Mentoring and coaching

Mentoring and coaching are very different but both can be effective approaches to developing employees. Many employers use them to help enhance the skills, knowledge and performance of their people around specific skills and goals.

Coaching aims to produce optimal performance and improvement at work. It focuses on specific skills and goals, although it may also have an impact on an individual’s personal attributes such as social interaction or confidence. The process typically lasts for a defined period of time or forms the basis of an on-going management style.

Mentoring in the workplace tends to describe a relationship in which a more experienced colleague shares their greater knowledge to support the development of an inexperienced member of staff. Mentoring relationships tend to be longer term and are a learning opportunity for both participants, encouraging sharing and learning.

National support

For NHS primary care staff

NHS England provides confidential coaching and support for the primary care workforce to help prioritise your needs as an individual and support you to manage your team and reflect on your career goals and ambitions.

For social care staff 

Registered managers at Skills for Care can gain access to qualified mentors and mentoring workshops to learn concepts, skills and techniques around mentoring best practice.

For NHS staff 

The Coaching and Mentoring Network is for those looking for a coach or mentor, or for those who would like to become one.

Use the search facility on Future Learn to find courses on mentoring and coaching.

Looking after you too is a coaching programme specifically for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic colleagues. It focuses on proactively supporting you to process experiences, offload the demands of whatever you are experiencing, deal with difficult conversations, develop coping skills and be supported in developing practical strategies. You will also find details of a confidential and free spiritual and faith-based counselling service which is available to staff of all beliefs and none.

Local support 

For NHS staff

The NHS South East Leadership Academy has created a coaching and mentoring scheme as part of a commitment to develop leaders at all levels.