Why Mentoring is Vital to Employee Engagement

There are some scary statistics out there about employee engagement, or rather, lack of employee engagement. Some studies suggest that only around 10% of employees are engaged in the workplace. Other studies are slightly more positive, suggesting it’s closer to 20%! Either way, it’s not great for company directors, HR managers and department heads. Don’t worry though, you are not alone in this fight and fortunately, there are several solutions. One such solution to boost employee engagement, productivity and satisfaction is mentoring.

Mentoring is a well-known approach for employee training, career development and growth but it can often be overlooked when it comes to employee engagement. There are perhaps a few reasons why this happens. One such reason is that mentoring is traditionally quick difficult to trace and attribute success to. Because mentoring is, by its very nature, less formal than most training and personal development, the reporting on it is limited and in a lot of cases, non-existent. However, with the advancements of technology and platforms like PushFar, it does not have to be. Mentoring programmes can now be setup in minutes and once executed can be one of the single-biggest ways to increase employee engagement. But why and how?

Mentoring serves as an invaluable resource for millions of employees around the world and it can often act as a way of empowering employees on both sides – be it as a mentor or a mentee. When we are mentored, we feel valued as employees, because we feel that additional resource is being put to our disposal. By having both a manager and a mentor, we feel that we are being professional nurtured and encouraged to succeed. In addition to the encouragement to succeed, we are given a second channel for communication, support and career growth. While a manager is undoubtedly of huge importance, having a mentor can act as a secondary support channel. And with around 50% of all staff leaving their job due to management issues, you may well find that by adding in a mentoring scheme, your staff and employee retention increases too. And it is not just mentees who can benefit from mentoring. Those employees who mentor others are also given a sense of satisfaction, empowerment and responsibility, which can further employee engagement too. There’s a fantastic quote from musician Phil Collins, “in teaching we learn and in learning we teach”. This is, at the heart of mentoring. If your employees can pass and share knowledge, insights and experience, throughout your workforce it will not only help to create a more efficient and skilled workforce, but it will encourage employee engagement.

Furthermore, the great thing about mentoring and being mentored is that the two are not mutually exclusive. A professional, in almost every case, can be both a mentor and a mentee. We all have experience and continue to grow and develop through both teaching and learning. New employees can be mentored by more established professionals. More established professionals can be mentored by more senior or experienced professionals. The cycle can go on and the engagement rates can increase. So, if you aren’t yet offering a mentoring scheme within your organisation, I would highly recommend you explore the options for getting one up and running. The resource required is minimal and the chances are that you will increase employee engagement, productivity and staff retention.

Creative Leadership and Community Building


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Three tips to think about before you start a business plan

Many people have ideas and thoughts on creating a business, but only a small percentage of those people go and turn their dreams into a reality. It’s those people that dare to be different, to disrupt the norm and change the world.

One of my favourite business quotes was expressed by Steve Jobs, “The people who are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who do!” I enjoy this motivational message so much that I have added it to the back of my business card when people flip it over to read the extract they always smile. The road to building a startup has many twists and turns which are all exciting and if you believe that you can change the world in some way you won’t be put off by all the obstacles which fall in your path.

The first part of a building a business is to make sure that there is demand for your product or service together with researching what is already in the market and similar to what you are offering. This forms a large part of the market research piece within your business plan and an essential area for you to focus on before you go any further; it is better to scrap a plan or an idea earlier before costs start to spiral. I have laid out some fundamental tips for you to consider when reviewing what your business is going to be and the development of the plan of activities for the business.

Tip 1 – Competitive Analysis

I found that by splitting an A4 piece of paper into five sections containing the headings: the objective of the business, strengths, weaknesses, resources and what could be done differently helped me to review the competition. Once I had then gathered the information, I laid the documents out across the floor and analysed how my business could evolve on what is already in the market.

Tip 2 – Take time on the thought process of your business before you do the plan.

You can’t just write what your business is going to do as you write the plan, this takes time. You already had an idea and motivation before you analysed your competitors but now you need to think about other factors including service and price alongside how you will stand out. I found myself drawing thought bubbles and had notes everywhere for a few months before I then went on to create the business model.

Tip 3 – Seek advice, get a mentor
A mentor is an experienced person in the field that you need expertise in. The worst thing that you can do is to keep your business a secret in the fear that someone else is going to steal your idea. There are ample services out there which can support you. Virgin Startups connect you to a business centre for advice and business loans, another excellent service is through the government start-up loan scheme if you are based in the UK. Both services support you in building a strong business plan and help you with funds that you will need to help get your business off the ground. You may also want to propose to an experienced entrepreneur that they become a mentor, I feel this is an excellent way to move forward as they can give you valuable insight into different activities. This is something I have recently been doing with a small boutique sports fashion brand, and I feel that we have both learnt from each other through bi monthly meetings which have taken place.