Return to Work Mentoring programme

Transitioning back into a complex and changeable system can be a difficult and lonely journey, which is why we’re offering NHS leaders at all levels an inclusive mentoring support package.

Our new Return to Work Mentoring programme is an exciting and dynamic mentoring scheme delivered by Charmaine Kwame – Odogwu, Programme Lead for Coaching & Mentoring at the NHS Leadership Academy, in partnership with Lis Merrick (MD Coach Mentoring) and Nicki Seignot (Coach Mentoring).

Why are we offering this to our NHS Leaders?

We all know anecdotally that there’s a strong case for taking steps to retain talent, whether it’s ensuring that those returning to the workplace experience a smooth transition or providing colleagues with the support they need in order to make leadership decisions.

Dr. Belle Rose Ragins, an expert in mentoring, diversity and positive relationships at work, has long been examining the positive impact of mentoring on employees’ organisational attachment and the role gender and diversity plays. As Ragins said: “Changes that happen in people’s lives are not just left in threshold of one domain when you’re entering another. The presence of informal mentors helps people deal with life challenges that occur inside and outside of the workplace.”

And the quantitative research speaks for itself too. The much-quoted 2002 Harvard Business Review article Executive women and the myth of having it all painted a stark picture of the choices facing many US women making the choice to have children, which still hold true today and are hugely applicable to the UK workplace.

The research showed the fact that for many women with a successful career – between a third and a half to be exact – having children just wasn’t a viable option. In fact, 33% of such women (business executives, doctors, lawyers, academics, and the like) in the 41-to-55 age bracket were childless, a figure that rose to 42% in corporate America.

So it goes to show that for those who do venture into motherhood or adoption, for example, the type of support Return to Work Mentoring offers is critical.

Although this particular example concerns women, the programme recognises that all colleagues, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, may need the support it offers at some point in their career.