Nine Ways to Prioritize Mental Health and Wellbeing in 2024

It is National Mentoring Month and we decided that we need to shine the light on mental health in the workplace. Mentoring elevates wellbeing, retention and mental health.
As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, the importance of prioritizing mental health and wellbeing has become increasingly evident. Let’s face it, we are struggling as a society and we intrinsically know (or are learning more each day) that we are not struggling alone. For many of us, and for a myriad of valid reasons, life has become a bit less comfortable and perhaps we have lost some of that proverbial spring in our step or sunny outlook.
The year 2024 brings new challenges and opportunities, making it crucial for us all to adopt practices that foster mental resilience and overall wellness. In this article, we will explore 10 effective ways to prioritize your mental health in the workplace in the year ahead.

Mindful Technology Use
I had a great discussion with a friend Marny D who is also a renowned therapist about social anxiety and staying in vs going out. We giggle at the new word we just learned JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Our phones, YouTube, Netflix, Canasta Junction and more can replace smiling faces and festive engagements this time of year. We can a nice oxytocin boost In the digital age, technology plays a significant role in our lives. However, excessive screen time and constant connectivity can contribute to stress and anxiety (Etimes. In 2023).
#JOMO might also be showing up in the workplace in a detrimental way
Gallup’s 2023 data shows that while engagement rates stand steady at 32%, 18 percent of the workforce is now actively disengaged at work, signaling a real increase of strain on employees and their heallh and wellbeing.
Beyond mere self-care practices, 2024 issues a call to resilience, a plea for collective understanding, and a reminder that, in this challenging journey, no one need walk alone. Compassion + empathy are words that flows underneath productivity and a stellar 2024.

Unmasking the Silent Resignations
While resignations are decreasing (54 million during COVID) and layoffs have been increasing (188k in 2023), the workplace continues to witness a phenomenon known as “quiet quitting,” where even high performing employees elect to disengage and give 70% over 120%. Online platforms have been part of the challenge as I have written in previous blogs on this topic.
It’s crucial to foster an environment that encourages open communication. Employers must actively listen at Exit interviews, employee engagement surveys, provide avenues for honest dialogue, and address the root causes of dissatisfaction to rebuild a sense of purpose and connection. People managers, responsible for others, are at high risk and this all needs to be taken into consideration. Creating a culture of belonging, compassion, and helping team members find true purpose with smaller working groups.

War-Torn Minds: Healing the Unseen Wounds
In the midst of true conflict, be it on a global scale or within personal battles, the scars on mental health can run deep.
Acknowledge the trauma and encourage seeking professional help. Create safe spaces for conversations about mental health, breaking the stigma that surrounds seeking therapy or counseling. Most companies have Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs). Sharing openly the process and their value to individuals willing to share will reduce the stigma of benefitting from such services. (for example, when I utilized a therapist through EAP program a few years ago, my out of pocket expenses were under $20 a session).

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Navigating Political Burnout
It’s an election year. I know, those words make many cringe. The political landscape can be emotionally exhausting, contributing significantly to burnout. Encourage a workplace culture that respects diverse opinions, fostering healthy discussions while discouraging toxicity. Fear surrounds us all, regardless of party, and more and more people are opting not to even watch the news.
Provide resources for employees to stay informed without compromising their mental health, such as designated “news-free” zones during breaks. Many adopt a ‘no talk of politics’ in their ecosystems. Psychological safety is prioritized.

The Power of Collective Wellbeing
We are not suppose to suffer in silence or grieve alone. We can also find and feel joy in the darkest of times. Establish support networks within the workplace. Peer support groups, mentorship programs, and allies can create a sense of community. Employee Resource Groups should be empowered, strengthened or re-developed with leadership supports.
Knowing that others share similar struggles can alleviate feelings of isolation and promote a culture of empathy and understanding.

Articulate the ‘Not Alone’ Narrative
Develop campaigns and initiatives that emphasize the universality of mental health challenges. Share stories of resilience, recovery, and coping strategies. Let individuals know that their experiences are valid, and they are not alone in navigating the complexities of mental health.

