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Why mentoring is important

A mentor's experience and knowledge can help shorten the learning curve for a mentee – to help their employees grow and improve. According to research, mentors can directly impact a business's growth and success and enhance company culture.

Mentoring is a key weapon in the war for talent, especially in the engineering and tech sector, where identifying skilled talent is an uphill battle. Still, many organisations fail to make the most of nurturing upcoming talent through mentoring.

Though organisations such as the IET (The Institute of Engineering and Technology) can assist with company mentoring schemes, mentors will challenge and guide the engineering mentee, motivating them to reach their full potential.

What are informal and formal mentoring?

There are two types of mentoring - informal and formal. The most common type is informal, which is usually when a senior employee takes a newcomer under their wing and offers advice and support. Informal mentoring has helped many people launch successful careers – with mentors offering a different perspective to avoid failures.

Informal mentoring also relies on sheer luck – that's why successful entrepreneurs often say they were "in the right place at the right time" to meet that crucial mentor who took a chance on them.

Formal mentoring means intentionally setting up a mentoring programme, matching mentors with mentees, and supporting the long-term development of their relationships. This can be via an internally managed scheme or a body such as the IET, which is especially important if the mentee wants to gain registration category, i.e. CEng, IEng, EngTech, etc.

In this blog, we will be discussing the benefits of formal mentoring.

The benefits of formal mentoring for the mentee

As a mentee, you'll get the chance to hone your skills and learn new ones as you work towards becoming a professionally licensed engineer or go on to become a chartered engineer under the tutelage of an experienced senior/principal engineer.

Working under a mentor allows you to look up to someone you may aspire to one day be; statistics show that 89 per cent of mentees go on to mentor others, leading to higher job satisfaction. The experience will make you more valuable to the company and open to promotions/pay increases. Your mentor will be there to help teach you and build up your confidence and skills.

The benefits of formal mentoring for the mentor

As the mentor, you get to help a future senior or principal engineer by building their skill base and confidence, which should fill you with a sense of job satisfaction and fulfilment. According to a Harvard Business Review study, people who served as mentors had lower anxiety and found their jobs more meaningful than those who didn't.

The benefits of formal mentoring for the company

There are numerous benefits for companies that offer a mentoring scheme, such as:

Employee loyalty: This would especially apply to mentees who may view the company as investing in their future and would build stronger ties as they may go on to mentor others.

Improved talent attraction and retention: Not only will the company attract up-and-coming talent in the industry through the appeal of being mentored, but they are more likely to stay on through job satisfaction gained through mentoring others.

Diversity in leadership: Talent comes in all races, religions, gender and sexuality; by offering a mentoring scheme, employees will be empowered to grow and learn within the company, gaining valuable leadership experience.

Mentoring programs: Allow inter-department relationships to develop naturally, often creating operational and organisational improvements by default.

When to start a formal mentoring programme

Informal mentoring is probably already happening in your organisation–but when do you formalise it?

Formal mentoring means intentionally setting up a mentoring programme, matching mentors with mentees, and supporting the long-term development of their relationships.

To decide if you're ready to set up formal mentoring, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many of your people are currently being mentored?
  • How many could a formal mentoring programme reach?
  • How does mentoring align with your learning and development goals?

Setting up formal mentoring opens it up to everyone, removes bias, and encourages growth and development for all your people–including the mentors.

Workplace mentoring in numbers

  • 84 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.
  • 94 per cent of employees would stay at a company longer if given opportunities to learn and grow.
  • 67 per cent of businesses see an increase in productivity due to mentoring.
  • 55 per cent of businesses say mentoring has a positive impact on their profits.
  • Mentoring programs boost minority representation in management from 9 per cent to 24 per cent.
  • Millennials cite 'Not enough opportunities to advance' at 35 per cent and 'Lack of learning and development opportunities' at 28 per cent as their main reasons for quitting their jobs.
  • 71 per cent of mentees say their company gives them good opportunities to advance in their career, compared with 47 per cent of non-mentees.
  • Over 40 per cent of non-mentees have considered quitting their job in the past three months.
  • 87 per cent of mentors and mentees say mentoring relationships have empowered and improved their confidence.

Whatever model you choose, it is important to remember that any mentoring program or mentor relationship is only as good as the amount of commitment everyone is prepared to make to them. Mentoring works well when exchanging ideas, but it also requires a listening attitude and openness to consider a different or fresh approach.

Some of the most successful people in the world have mentors. Through a mentor, you may improve your professional and personal life.

Redline Group - the UK’s most trusted Electronics and High Technology recruitment specialist for professional ContractPermanent and Executive positions.

For more information from a trusted partner with over four decades of experience in knowledge-led recruitment, please contact us on 01582 450054 or email


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