Mentoring and developing talent in internal audit

Mentoring is an efficient and cost-effective way of developing and engaging talent in the internal audit function. It promotes collaboration, knowledge-sharing and inclusivity, while improving retention rates, productivity and engagement.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) Learning and Development 2015 survey, mentoring is one of the most commonly used and most effective talent management activities amongst UK organisations.

Forward-thinking internal audit functions are therefore investing in modern mentoring programmes that not only align to the department’s goals and objectives, but support the learning and development needs of their employees.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a learning and development tool that uses knowledge-sharing and discussion to inspire individuals and develop their competences. It is an ongoing relationship between a trusted adviser (mentor) and learner (mentee). Some mentoring programmes are structured and formal, while others are more informal.

According to Eric Parsloe, from the Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring, the purpose of mentoring is “to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be”.

While mentoring does share similarities with coaching, there are also key differences. For instance, a mentor is usually a more experienced colleague or an experienced professional from another organisation, whereas a coach is often a trained coaching professional who may not have the same professional experience as the mentee. With mentoring, the focus is on an individual’s career or personal development and is relationship-based, while coaching may focus on specific issues and is task-based. Also, mentoring is usually ongoing and long-term, while coaching often has a set duration and is short-term.

Benefits of mentoring

All CAEs are acutely aware of the need to engage, retain and develop their talent, and mentoring…