Mindful Leadership in Times of Crisis
Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping the mental health landscape. Equip leaders with tools for mindful decision-making and empathetic leadership (Emotional Intelligence: Key to Mindful Leadership in Australia, 2023).
Leaders who prioritize their own mental health set a powerful example and create an environment where employees feel valued and supported.
In a world filled with uncertainties, empathy becomes the glue that holds communities together.
Organizations must invest in learning and training around compassion, fostering an environment where colleagues not only understand the struggles of their peers but actively work towards creating solutions together.

Flexibility as a Form of Support
Recognize that a rigid work structure can exacerbate mental health challenges. Implement flexible work arrangements, remote options, and mental health days to empower employees to prioritize their wellbeing without fearing professional repercussions.
Break the silence surrounding mental health by fostering a culture of openness. Create platforms for employees to share their experiences, whether through anonymous forums, town hall meetings, or designated mental health awareness events (Blake Oliver Consulting, 2023).

Commitment to Continuous Improvement
In 2024, prioritizing mental health transcends simplistic self-care routines. It’s about acknowledging the unique challenges the workforce faces, fostering collective resilience, and dismantling the barriers that perpetuate feelings of isolation.
In this collective journey towards wellbeing, let the resounding message be that no one walks alone, for in unity lies the strength to overcome even the most daunting challenges.
Also, as Gallup highlights, the stark reality of 18 percent actively disengaged employees underscores the urgency of this call to action. Those 18:100 individuals are suffering and the impact will continue to be felt unless we swing the pendulum back to seeing employees as human beings and not simply ‘bots’ or workers.
The world may be complex and challenging, but by standing together, we can build a future where mental health is not just a priority but a collective responsibility.
@Twomentor is a Sub-Chapter S Corporation committed to driving employee engagement and retention in the workplace. We believe in the power of TWO and sustainable, well developed mentoring relationships for happier, healthier employees. We are here to custom build your solution for your people. Contact us:

Propel Leadership Excellence in 2024: Why Top Companies Are Betting Big on Mentoring!

As we navigate through 2024, leading companies are strategically investing in mentoring to catapult leadership development to new heights. Astounding research shows that 79% of Millennials view mentoring as essential to their career trajectory. This spotlight on mentoring underscores its critical role as a catalyst for cultivating adept, agile leaders capable of steering organizations through the complexities of the modern business landscape. Mentoring, with its one-on-one guidance and tailored learning experiences, equips emerging leaders with the tools to thrive, fostering a culture of continuous growth and innovation.
The drive towards more inclusive leadership structures further fuels the investment in mentoring programs. Companies that implement formal mentoring initiatives see a 34% increase in women holding executive positions, showcasing mentoring’s effectiveness in dismantling barriers and championing diversity at the leadership level. This inclusive approach enriches decision-making, reflects diverse customer bases, and harnesses a wider range of perspectives for strategic innovation. Mentoring thus emerges as a key strategy for organizations aiming to nurture a leadership cadre that mirrors the vibrant diversity of the global marketplace.
Furthermore, the compelling link between mentoring and enhanced employee retention rates, with organizations reporting a 22% increase, highlights another reason why companies are keen on integrating mentoring into their leadership development arsenal. In the competitive talent landscape of 2024, mentoring programs not only secure a pipeline of future leaders but also significantly boost engagement, loyalty, and workplace satisfaction. This creates a win-win scenario, where individuals achieve their personal best while contributing to the overarching success and resilience of their organizations.
Twomentor is a Global Advisory Service Company focused on mentorship, sponsorship, and leadership development founded by Julie Kantor with many nationally recognized clients in multiple industries. We believe in the power of two to drive employee engagement, and retention and elevate high potential employees. The team has much experience with M & As, ERG + BRGs, conference speaking, and custom-building dynamic winning initiatives.

Mentoring & Your Employees’ Mental Health: What Companies Can Do

The percentage of full-time US workers who are dealing with mental health concerns has dramatically increased in recent years. According to the World Health Organisation, stress and depression account for over 12 billion lost working days annually. The mental health epidemic is now stated to impact 1:2 individuals globally
The surprising significance a mental health mentorship program can play in promoting employee well-being is something that more employers are starting to understand.
Mentoring programs are a powerful tool for supporting and promoting the good mental health of employees, yet most programs are touching an absolute fraction of the workforce and do not fit a ‘one size fits all model.’
In this blog post, we will focus on the specific ways mentorship programs could benefit the workforce by minimizing difficulties with mental health, anxiety, and isolation.
We will look at how mentoring might be beneficial and what businesses can do proactively with a little strategy, engineering, and heart.

