The word “mentor” has its origins in Greek mythology as a wise and trusted counsellor or teacher.
The CIPD in their coaching and mentoring factsheet (2012) defined coaching as “targets high performance and improvement at work and usually focuses on specific skills and goals, although it may also have an impact on an individual’s personal attributes (such as social interaction or confidence). The process typically lasts for a relatively short period.” In relation to mentoring they state that it is “a relationship in which a more experienced colleague uses his or her greater knowledge and understanding of the work or workplace to support the development of a more junior or inexperienced member of staff.”
Research into the benefits of coaching & mentoring include:
- Management Mentors (2013) cite a Gartner Case Study whereby “Mentoring produces positive ROI for company based on cost of program vs. employee knowledge and productivity as measured by salary, merited increases and promotions. The minimum ROI was 600% of program costs.”
- Sun Microsystems (2006) state that “Mentors were promoted six times more often than those not in the program; mentees were promoted five times more often than those not in the program; and retention rates were much higher for mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than for employees who did not participate in the mentoring program (49%).”(Sun Microsystems study of over 1000 employees over 5 years, 2006)
- Terri Scandura (2006) reported that “Most Fortune 500 companies see mentoring as an important employee development tool, with 71% of them having mentoring programs.” (Terri Scandura, management professor and dean of the graduate school at the University of Miami, 2006)
Effective coaching and mentoring is an informal, relatively unstructured professional relationship usually outside the normal line management, enabling individuals to achieve their goals and provide long-term guidance to individuals as part of their career development.
There are huge potential benefits in the relationship for both coach/mentor and staff including:
- Improved productivity
- Enhanced decision making
- Improved retention through staff engagement
- Better communication and strengthened relationships
- Executive stretch
- Ownership of self-development and performance through experiential learning
- Support of strategic and operational objectives
The process starts with an initial diagnostic discussion with an Executive Coach which assesses a coachee/mentee's current professional situation and then guides them through an in-depth process to explore the options and clarify desired outcome.