Mentoring matters now more than ever

There is no doubt mentoring has always been a valuable and effective development opportunity bringing personal and professional benefits for individuals and organisations alike.

Now more than ever as staff navigate their career, it can be invaluable for them to develop a good relationship with a trusted adviser or mentor. One who can offer their experiences and professional guidance to ensure they are on the right track with their career goals. From the employer’s perspective, mentoring schemes can add real value to the development and retention of talent.

Successful mentoring during the pandemic

In the current climate, the mentor/mentee relationship will be particularly valuable from an emotional perspective. Business leaders and role models can consciously acknowledge that the new “working life” is different and there are uncertainties beyond the control of the mentee which may lead to anxiety and confusion. The mentor can approach these sessions with empathy and steer the discussion toward any issues.

There are benefits for the mentors too

The benefits for the mentors are also valuable. They can include the personal satisfaction of helping others by the sharing of skills and experiences, as well as gaining exposure to new ideas and approaches. It also offers the mentor a chance to reflect on their own achievements.

What makes a good mentor?

Now more than ever during these challenging times, a good mentor needs to be able to listen and empathise, inviting a two-way exchange of information and feedback. A mentor will help and guide, rather than give instruction. The best mentors take on the role of a ‘critical friend’. It is, of course, vital that mentees are completely honest with the mentor, and are willing to learn, open to taking advice and ideas and accepting of feedback.

How to identify the right mentors

Whatever route you take to identify the right mentor/mentee relationship, it is important to be clear about what outcomes are desired. Like any good relationship, it should be based on mutual respect and trust and will take time to develop and will require commitment from both sides.

Is now a good time to set up mentoring?

Many accountancy practices and businesses offer in-house mentoring schemes, often matching junior accountants with those who are further along their career path and who can share the knowledge they have gained along the way.

Some individuals may find mentors by tapping into their personal and professional networks.

If you do not currently run a mentoring scheme, now is a good time to set something in place. Done correctly, mentoring schemes are not only good for the wellbeing of your workforce but will also help them build new skills and increase their knowledge and productivity. Employees value a role model in their working life and mentoring schemes are a super way to offer a supportive network for your team, especially during these more challenging times.


Lisa Wintrip

Director, Fletcher George Financial Recruitment


Fletcher George is an independent finance and accountancy recruiter working, primarily with finance and accounting professionals in South West London and Surrey including the Hampshire and Sussex borders.  We recruit for both Public Practice and also for commercial businesses in the local area.

For more information, please contact Lisa on 01372 364 160 or by email: