technical and soft skills
• Reinforcement of existing knowledge for the mentor
• Advice and guidance to reach goals and objectives
• Support to overcome workplace challenges
• A confidence boost, either organically or proactively as a key objective
• First-hand insights into an industry, role or situation

That age-old "how do I climb the career ladder?" question is often answered with a mentor's support. Mentoring is particularly effective for younger workers who are still learning the ropes, and for employees who are looking to progress up that career ladder. Mentors provide an ever-extending source of knowledge and experience that can help to guide and inform the mentee's decision-making process.

A mentor can also provide a sounding board for ideas and provide constructive feedback on work performance, helping the mentee to develop the necessary skills to succeed in their role. By sharing their knowledge, mentors can help their mentees develop a deeper understanding of their work, the company or organisation and its culture, and the industry. They can offer advice, guidance and support, which can help their mentees navigate challenges and overcome obstacles. This is why more and more of our clients are using mentoring for employee onboarding, alongside talent and leadership development.

Mentoring is also beneficial for the mentor. It provides an opportunity to develop leadership and coaching skills and to give back to the profession. Mentors often report a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment from the process, and it can be a way to build their reputation and network.

The Benefits of Mentoring for an Organisation

There are so many reasons why mentoring is important for an organisation and why we are seeing more and more businesses, charities and organisations embracing and embedding mentoring into their employee benefits and learning culture. Aside from supporting employees in their development, mentoring has been shown to have some really impressive benefits for the organisation, including:

• Enhanced employee engagement
• Increased employee retention
• Improved culture around diversity, equity and inclusion
• Better cross-departmental channels of communication
• Improved innovation and technological advancement

In fact, when PushFar ran a survey early in 2022 with over 500 professionals, we found that 86% of respondents said that having access to mentoring was a factor in them staying with an organisation, with 43% saying it was a significant factor. In other words, without access to a mentor, they were very likely to walk away from a role. This is an ever-growing trend too. Mentoring is becoming a greater priority for Gen-Z who are now entering the workplace (in 2023 they are aged 10 to 27).

So, we know why mentoring is so important and the benefits to both individuals and organisations. Now what? How do we start a mentoring program or give employees access to mentoring?

How To Start a Thriving a Mentoring Program

Well, fortunately, you're in the right place. At PushFar, we support hundreds of organisations and hundreds of thousands of individuals with mentoring. In fact, as of March 2023, we're responsible for more than 1.5+ million hours of mentoring on our platform and a figure that is growing minute by minute. Starting a mentoring program can seem daunting or, heaven forbid, hard work. We promise that it doesn't have to. If you are a smaller organisation, the easiest thing you can do to start offering mentoring is to simply offer a manual way for employees to connect and share their availability to mentor. We know, suggesting "manual" isn't very likely from a tech company like us. It's true though. If you use Slack, Teams or email, send an email out, asking employees who would be interested in being a mentor and who would be interested in being mentored. You can figure out how to match, manage and report on the mentoring after you've done this (hint: PushFar's software can help in minutes). Now, we'd probably not recommend this if you are responsible for an organisation with 250 or more employees, your inbox might be bombarded pretty quickly.

We've built out a page all about the details of starting a workplace mentoring program, which should provide lots of tips, tricks and actionable advice on the steps to take, the things to consider and how to run a program. It starts with mentoring training, application forms and matching, followed by engagement, follow-ups and feedback. In short, these are the steps to take:

1. Consider the audience and objectives
2. Draft communications attracting participants to apply/join
3. Conduct mentoring training – we have free monthly webinars on offer at PushFar
4. Plan how to match participants, including potentially allowing participants to choose their own mentoring matches and inform them of such matches
5. Give them resources, worksheets and guides to carry out effective mentoring meetings
6. Check in at various points and capture feedback to improve ongoing results

Mentoring is vital for workplace culture, learning and success. It doesn't need to take a lot of time or resources, or even cost a lot, but if you can truly offer effective mentoring to your employees it will make a significant difference in so many ways.

Welcome to PushFar, the world's largest mentoring platform. Whether you're looking to find a mentor or launch your own mentoring programs and schemes, we can help.
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