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The importance of mentoring and how this benefits the business

Mentoring is the provision of assistance by one person to another in a relationship of trust outside of the line management relationship that effectively enables the recipient to learn, develop their abilities and enhance their potential in line with their personal objectives.

During 2017/18 Audit Yorkshire launched a mentoring scheme to assist the development of a number of new Trainees starting their careers in Internal Audit.

The mentoring scheme presents key benefits for the business:

For the Mentee-

  • Development of greater motivation, self-confidence, self esteem and growth
  • Learning and development in line with specific aims, objectives and outcomes
  • A learning environment which allows the mentee to discuss issues without fear of criticism, to receive constructive feedback
  • Access to advice and support and the benefit of a mentor’s experience.

For the Mentor-

  • Increased recognition from managers, peers and staff
  • Increased self-esteem, job satisfaction and motivation from a more rewarding work environment
  • Personal satisfaction at having made a positive influence on a mentee’s development, learning and growth
  • Enhancement of interpersonal skills through the implementation of the mentoring relationship.

For the Organisation-

  • Higher motivation, increased receptiveness to change and a positive culture; which benefits personal and organisational performance
  • Mentoring relationships focused around the achievement of targets in line with organisational goals resulting in outputs of benefit to the organisation
  • Improvement in organisational communications, and enabling more ‘joined-up’ working
  • Increased retention of mentees who can see clear career paths, which contributes to successful organisational succession planning.

I took the role of a Mentor as a career development opportunity to assist a Trainee that had been appointed to undertake audit work for my client portfolio.

Since the launch of the mentoring scheme, Mentors and Trainees across the Audit Yorkshire team have met to share experiences, good practice and learning opportunities, with the aim of supporting mentors in their role in developing and supporting a mentee. The outcome of this initiative was circulation of guidance and a revised definition of the mentor role for new starters and established Trainees for inclusion in the Trainee Development Framework.

Feedback from Trainees to date has been very positive regarding relationships with their Mentor; feeling they are given adequate opportunity to discuss progress with their Mentor and that they could raise any issues relating to the Mentor relationship.

My Trainee fed back that ‘Starting out under the guidance of someone with experience of the profession but who was also able to translate that expertise into something that I could learn from has been the key element of going from a complete lay-person to becoming increasingly confident and independent in my work. The mentoring process is a really individual learning experience which works best when the Mentor has the skills to respond to the Mentees frames of reference and ways of understanding, and the benefit of knowing a friendly face when new to an organisation shouldn’t be underestimated!’

I would recommend to anyone the value of the mentor role in an organisation. It is a unique opportunity to assist in employee development and it is truly rewarding knowing that you have helped someone reach their potential.