Benefits of Mentoring for Reducing Isolation and Promoting Mental Health

Courtesy of PixaBay
In 2022, Donald H. Taylor’s L&D Social Sentiment Survey revealed that mentoring has risen to #4 among the preferred learning and development strategies for L&D teams, up from #6 in 2021. This is the largest increase in rank compared to other strategies on the list.

The pandemic caused a 30% surge in mentoring initiatives at organizations, with approximately 56% to 71% of companies now utilizing mentoring to some extent, as per DDI and LHH.

Workers are feeling increasingly anxious due to a fundamental shift in their perception of work caused by the pandemic. People are reevaluating the significance of work in connection to their overall life goals and are choosing to change jobs accordingly. Companies are recognizing the importance of mentoring to address employee retention and engagement challenges (Cook, 2023 & MentorCLIQ).

Employees face a variety of difficulties in today’s fast-paced and frequently excluding workplace, which can be detrimental to their mental health. Workplace mentoring programs, though, are a bright spot.

Let’s explore how mentorship can significantly lessen isolation and improve everyone’s mental health at work.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Emotional Support and Connection – Mentoring fosters a strong emotional bond between mentors and mentees, reducing loneliness and isolation. At TwoMentor, we have been recommending more peer-mentoring models to clients where everyone has something to offer and learns from each other. A mentor-buddy model we love.
Building a Supportive But Smaller NetworkS – Mentees have access to a helpful network within the company through mentoring ties. A strong support system helps foster a sense of community and lessens the isolation some workers may feel. Smaller meetings will also drive more productivity and feelings of ‘ownership’ in decision-making.
Recognizing the Limitation of Zoom and TEAMS calls: People want to be part of something and add value. Sitting on the outskirts of Zoom and MS Teams calls had prompted a planned disengagement in the workplace which isn’t healthy. I.e . how many of us are multi-tasking, placing Amazon orders, reading texts, and leaving calls a bit lower in energy? Mentoring facilitates a 1:1 or 1:3 connection tripling engagement.
Skill Development and Empowerment – Mentoring boosts personal growth and skills. As mentees gain knowledge and abilities, their self-confidence and self-esteem rise, positively impacting mental health and reducing workplace loneliness. Feeling like someone out there cares about your professional and personal success is the foundation of meaning and psychological safety.
Coping Strategies and Resilience – Mentors offer valuable advice and coping strategies by sharing their own experiences of overcoming challenges. This builds resilience and helps mentees handle stress and adversity better, mitigating the adverse effects of isolation on their mental health.
What Companies Can Do?
Bottom Line: Employee mental health is essential for productivity and satisfaction with work in today’s demanding workplace. As shared, companies are becoming more aware of how mentoring programs may improve well-being, lower stress, improve psychological safety, and foster a sense of community.
Here are specific actions that companies may take to set up efficient mentoring programs and give employee welfare priority in a workplace that is rapidly changing:

