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4 important reasons having a mentorship programme can help your business

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Lloyd Griffiths mentors, Careers at Hamlyn Williams, TA...

As we enter 2022, many businesses and employees are looking for ways to renew and refresh at work to start the year. Working with mentors can be one of the best ways to invigorate individuals and organisations – allowing you to build deeper relationships with employees, get them excited about a company’s vision and build a strategy for success.

At Hamlyn Williams, we are excited to be celebrating Mentorship month throughout January. We have reaped the benefits of a brilliant mentorship programme, so we wanted to talk with mentors and our Learning & Development team to share our top ways in which a mentorship programme will help you as a business.

 

Connection & Retention

As COVID-19 has pushed so many employees to working from home, or being at quieter offices, the chance to connect at work has dropped. 60% of US Enterprise workers wanted more opportunities to connect with workmates – and building a great mentorship programme combats that twofold.

With the chance to build deeper connections built around an employees journey and personal goals, a mentor can build a great rapport with those missing the office – but crucially, also is a valuable draw for prospective employees.

As the ‘Great Resignation’ continues in many industries, offering a mentorship programme that gives employees a more concrete ‘journey’ in a company can be a great way to stand out – 94% of workers told one survey in 2021 that they’d stay longer at a company with learning & growth opportunities.

 

Personal growth – not just jumping up the career ladder

A good mentorship programme isn’t just about fast tracking someone up the promotional ladder or about hard numbers and retention. A truly great mentor is someone who allows people to express what they truly want from their personal development.

Our mentors at Hamlyn Williams give mentees the space to discuss and express things removed from the reporting line, encouraging honest feedback. That means people get to really express what makes them tick, what frustrates them and what they need to do to achieve their personal goals.

This is often all the more powerful than telling a boss or direct colleague what you think they want to hear and with great, accountable mentoring, can mean people can aim and achieve quicker for themselves, and ultimately for you.

“We try to ensure your mentor is someone from another department. That way there’s no conflicts of interest and it’s easier to have an open discussion and talk freely, about your work but personal development most of all”

Cat Cox, Head of People, Hamlyn Williams North America

 

Get Employees excited about your strategy

Of course, motivating someone is a two way street. It’s not enough to get them excited by their personal goals if they’re out of kilter with what your business is trying to achieve. So good mentorship should be about empowering people to figure out their authentic motivations and show them a path for achieving them.

“In developing a mentorship programme as part of our learning & development offering, we wanted to make sure people who work at Hamlyn Williams can see their place in the business strategy and hopefully, how our goals align.

We make sure there are outcomes and follow ups from every session we have with a mentee. Ultimately mentorship is not just about telling people “this is the next level of the career pathway you need to climb”, it’s showing people there’s a pathway for their ambition here.”

Mentoring shouldn’t be about career first and foremost. But having agreed follow ups that someone is motivated by and bought into is key to effective mentoring. Being able to move from there to clear pathways in the business to achieving personal goals - when people want to - can actually be rare and a real motivating force.

 

Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

With so many companies thinking about how they incorporate diversity, equality and inclusion aims in the day to day of business, a mentorship programme has often been show to be the most effective tactic in achieving tangible outcomes.

Mentoring can even out opportunities for development that some employees may not have had access to.

Someone new to a company or outside a networking group will be able to quickly find development opportunities, not having to rely on long-standing knowledge of an organization to find how they can get ahead.

It also can provide a starting point for groups to work together on initiatives from outside traditional workplace groups – working on things from the ground up, not just relying on corporate leadership.