21st Century HR (no. five): Buddying and Mentoring

Jane Sunley, best-selling business author and Founder of Purple Cubed

Mentoring is nothing new. You might even wonder why I’m covering it in this C21 series. Yet, when speaking at conferences and the like, I often ask for a show of hands from companies who have mentoring schemes in place. It’s extremely rare even from quite large audiences. 

If you employ talented people with valuable skills and knowledge to share, it makes excellent business sense to make mentoring happen. It’s another one of those things that ends up in the ‘too-difficult box’; not a priority; not sure how to do it; fluffy HR initiative; a bit of a fad…

Done well, the benefits are many:

  • Promotes wider understanding of organisation / culture / disciplines
  • Supports cooperation and harmony, improving communication
  • Strengthens the knowledge base of the organisation
  • Saves on formal development cost and effort
  • Develops confidence, interpersonal, listening and many other skills
  • Helps grow leadership and other pipelines
  • Energising, motivating and satisfying for the both parties
  • Fosters engagement, loyalty and respect
  • Grows confidence and a feeling that people are supported
  • Allows mentors to give back, making a valuable contribution outside the day to day
  • Peer recognition

Bit of a no brainer really?!?  The important thing is to work out how mentoring will work in your organisation. Here’s how we do it at Purple Cubed:

  1. All new hires choose a buddy as part of their pre-induction, they meet for breakfast together on their first day, come into the office together for introductions and the buddy’s on hand as long as required to help them settle in
  2. Anyone within the company can have a mentor or be a mentor though this is carefully managed by the department head
  3. All mentors must go through development before any mentoring takes place
  4. Mentees are also clear on how things will work – the onus is on them to drive the process and set the agenda of the sessions
  5. They meet as appropriate – usually once a month for three months and then review
  6. Learning / achievements are logged as appropriate via our Talent Toolbox system
  7. If specialist mentoring is required from outside the organisation we use our network to find someone suitable (and we repay the favour as required)
2016-06-15T10:40:18+01:00 June 15th, 2016|