1] Establish a Structured Mentoring Programs With High Touch Implementation and Holistic Components
Create world-class mentoring programs within the organization that pair growth-minded employees who both seek and have to offer guidance and support. A structured mentoring program ensures that mentees have a dedicated mentor to turn to for emotional support and guidance. For a smaller workforce, we recommend some flash mentoring sessions and industry association affiliations.
2] Provide Wellbeing Training and Exposure for Mentor Community to Know How to Best Help Each Other
Offer training on mental health awareness (like mental health first aid), and wellbeing and support a mentor community, equipping them with the skills to recognize signs of distress, provide empathetic listening, and offer appropriate resources or referrals when needed.
3] Allocate Time and Support from Top on 1:1 Relationship Building Mentor-Mentee + Sponsor Relationships
Promote the development of strong and trusting 1:1 relationships between mentors and mentees (or sponsor-proteges). Regular check-ins and feedback sessions can ensure that the mentoring relationship is mutually beneficial and supportive. Most mentor programs fail when people don’t sync up in the first 2-3 weeks after being matched and when people are not coordinated on scheduling sessions.
4] Encourage Open Communication
Create a culture of open communication within the organization where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health concerns with their mentors (minor) and HR or outside consultant, EAP (major). Encouraging honest and non-judgmental discussions can help reduce the stigma around mental health and foster a supportive work environment.
5] Provide Access to Mental Health Resources
Complement the benefits of mentoring with access to professional mental health services. Offer counseling services, employee assistance programs (EAP), and mental health workshops to ensure employees have comprehensive support when needed. By personally sharing and mentoring others on the benefits of the EAP program at a past company I worked at, three others utilized it and got inexpensive therapy– a win! (Mentors- remember, you are not therapists, but you can be a source of information on how to get access through the company to resources under employee benefits).
Implementing these actions demonstrates the company’s commitment to employee well-being and fosters a supportive work environment that promotes mental health and overall employee satisfaction. To fast-track TRUST + human connection, we also are BIG fans of well-orchestrated Flash Mentoring opportunities.
HERE TO HELP Julie Silard Kantor has spent 30 years in workforce development and served in leadership roles to build a more diverse, engaged workplace. She and her team custom-build + manage mentoring 2.0 initiatives to drive employee engagement, and retention, and support M&A integrations. She can be reached at or

5 Benefits of Mentoring in the Legal Profession

Let’s face it, we know we are dealing with a mental health epidemic and the hybrid work environment has made us more productive, but less sane. Here is our prior article on this topic.
We’ve decided to look at how to bridge the loneliness + quite quitting gap in many industries and look at the role (ROI) that faster-tracking human connection through mentoring can foster.
According to research by the Association of Talent Development, businesses that offer mentoring programs at work experience a 57% increase in employee engagement and retention.
This demonstrates how mentoring programs can significantly impact the company’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.
Since they offer unique advantages necessary for both professional and personal development, mentoring relationships are particularly crucial for those working in the legal profession.
In a job as demanding as law, where burnout and stress may routinely take their toll, mentoring emerges as a valuable tool to help people through obstacles, boost skill development, and foster resilience.
Below we have listed five benefits of Mentoring in the Legal Community. So, let’s begin.

1] Personal and Professional Growth

Programs for mentoring offer strategies to nurture and develop different talents. Employees are more likely to stick with your company if they have a mentor to help them develop professionally. According to Training Magazine, people who have mentors retain information 50% more than those who don’t.
The sharing of knowledge, abilities, and experiences between mentors and mentees is fostered by strong and trusted relationships. As a mentee, you can improve your confidence, communication skills, organizational ability, critical thinking abilities, and study techniques.
These skills, which align with what law firms look for in new hires, are essential for the mentee’s personal growth and significantly increase their appeal to potential employers. In addition to helping others, mentors develop themselves as well by strengthening their leadership capabilities and personal development. Most mentors state mentoring increases personal satisfaction as well as a greater desire to stay at their companies.

2] Reducing Burnout

According to a poll conducted in the fourth quarter of 2021, lawyers are becoming more burned out. In fact, in a poll conducted by Bloomberg Law, administrated quarterly since 2020, showed lawyers reported experiencing burnout almost 50% of the time at work!
Burnout and high levels of stress can come from the demanding nature of the legal profession, which can have a negative impact on mental health. Legal mentors are crucial in assisting mentees in identifying burnout symptoms, training them in stress-reduction strategies, and promoting the value of self-care. Mentors help mentees keep better mental health by teaching coping mechanisms and emotional support.

3] Enhanced Social Skills and Networking

Mentoring nurtures not only legal skills but also social skills crucial for success in the legal field. Building a strong mentor-mentee relationship demonstrates the ability to establish rapport and foster meaningful connections – qualities highly prized by law firms seeking lawyers who can relate to clients and understand their unique needs. Legal is a people business. People who trust others are often the door openers to future opportunities. In this vein, we have seen more industry association-driven mentor initiatives.
Mentors, in turn, expand their own networks within the legal industry, forging valuable connections that can influence their careers positively, their billable utilization, and their company’s bottom lines.

