Credits: Photgraphy by Amoghavira
Time to think, tailored to each customer:
helps people think outside the box
.... but doesn't come out of one
[public domain and from People Management Awards submission in year 3 of the project]
Summarise the key outcomes of the project, outlining the contribution made to the business since its introduction:
Over 280 staff including 30% of the Senior Civil Service complement have been involved with the scheme in the three years since starting, and we have 75+ partnerships on the go at any one time. Mentoring produces benefits to the organisation, to the mentee and also to the mentor. In a recent survey of 110 participants in the scheme conducted by an external third party we found:
80% of mentors: "significant benefits in learning to help others find their own solutions to work problems"
Almost all (97%) reported improvements in their own listening skills
25% of mentors reported significant benefits to themselves in relation to professional growth
a similar proportion found mentoring helpful in working through their own obstacles and difficulties
91% said they would like to do more mentoring and would recommend it to a colleague.
We asked mentors to assess the benfits of the programme to their mentees:
Over 75% perceived strong benefits for mentees in clarifying and understanding situations
66% thought it had helped a lot in building mentee self knowledge
64% thought it had helped their mentee deal more effectively with obstacles and difficulties
42% felt their mentee had been able to implement ideas more effectively in the face of resistance
30% felt it had helped their mentee build wider networks of support, influence and learning.
Among the mentees we found:
95% satisfied with relevance to their work, the same satisfied with relevance to their personal development
30% of mentees reported they got “a great deal” of learning and new skills for their future career from the process
a futher 57% reported getting “quite a lot” or “some” such benefits
20% had got “a great deal” of learning and skills for their current job, and 63% “quite a lot” or “some” benefits.
Mentees also identified a wide range of specific benefits including building rapport (58% reported the got “a lot” or “huge” benefits), being supported and developed (69%), working a route through difficulties (71%), maintaining a sense of perspective (80%), building self knowledge (64%), and building wider networks (31%). 91% of mentees said they would recommend mentoring to a colleague.
We have created a scheme which appears to be sustainable, by starting off with clarity on scope, skills and process; by providing “just enough” prior training, ongoing resource material and follow-up support for mentoring partnerships; by not putting pressure on participants and recognising that engagement in a mentoring partnership needs to be on the basis of willing participation, comfort with the process, and opportunities to opt out when otherwise overloaded; and by having the attitude that many managers are in fact able and capable and can become ‘good enough’ mentors with the right preparation and support.
Sustainability indicators are:
every mentor willing to mentor again and a number have taken on a series of mentoring partnerships
every mentee willing to become a mentor in their turn, 60% already deployed as such
all feel able to get their own mentor, without central assistance, whenever needed for the foreseeable future
several Departments have started planning their own emulation schemes for other layers of staff.
Our own assessment is that these results indictate benefits to the wider organisation in terms of:
increased energy, self confidence, motivation and engagement via contributing to the development of others (mentors) or through being able to work on difficult issues in a safe and supportive environment (mentees)
knowledge management: valuing and supporting the role of experienced practitioners in the workplace; giving opportunities to reflect on best practice; systematically supports knowledge sharing between offices
manager, leader and ‘employeeship’ development by stimulating coaching skills and enhancing management styles, and encouraging mentees to drive the partnership
helping the organisation re-balance formal and informal learning by enabling individuals to develop the skills to take ownership of their own learning and development
diversity mindset by assisting staff to develop a attitudes which value difference as well as similarity; by building up links between colleagues in similar and in different areas of work
capacity building by developing a pool of trained and experienced mentors for future learning partnerships either within the scheme, or independently but following its good practice.