The benefits of a mentor

AAT

1st July 2019

Starting & Staying In Business

WORKERS across the East Midlands recognise that having a mentor can help them to upskill and set goals, but just 10 per cent currently has one, according to a new study commissioned by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians).

Opinium Research spoke to 2,000 UK employees about their attitudes, along with those of their employer, towards having a mentoring programme - both in terms of being mentored and being the mentor. And while there's plenty of leaders out there, with nearly half (46 per cent) in the region having acted as a mentor to someone else during their career (compared to 53 per cent nationally), only a quarter (25 per cent) has received mentoring themselves over the past five years (26 per cent nationally). Just 21 per cent of organisations in the East Midlands currently run a formal mentoring programme.

Despite this, 81 per cent of employees in the region who have received mentoring recognised it as a valuable experience (84 per cent nationally) - with 74 per cent of those who have been a mentor agreeing it was worthwhile (72 per cent nationally). Half of workers (56 per cent) in the East Midlands said that having a mentor gave them new skills (54 per cent nationally), with a further 43 per cent saying that it gave them more confidence. Having someone to talk to, being able to set goals, and resolving issues were other reasons cited as to why mentors are useful additions to the workplace.

Mark Farrar, Chief Executive, AAT said: "A company is only ever as good as the sum of its parts - which is why employers should be seeking to implement effective mentoring schemes that help to invest in staff and impact on their career pathways. It's clear from our research that mentoring opportunities are not as prevalent as the desire from employees, and the onus is on the workplace to facilitate staff training in this way.

"Equally, workers themselves should consider the various benefits of being a mentor in their own right, both in their current place of employment and within their wider industry. Being a strong mentor makes you a better leader of people, and helps to pass on your own skills and insight to the business leaders of tomorrow."

AAT