3] Broadened Perspective and Innovative Thinking

An excellent example of such an initiative can be seen at Baker McKenzie, a leading global law firm. Recognizing the power of diverse perspectives in driving innovation, the firm developed a comprehensive mentorship program with an emphasis on inclusion and belonging.
The firm believes in promoting a culture where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, reflected in their mentoring objectives. The program pairs junior attorneys with experienced partners who offer guidance, support and share invaluable insights from their journey in the legal profession.
Mentoring relationships offer diverse perspectives that enrich problem-solving and innovative thinking. Dialogues between mentors and mentees expose both parties to novel ideas, methods, and viewpoints. This fresh outlook can break down barriers, offering solutions to challenging issues within legal practice, shaping more efficient outcomes, leveraging multi-generational perspectives, and expanding skill sets.


4] Professional Practice and Skill Enhancement

87% of the employees taking part in mentoring programs feel empowered and more confident as a result of their mentoring interactions.
Mentees frequently become more skilled trainees and proteges. The ease of asking a mentor for guidance and feedback is similar (and often more comfortable) to how trainees feel about their interactions with supervisors. This comfort promotes proactive inquiry and gives people the self-assurance to ask for help, which helps legal teams work together effectively and provides the best possible client service.

5] Long-Term Support and Legacy

The great majority of women (85 percent) and multicultural workers (81 percent), according to research from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), benefit highly from navigational assistance. You can learn the unspoken norms from mentors, get a map of the unexplored power corridors, and learn “the business behind the business.”
A platform for continual learning and development is provided by mentoring relationships, which offer lasting support. Even when official mentoring sessions are over, the relationship between the mentor and mentee can continue to serve as a solid source of advice and promote resiliency in the face of new problems. The mentoring cycle in the legal community is perpetuated by mentees who have benefited from it moving into mentorship roles.
In essence, mentoring relationships within the legal community go beyond merely imparting knowledge; they act as stimuli for development on all levels—personal, professional, and emotional. Participating in these interactions allows legal professionals to widen their viewpoints, develop resilience against burnout, and set the groundwork for a successful and long-lasting career.
Facilitating mentorship in the legal sector is an investment in your success and the future of the legal community, regardless of whether you elect to be a mentee or a mentor.

Happier Employees: Let’s Revisit Quiet Quitting

“Julie, I am no longer going to put in 120%,” Barry* shared with me after his finance company had a second round of layoffs and he started feeling distrustful and overwhelmed with the additional responsibilities placed on him. The layoffs were not financially motivated and he lost 14 team members. “Maybe I will shoot for 85%, there is more I want to do with my life now,” he confided.
“Quiet Quitting” is shedding light on how professionals see work and sparking conversations about our relationship with workplaces. It isn’t the same as quitting your job completely. It actually means finding a balance between work and life by meeting the requirements and then focusing more time on other aspects of life. It might mean a planned disengagement which we will discuss below in greater detail. Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into this. The rise of “quiet quitting” goes beyond the social media hype. Supported by an Edelman survey of 36,000 people, it’s clear that those aged 18 to 26 are wrestling with major worries – safety, well-being, money, and adapting to rapid changes.

So….what are some of the motivations behind quiet quitting and what can companies do?

According to experts in GQ magazine, people are using “quiet quitting” to deal with burnout. Many younger workers, especially those in their 20s from Generation Z, feel overwhelmed by burnout. About 54% of Gen Z workers are thinking about leaving their jobs because of it. The assumption during the past few years has been that working from home would reduce burnout and yield more time for family and hobbies. Zoom and MS Teams ‘saved the day’ enabling people to work remotely, meet online, and collaborate. Research shows productivity did go up significantly (who needs a 90-minute commute!) but mental health and wellbeing plummeted. As a result of the pandemic, a lot of people of all ages around the world are struggling with their mental health. Nearly 80% of young people are dealing with problems like depression, anxiety, and feeling disconnected or disappointed.

Let’s look back at a few workplace trends that emerged from 2020 to the present. How the way we work changed.

