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Benefits of a mentoring programme

Director of Learning & Development, Ian Walters, shares his experience of mentoring and tips from the recent launch of Ceridian’s mentoring programme.

Ian Walters

I’m a passionate believer that the key to Ceridian’s success is its people; investing in our people is therefore at the very top of our agenda. Since I started my role in January, we’ve made a lot of progress with new L&D initiatives.

One that I’m particularly excited about, and want to share with you, is the launch of our new mentoring partnership programme.

Mentoring vs Coaching

There are many opinions about what mentoring is and where mentoring and coaching overlap.


  • usually a more experienced individual paired with a less experienced individual, usually in the same field of work
  • often provide guidance and advice and help to open organisational doors
  • provide a neutral sounding board to ensure confidentiality
  • help mentees to develop their careers and expertise by drawing on their own experience.


  • need not have first-hand experience in the coachee’s line of work
  • will ask powerful questions and not offer or give advice
  • are intending to help you to learn rather than teaching you, developing insight to enhance effectiveness.

At Ceridian we made a decision that we wanted a model that suited our business and our values. As such, we looked at mentoring models and some theories on coaching; from this we created a blended model to compliment the Ceridian Character.

Benefits of a mentoring programme

There are real demonstrable business benefits from investing in and training your colleagues. This is the ethos that I and others at Ceridian work to.

Learning & Development model

Improving engagement with your high potential colleagues will help with colleague retention and can also become a recruitment tool; working for a company who invest in their people in this way will be very desirable for candidates.

Tips for launching a mentoring programme

How we approached the launch

Create a group that are passionate about the programme
As a business we initially created a small team to make a framework within which the mentoring partnership would run. This team identified ten highly experienced individuals within the business who are excited about sharing their knowledge and experience with other colleagues.
Promoting the programme effectively
When we thought about how we would describe the benefits of the programme, we agreed it was about ‘Growing Potential for Success’. We advertised the programme to all colleagues through our company intranet and internal communication, inviting applications initially for a pilot programme. As a team we believed that the programme needed to be different from normal day to day activities, so we worked on making the events interesting, exciting and innovative therefore making joining the programme aspirational.
Getting the right match
To ensure everyone understood their responsibilities, and what was required in terms of participation, we created descriptions and profiles for the mentors and mentees. In addition, we provided some tools and techniques to help both parties maximise the effectiveness of the 1-2-1 sessions. One crucial area is ensuring the mentors and mentees are well matched. To help with this process, we asked each participant to complete a personal profile detailing their business and personal interests and strengths to make sure we were getting the best matches.

Having an aspirational mentor partnership programme is one strand of investing in some of the people who will be the future of your organisation. For Ceridian it will allow us to develop the potential of a number of colleagues, enabling them to add value to the company, making both them and us more successful.

Personally I was very fortunate to have an excellent mentor who helped me to develop and progress my career, and have been privileged to repay this investment by mentoring many people over the last 15 years. I’m excited to watch our mentoring partnership programme grow and see individuals develop as a result at Ceridian.

Connect with Ian on LinkedIn & Twitter.

  • 1st September 2014
  • HR
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