10 December 2013

Mentoring - It Worked For The Karate Kid!


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Career development


Every business, at certain intervals, will take on new employees. As part of this process, it is important to develop an onboarding program, which includes mentoring by an individual or individuals. Mentoring is important, as it offers many advantages such as improved wellness and retention, and can also reduce costs in a number of areas. Below are 8 advantages of mentoring new colleagues.

Increased retention rates

Studies have shown that, on average, employees who underwent a mentoring program stay with an employer for a longer period than those who do not. Preparing a new starter and teaching them how things are done within the business, will give them the confidence to work productively on their own. Job satisfaction will improve and subsequently reduce the risk of that employee looking for alternative employment due to disengagement and frustration. After an expensive recruitment drive, the last thing your business needs is for the employee to resign and leave you in the same position that you were in before they started.

Improved employee integration

Encouraging interaction, discussion and collaboration will all help the new starter integrate into the company culture. Getting to know your new colleagues is one of the biggest challenges facing a new employee; providing a means by which they can interact will help them achieve this effectively. “What was that person’s name again?” or “who was it that deals with expenses?” are all questions that are easier to ask a mentor than less familiar colleagues.

Increased employee productivity

Mentoring a new employee in the ways in which internal processes are carried out, how business systems work and who to speak to in different situations, will allow them to get up to speed and become more productive in a shorter time frame. Getting employees up to speed with how things work is, conversely, a challenge for the business. By assigning a dedicated mentor to teach these elements and monitor the onboarding process, the burden on other areas of the business is reduced, allowing them to concentrate on more strategic matters.

Reduce training costs

By using an internal resource to teach a new employee in the workings of internal systems, guidelines regarding communications and other business related areas, you can reduce the need for external training and subsequent training costs. Internal training and mentoring can be monitored more effectively and brand messaging remains strong.

Strengthen company brand

Mentoring is a great way to ensure that the company brand is relayed to new recruits and maintained within the workforce. By using a mentor to reaffirm the brand values and company culture, the message becomes less formal, but more sincere.
Encouraging a new starter to follow the business on social media, interact with and share the company’s articles and updates, and use word of mouth marketing will all help to strengthen the company brand. Some techniques used to solidify the company brand include:

  • Wellness programs
  • Internal communication
  • Involving all areas of the business in brand discussions and decisions
  • Employee engagement drives
  • Social media participation


Improved leadership skills

Mentoring involves an element of leadership and management. By allowing employees to mentor a new starter, you also encourage them to learn new skills and competencies. Monitoring and reviewing a new starter’s progress are useful skills for any future manager to learn and implement within the business. The skills that can be improved include:

  • Honesty
  • Confidence
  • Creativity
  • Commitment
  • Patience
  • Intuition

Improving the above skills is a great advantage to not only the employee, but to the business as well, as several of their employee’s skills have been improved and can now be utilised within the company.

Improved communication skills

Another important skill for any manager or leader to learn is communication. By allowing employees to essentially lead a new colleague through their onboarding process, their communication skills are naturally developed. This can be monitored and discussed with them to review and improve their mentoring experience. Everything from eye contact to hand gestures and body language can be worked upon and improved, in order for their communication skills to be used more effectively in future. Some of the skills that the mentor can concentrate on include:

  • Listening skills
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Review and clarification of progress
  • Building rapport
  • Problem solving


Increased sense of achievement

As the mentor and starter work together, and the new employee becomes more confident, productive and an active part of the team, the mentor will inevitably feel a sense of achievement and self-pride. Teaching someone new skills and watching them progress is a real confidence booster and you’ll have a second happy employee as a result.

Ciphr onboarding enables an organisation to integrate an employee into the business effectively and efficiently, as well as improve the onboarding process. To find out more email us or call us on 01628 814242.

Featured image credit: Columbia Pictures