Turning Pockets of Mentoring, into a Culture of Mentoring

EDF’s mentoring journey started way before their first conversation with Mentorloop. Within the organisation, pockets of mentoring already existed – a sign of a wider culture of mentoring and an indication of demand. They found, however, that the existing mentoring happening at EDF did not extend beyond the same departments and business units. There was also a lack of women participating in them.

They didn’t want to dissolve these existing mentoring relationships, but as they were, it was resource-heavy to support them manually and when left alone they had the tendency to fizzle out. Instead, they wanted to learn how to support these relationships and ensure they could sustainably offer this opportunity to more employees.


Seeking scale with a pilot Mentoring Program

In 2020, EDF’s Program Coordinators ran a pilot for a formal mentoring program, starting with 100 participants from a singular business unit.

Come 2021, the program was extended across the entirety of EDF with hundreds more joining.

It was clear early on, in a company the size of EDF, managing this program without a mentoring platform would burden the HR Business Partners heavily with administrative work.  

So it was essential for them that their chosen tool included the ability to:

💪 Mentorloop ticked all the boxes.

Launching Systematically

Drumming up interest for the program proved not to be a challenge for the Program Coordinators because of the existing positive culture of mentoring at EDF. And as they already had a system in place for deploying L&D programs, they leaned on it to launch this pilot.

After creating an information pack for the program with help from their Communications team and scheduling some webinars, they mobilised their Learning Partners – HR liaisons attached to specific business units who champion learning and development – to reach all teams.

The Learning Partners nominated participants and encouraged others to register for the program themselves. This system made the launch a breeze to coordinate.

Derek Lam
Derek Lam
Plant Layout Engineer
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Going into the program, I was hoping to build up a sense of direction on what to expect and how to go forward with my career. I think the ‘secret’ to a good mentoring relationship would be to have an openness and willingness to discuss anything from strengths and weaknesses, to what you do in your leisure time.
Connie Muir
Connie Muir
Senior Margin Analyst
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Going into the program, I wanted to get an idea of potential career paths I could have within the company, and also understand what kind of jobs I would suit doing. We have been working on finding out about different roles, types of manager and career paths so I definitely feel on track to accomplish this. My top tip? Throw yourself into it, have fun and give it 100% effort to make the most out of the experience.
Jack Raven
Jack Raven
Project Development Analyst
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I think the secret to a good mentoring relationship is regular contact and sticking to agreed objectives that are set. Making SMART objectives make them straightforward to follow. I think it helps to match with someone you feel comfortable with so you can be as open and honest as you need to be.
Graeme Bellingham
Graeme Bellingham
Transition Director, Sizewell C
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I think the secret to a good mentoring relationship is active listening, honesty, building mutual trust and making it a two-way relationship. My advice to those new to mentoring would be to engage, listen, exchange, be honest and take the time to be human!

Measures of Success

Overwhelmingly positive feedback from this program inspired the Program Coordinators to scale even more. The data they gathered from the pilot showed a glowing example of a successful pilot that they would have success in scaling.

In addition to achieving their three goals, the pilot also enjoyed:

And as for their goal of having positive feedback from participants? 

There was no shortage.

In fact, when the call went out to participants to share their success stories, they were met with 137 responses when they only needed 3.

This made it even easier, to promote the program further.

Meet Mel Arnold, who submitted her experience:

The pilot had several goals:

  • See cross-departmental mentoring relationships form
  • Reach 40% female representation
  • Achieve a +45 NPS (net promoter score) among participants
  • Have participants share stories of moving into new roles, developing skills, etc.
Gathering this data was key to them determining whether the program was having some success and whether it was worth scaling.

Achieve 40% Female Representation

45% Female Representation

Form Cross-Departmental Relationships

55% of participants felt more connected within and among the wider organisation

+45 NPS Among Participants

Recommending the programme to a colleague

55 NPS score

Recommending the programme to a colleague

The Program Today and Future Plans

Now, the EDF program is more vibrant than ever.

They have expanded the program to accommodate thousands of participants across the entire organisation. The data-driven, incremental method that EDF used to scale their mentoring program ensured that the quality of the program was not compromised as they offered it to more and more employees.

The overwhelming success of the pilot has also encouraged the Program Coordinators to explore new types of mentoring such as reverse mentoring, and expand their goal to now include a more DEI focus – targeting increased participation from women (50%) and BAME (25%).

The Program Coordinators report seeing a significant impact in employee development as well as a steady organic demand for mentoring across EDF in the UK.

As a direct result of deploying their program in the way that they did, they now enjoy a diverse database of mentors and mentees, heightened insight into their employees L&D needs, and have removed the barriers that kept employees from forming cross-departmental/cross-network mentoring relationships.

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