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Published on 24th June 2024

Mentoring Encouraging Wellbeing


World Wellbeing Week returns for its fifth year between 24th and 30th  June 2024.  The Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the many aspects of wellbeing, from meaningful work and financial security, to physical, mental and emotional health. Wellbeing has never been so important – and so talked about.  So we wanted to explore wellbeing and how mentoring can support it.

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of wellbeing is “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” However, it is important to understand that wellbeing is a much broader concept.  The World Health Organization (WHO) states that wellbeing is a “positive state experienced by individuals and societies. Similar to health, it is a resource for daily life and is determined by social, economic and environmental conditions.” The WHO goes on to say that it encompasses people’s ability to contribute to the world with a sense of meaning and purpose.

The membership organisation for HR professionals, the CIPD, encourages organisations to create an effective workplace wellbeing programme which helps people to flourish and reach their potential. Such programmes can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity.  The CIPD’s 2023 Health and Wellbeing at Work Survey identified the top three benefits of employers increasing their focus on employee wellbeing as:

  • Better employee morale and engagement
  • A healthier and more inclusive culture
  • Better work-life balance

Armed with the benefits and importance of organisations focusing on wellbeing, how can mentoring contribute to this?

The benefits of mentoring

Business consultant, speaker and author, Kevin Hall very eloquently said “a life of significance is about serving those who need your gifts, your leadership, your purpose.”

When a mentor gives their time to a mentee, they are doing something of real significance.  Just giving their time to somebody is significant enough, but passing on their experience, wisdom and skill-set makes it even more significant.  However, it is not just about the information, advice and guidance that the mentor provides, it is also the underlying message the mentor is giving to the mentee just by the act of mentoring.  This message is that the mentee is important and valuable to the organisation; that the mentor believes in the mentee’s potential so much, that they are willing to invest their time in the mentee.  This is an incredibly powerful message for the mentee to receive.  The benefits to the mentee are wider than the career development and progression which may result from the mentoring, it is also quite simply that they matter, which goes to the core of their wellbeing.

The act of mentoring is not only good for the mentee’s wellbeing, but also the mentor’s.  As the World Health Organization stated, wellbeing encompasses a person’s ability to contribute to the world with a sense of meaning and purpose.  Mentoring provides the mentor with that sense of purpose, they are putting something back into the world when they support a mentee – they are serving their community.  In addition, watching someone develop, flourish and reach their potential, when you have played a part in that, is particularly gratifying.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most famous line as an actor may be “I will be back” from The Terminator film; but as a politician he also said “Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.”  In summary, being a mentor plays back into the mentor’s wellbeing, demonstrating that they matter and they are valuable.

We have demonstrated the impact mentoring can have on the wellbeing of mentors and mentees.  So World Wellbeing Week, is a great time to celebrate the power of mentoring and the mutual benefits it brings to both mentors and mentees.

For more information visit: https://workplacewellbeing.pro/campaigns/world-wellbeing-week/