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Durham University

Coaching and Mentoring

What are the benefits of mentoring?

The benefits which staff report are:

For mentees:

  • Provides impartial advice and encouragement
  • Develops a supportive relationship
  • Assists with problem solving
  • Improves self-confidence
  • Offers professional development
  • Encourages reflection on practice

In the 2009 survey on Mentoring at Durham University mentee respondents stated that the support they gained from their mentors ranged as follows:

"my mentor provided an extended induction...covering policy and procedure and...some cultural guidance"

"understanding the university and dealing with staff"

"supported me in working more constructively with team members"

For mentors:

  • Opportunity to reflect on own practice
  • Enhances job satisfaction
  • Develops professional relationships
  • Enhances peer recognition
  • It uses your experience, making it available to a new person
  • It widens your understanding of the organisation and the way it works
  • It enables you to practice interpersonal skills
  • It provides personal satisfaction through supporting the development of others

The Durham University 2009 mentor survey found that mentors stated that the greatest benefit that they derived from the process was providing them with an opportunity to reflect on their own practice and

"developed a network of enabling relationships"

For academic departments/colleges/professional support service departments:

The mentoring process review found that from a departmental perspective the benefits of mentoring were seen as follows:

  • Enables faster induction of new staff
  • It improves the University / department/ college community
  • Enhances individual performance
  • Encourages commitment to the organisation
  • It improves communication

"Probationary staff are the future of the Department they have to be successful otherwise the organisation will fail...mentoring is critical as a supportive management tool"

"Mentoring is really useful for raising issues earlier on in an individual's probation and not leaving it to be picked up at the end when it then becomes a management issue"

In a nutshell

The benefits of mentoring are widespread, from offering professional development to improving communication and developing professional relationships.  Additionally, benefits are not just for mentees, but also for mentors and academic departments, colleges and service departments.