Hiring a Coach or a Mentor – How Can It Benefit You and What Can You Get Out of It?

Coaching or mentoring can have positive outcomes for both employees and employers especially in the public and not-for-profit sectors, helping individuals with learning and development, both personally and professionally. Here we look at the benefits of coaching and mentoring and explore how you can get the most out of the opportunity.

What is coaching and mentoring?

Coaching and mentoring are two completely separate things but the terms are often used interchangeably. Let’s look at what they are and examine the differences.

Coaching – usually done on a one-to-one basis, coaching is provided by qualified and trained specialists in a structured format to help individuals reach objectives and goals, enhance their skills, maximising their performance, helping them solve problems, identify their strengths and weaknesses and improve their overall performance in the workplace. There are various different types of coaching including executive, performance, career and life.

Mentoring – involving a more senior and experienced individual in the workplace who shares their knowledge to support a more junior colleague so that they can develop their skills, mentoring usually takes place over a longer period than coaching. Mentors offer advice, experience, knowledge and support and act as behavioural and professional role models to encourage career and personal growth.

What’s the difference between mentoring and coaching?

There are several distinct differences between coaching and mentoring:

  1. Timescale. Coaching usually takes place in a specific time frame and addresses particular goals. Mentoring typically happens over the long term and evolves as the mentee develops their skills and experience.

  2. Outcome. Coaching is based on set goals – whether that’s developing different skills or growing knowledge and can be specifically evaluated. In contrast, mentors are more focused on holistic attributes that can’t be measured, such as building professional relationships and developing networks.

  3. Agenda. With coaching it’s the coach who sets the agenda for learning, depending on what the coachee’s objectives are. When someone works with a mentor it’s the mentee who decides what they need or want.

  4. Needs vs skills. An external coach can help an organisation fill a skills gap by providing a coachee with the abilities they need, and they may repeat this process within several different organisations. A mentor usually works within the organisation to address an individual’s career challenges.

Getting the most out of coaching and mentoring

For the public and not-for-profit sectors coaching and mentoring can have an extremely positive impact on employees who are involved. Increasing engagement through the use of coaches or mentors raises productivity, reduces staff turnover and increases the bottom line. Coaching uses constructive feedback on performance allowing employees to reach their potential, to understand and improve upon their weak spots, and emphasise their strong points. Mentoring enables individuals to ensure that they’re performing to the best of their ability and to improve. 

On a personal level, employees who engage with coaches or mentors feel more valued and motivated. They increase confidence both in their abilities and in their place within the organisation leading to a more thorough understanding of the business environment and the wider corporate world.  

To get the best out of either coaching or mentoring individuals should:

  • Be proactive in identifying their goals, setting out exactly what they hope to achieve before the coaching or mentoring starts, and communicate those goals to their coach or mentor. 

  • Communicate honestly and openly. They should be prepared to ask and answer challenging questions with thoughtfulness and reflection to get the most out of the relationship.

  • Be prepared to move out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves and their current mindset. Dealing with new ways of thinking and accepting new realities can open up possibilities and opportunities that enable them to reach their goals.

  • Welcome change. It can be a challenge to accept new ways of thinking or a positive change in behaviour or beliefs but a coach or a mentor should encourage people to embrace the potential for success that it can bring.

Take the first step

Working with a coach or a mentor can help people achieve their goals, both in terms of their professional working life and personal level, especially among digital, data and technology talent whose skills are much in demand. As part of our commitment to providing the best possible service to our candidates, we offer a range of services including career advice, CV check-ins, personal branding tips and a coaching service to enhance their potential and improve their career prospects. 

If you’d like to know more about the coaching services we offer, as well as how we can help you develop your career you can call us on +44 020 8253 1800, email us at contact@global-resourcing.com or fill in the contact form here.
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