Mentoring has been a concept that I have always believed in and championed. It has the power of creating a pathway for individuals to explore their needs and opportunities within a comfortable set up.
What I wanted to know?
I wanted to know what your views are on mentoring so I could build a clear picture of what level of awareness and expectations form your opinions on the concept of mentoring. I also thought it was important to do a centre check of my understanding with an audience I would be engaging with.
No concept can be verified without research and results. I did not want to make assumptions or be careless. I needed to carry out market research with my connections. Of course, credible organisations and scholars have researched this topic and have substantial evidence that mentoring works, and I could have used that information. But that would not be the same as hearing it from the people I know and who will in some shape or form become part of my journey with the concept I was passionate to develop.
What did I do?
I asked my connections on LinkedIn to complete a short survey. Thank you to all those who took the time to complete my survey. If you would like to share you views please feel free as the survey is still live. You can never have enough data!
I have gathered the data from the initial responses and used it to inform my decisions on structuring my mentoring concept.
What did I find?
Although a small sample of 29 completed the survey, the respondent demographics had a range of unemployed, employed and self-employed individuals at various levels, including senior management. Therefore it provided a comprehensive view from all sides of the employment world.
Topline summary (full results in graphs below)
91.3% felt that mentoring had a positive impact and was beneficial.
This was simply music to my ears and reinforced the fact that mentoring as a developmental tool is effective.
52% of your workplaces had a mentoring programme, 26% did not and 22% were not even sure there was one.
That did worry me as more than half of my respondents were not benefitting from a simple developmental tool that could help them through their personal and professional development. Whilst 43% had some experience of mentoring outside of their organisation there was still a considerable percentage who had no mentoring opportunities.
10% of the mentoring programmes were automated providing free access to mentors/mentees, 30%were manual, 20% were offered through a combination of activities.
Having set up and managed mentoring programmes, I know the administrative burden placed on the programme teams by the laborious tasks of a manual process. This not only impacts efficiency it also impacts engagement in the programme as mentors and mentees find it time consuming and less interactive.
With only 30% of the programmes providing quality data analysis it becomes less attractive due to people not knowing if mentoring is existent, has worked in their organisations or if it has had any substantial impact. Simple valuable information that can be made accessible to encourage and engage is being lost and not used to the promote the programmes.
When asked of your expectations from a mentoring platform you have said that your top requirements were for it to be a knowledge/resource sharing tool (77.3%), provide easy accessibility(72.7%), with functionalities such as instant messaging, e-learning and networking (54.5%).
Why did I carry out this exercise?
I am working to create a solution to eliminate some of the barriers to successful implementation of mentoring programmes. I am developing a Mentoring App that will address your top priorities listed above. I aim to achieve potentially all features that would make a mentoring process more attractive, cost and time effective, engaging and results driven.
So what's next?
We are at beta stage with our app which we are calling MentorYou (MU)!
Slowly but surely the product is coming to life. Stay tuned for the news on MU.
I will need your support to make that a reality, to build a community of mentors and mentees who can inspire and guide each other in building successful happy lives through knowledge sharing and supporting personal and professional ambitions.
I am determined and will do my best to make mentoring accessible to all.
Are you in?
Pledge I will mentor you! #iMU