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Mentoring in the Workplace: why you should hire external mentors to develop your leadership team



These days, instead of finding programs for mentoring in the workplace, successful and aspiring business leaders look to mentors like an athlete engaging a coach. They know that they won’t realise their full potential without one. They certainly won’t stretch beyond their own perceived limits and step out of their comfort zone.

Many large companies have programs for mentoring in the workplace that involve senior staff helping high-potential leaders, but these are problematic. How candid about their ambitions and issues can employees realistically be with someone who is likely to know their manager and certainly others on the management team? And who is closely managing these partnerships to make sure they are having maximum impact?

The solution is to look for external programs. Not only do they offer the level of discretion required, they also take the fuss (and time!) out of finding mentors, match people with someone who will have the greatest impact, manage the partnerships to ensure engagement, and report on the outcomes. It’s also an investment in the business. Sure you are rewarding and retaining key talent, but the ROI on a great mentor brings great rewards for companies too.

It’s a total win–win. Here’s how:

Trickle down

A stronger, more empowered and confident leader is going to inspire, motivate and build a stronger team. Mentoring is knowledge that inspires action, and that action will take place inside your business. Employees who are reaping the benefits of a mentoring partnership will also be more likely to nurture and help others who are at lower levels of the business as a way of giving back.


A successful mentoring partnership requires a clarity of vision and employees in the program will gain the ability to create and action effective, solutions-based strategies. This will give them a fresh lens through which to see their role within the business and the impact their team can have when they are thinking and acting strategically.

Creative problem solving

Having a mentor from another industry helps employees to look at issues from a fresh perspective, leading to more creative ways of finding solutions and bringing an innovation mindset to their work.

Goal setting

A mentoring partnership’s success is largely centred on clear goals that are set right from the start, with progress checked on throughout the year, and most importantly provides the accountability to take action. Employees will be able to bring this mindset to the professional development of their team, driving engagement, effectiveness and opportunities for reward and recognition.

Measured ROI

Any mentoring program worth its salt will measure its impact by collecting and assessing data and testimonials with regular surveys and phone calls. This is to keep track of how well the partnerships are going so that any issues can be solved early, but also to health check the program itself. The upside of this for a business is that reports can be generated from this aggregated data to measure the ROI.

The team at Rare Birds can talk to you about your company’s specific needs and have a mentoring program up and running within weeks. Contact us for a chat today. hello@inspiringrarebirds.com

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