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National Mentoring Month 2024

15 Jan 2024

In the realm of personal and professional advancement, mentoring stands out as a beacon of growth and learning. It possesses the ability to accelerate skill development and open doors to invaluable insights. During National Mentoring Month, Geoffrey Hughes, Learning and Development Business Partner at Pick Everard, discusses the success of the mentoring program, RISE.

As the new Learning and Development Business Partner at Pick Everard, I've had the privilege of diving into some incredible initiatives that are shaping the way we support our staff's performance. Today, I want to shine a light on one in particular – our in-house mentoring program, RISE.

In the realm of learning and development, mentoring takes the crown as the number one strategy, according to the LinkedIn World Learning Report (2023). And let me tell you, the impact is real. A recent UK government report, Mentoring Matters, revealed that 76% of businesses attribute their growth to mentoring, with 60% specifically crediting it for shaping their business strategy. Now, that's something worth exploring. Mentoring, at its core, is all about supporting learning, experimentation, and unlocking potential. It's a relationship that builds confidence and empowers individuals to steer their own development.

The RISE Programme

As previously introduced by Pick Everard colleagues, RISE, which is an acronym for Reaching, Inspiring, Supporting in Excellence, is our beacon of best practice. Since its inception in 2021, it has seen 77 staff members jump on board, with over 40 mentors eagerly waiting to share their wealth of knowledge. These mentors aren't just seasoned professionals; we're talking about senior partners with 40 years of experience.

The RISE Programme isn't your typical mentoring approach. It's not just for professional qualifications – it's a holistic approach to continuous and professional development for everyone at Pick Everard. The doors are wide open for all, and we're making the mentoring experience even richer through a collaborative twist.

The process

The process behind RISE is where the potential impact happens. Our People and Culture team play matchmaker, using impartial metrics to connect mentors and mentees based on skills and personalities. This sets the stage for a 'Chemistry meeting' where needs, goals, expectations, and boundaries are laid out. It's essentially meeting for professional growth. Participating in the RISE mentoring journey is a win-win. Mentees get a fresh perspective on the professional world, a confidential space to bounce ideas off a trusted advisor, and a chance to challenge their own thinking. Mentors, on the other hand, discover new networks and alternative sources of information, making it a mutually beneficial experience. Cross-collaboration and skill sharing are at its core.

Our successes

Now, let's talk about findings. In 2023, we've seen a surge in volunteer mentors, creating 26 relationships so far, compared to 18 in 2022. The reasons behind seeking a mentor are diverse – from aiming for that next career level to building confidence or enhancing communication skills.

Our mentors and mentees don't exactly mirror each other. We're working towards promoting diversity, especially among our female leaders and different ethnic groups, to ensure relatability for everyone involved.

The potential with the RISE mentoring program is huge. We're gearing up to boost participation from female leaders, embrace diversity, and involve senior figures within the organisation. As the relationships within the program settle, we'll be back in 2024 with a comprehensive report, measuring our impact against external metrics and shaping the future of the RISE mentoring initiative.

So, here's to growth, collaboration, and the exciting journey ahead with RISE.