“The more you invest in people the greater the returns” – AAT calls for more mentoring
AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) professionals receive fewer mentoring opportunities than people in many other industries, and 19% less than the finance/accounting profession as a whole. Just 45% of AAT professionals reported being mentored, while at the top of the table, 81% were mentored in the advertising/marketing industry, according to research.
The study, conducted by Opinium Research, more worryingly found just 7% of AAT members reported that their organisation runs a formal mentoring programme. This was lower than any other industry, and in stark contrast to the 28% of finance and accounting workers reporting on their industries.
Chief Executive of AAT, Mark Farrar, called on companies to provide more opportunities for mentoring. “A company is only ever as good as the sum of its parts – which is why employers should be seeking to implement effective mentoring schemes that help to invest in staff and impact on their career pathways. Indeed, it’s a requirement of employers offering AAT accounting apprenticeships to provide mentors for each apprentice.”
There was however a great deal of enthusiasm amongst the membership for mentoring. Forty-two percent wanted to become a mentor while 37% wanted their organisation to bring in formal mentoring.
“It’s clear from our research that mentoring opportunities are not as prevalent as the desire from our members, and the onus is on the workplace to facilitate staff training in this way,” Farrar said.
“Equally, members should consider the various benefits of being a mentor in their own right, both in their current place of employment and within their wider industry. Being a strong mentor makes you a better leader of people, and helps to pass on your own skills and insight to the business leaders of tomorrow,” he added.
Sylvia Baldock, a talent dynamics performance consultant, added: “Companies that run mentoring programmes show a marked increase in engagement and a reduction in both staff turnover and absenteeism. Mentoring is a win-win all round, and the more you invest in people, the greater the returns.”
The ICAEW echoed the sentiments of AAT, supporting more mentoring and reporting that members find it an “extremely useful” practice.
“ICAEW supports mentoring and views it as a good way for professionals to share their experience with others to help them progress in their careers,” said Dharmesh Chheda, ICAEW head of academy. “A mentor can be an advisor and sounding board to share thoughts with, and being mentored can help individuals understand the challenges they face in their roles, give assistance with problem-solving and help build confidence.”
“ICAEW offers coaching and mentoring programmes where industry experts help empower mentees, and our member report that these programmes are extremely useful in helping them with their professional development and in achieving their career goals,” he added.