26 February, 2020

Fostering a connected culture via mentoring at M&S

Ensuring our colleagues feel empowered to be their very best at work is something we feel strongly about here at M&S and mentoring is one way in which we can ensure this is happening.

Always looking for ways to be digital first, we have decided to give our mentoring scheme a complete overhaul and launched a new partnership with Guider – a system which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match compatible mentors in M&S with colleagues from every part of our business who are looking to learn and grow.

Budding mentees sign up to the Guider platform and list the skills they'd like to develop. Guider will then suggest possible mentor matches to choose from.

Suzie, our People Development Coordinator explains “Seeing how technology can improve the way we connect all the different people in our business and raise the profile and visibility of our collective skillset has been such an eye-opener. It’s also great for morale.”

“Our partnership with Guider helps instil the data-driven, colleague-led culture vital to our transformation, while engaging, equipping and enabling colleagues to reach their full potential.”

Data and insight at the heart of our mentoring system

Having initially introduced Guider six months ago, we now have 500 colleagues who have signed up and benefitted from the new mentoring scheme.

Retail Food Operations Manager Nicole who signed herself up to be a mentee says:

“After listing the skills I was looking for support with, Guider produced matches that were bespoke for me – it felt really personal. From that point I could then choose who was the best fit and put some time in their diary, so it felt very professional too.”

“It’s been invaluable and (my mentor) Emma really has been the perfect fit. She’s helped me improve my confidence and be more self-assured, which isn't something you can learn overnight or from reading a book.”

Nicole’s mentor, International Food Manager Emma said “I’m extremely proud of Nicole. Watching someone grow and develop is so rewarding – mentoring is much more than just another task. What’s so great about Guider is that you’re able to share your specific skills and experience with someone who needs it most, and someone you ordinarily wouldn’t have ever come into contact with!”

Our connected culture

With fantastic learning and development opportunities and support for colleagues where they need it most, we can ensure our business and our people can thrive and adapt in a challenging, but very rewarding industry.

Interested in seeking opportunities with us? Why not take a look at our current vacancies, or sign up with our Talent Community where you will be kept up to date with all the latest roles and news from across the business.

Inside M&S