First, many people lost jobs and client contracts in 2020. Then, in 2021, millions left their jobs as opportunities increased and unemployment was low. This big wave of leaving work has been referred to as the “Great Resignation.” People, especially parents, felt too much pressure to the breaking point with schools closed and lack of childcare. A survey by the Pew Research Center showed low pay, not many chances to grow, and feeling disrespected made Americans quit their jobs last year. Many were disappointed by their companies’ handling of COVID-19 and became increasingly isolated with task orientation and dwindling ‘water cooler’ chat that fostered belonging and trust. Being on back-to-back Zoom calls for 6-8 hours a day also had a detrimental impact over time so people elected to multi-task and elected a ‘planned disengagement’ model for coping with these changes. Many chose to no longer put in extra effort beyond their job requirements.
This phenomenon has started to worry business leaders and human resources professionals concerned about maintaining high levels of employee engagement, especially during economic uncertainty. While employees may be striving to retain their jobs with fears around a 2023 recession, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be going the extra mile, particularly when they’re asked to do more with fewer resources.
For individuals in their twenties, entering the workforce during the pandemic has been marked by a series of disruptions. This includes the novel experience of remote work, which has left an indelible mark on their professional journey. As highlighted in an article by The Wall Street Journal, these young workers had to adapt to a transformed work environment, grappling with the effects of remote work and its associated challenges.
What Employers Can Do
Enhancing employee engagement and tackling problems like “quiet quitting and disengagement” are both made possible by revisiting the apple-pie but complex world of mentoring initiatives. Companies can successfully increase employee dedication and value within the organization by developing a strong mentoring culture. The phenomenon of quiet resigning, in which workers gradually leave without giving any obvious symptoms, is likewise combated by this proactive strategy.
Let me just stop and ask a question here. Have you ever been to a professional conference where leaders at the podium, when talking about their professional trajectory or success don’t refer to at least one mentor? In fact, at every conference I attended in the past 24 months, the leading piece of advice to young professionals has been “get a mentor” or “get a sponsor” (someone who can champion you behind closed doors).
Organizations can lower the expenses associated with staff turnover by increasing employee retention rates through mentoring. Mentoring helps to revitalize the energy of the workforce and foster an environment that is happy and productive, which is especially important in the post-pandemic setting.

Research indicates that mentorship benefits both individuals and companies. A CNBC and SurveyMonkey study found that 89% of employees with mentors feel valued by their colleagues, compared to 75% without mentors. Becoming a mentor can enhance your career and contribute to increased engagement, retention, and productivity among employees. This leads to a question: Can mentoring actually help companies keep employees engaged and interested?
Mentoring has become super important for businesses, especially after the pandemic. Skilled workers are okay with leaving their jobs for better ones. They want a better life, balance, pay, and learning chances. A lot of people, like a whopping 65% or even more, kept looking for new jobs in 2021, 2022, and 2023 (PwC).
Businesses in the US lose an incredible amount of money, almost 1 trillion dollars because employees leave and it costs a lot to replace them, sometimes twice their salary (Gallup). Regardless of their role– workers, bosses, or even higher-ups – those who have mentors are way less likely to think about quitting their jobs (CNBC/SurveyMonkey).
Quiet quitting arose as a response to the question: “How are you demonstrating care for your employees?”
Workers now seek more than just a paycheck – they want an experience that values their holistic well-being. This trend highlights the need for mentoring programs, which show genuine investment in employees, ultimately curbing the quiet quitting phenomenon and fostering a supportive workplace culture.
Julie Silard Kantor has spent 30 years in workforce development and served in leadership roles to build a more diverse, engaged workplace. She and her team at TwoMentor custom-build mentoring initiatives to drive employee engagement, and retention, and support M&A integrations. Contact:

Are Managers Calling it Quits?

Summer is over, the kids are getting ready to go back to school, and it’s that time of year when the job market starts to feel some heat. The last two years took business leaders into new territory. In this unpredictable environment, leaders experienced more employee turnover and burned-out employees than ever before. Managers are being impacted in big ways, and according to Gallup 54% are looking and open to new opportunities. The thing that struck us in particular (okay, my jaw dropped when I read the study this week) was that only 22% of managers felt their companies cared about their wellbeing- a decline from 47% in 2020!

This season’s trends show that organizations will continue dealing with significant challenges – especially when hiring and retaining top talent. In addition to an exhausted workforce and an incredibly competitive landscape, a possible economic downturn adds another level of complexity to the current job market.

Preparation is vital as leaders approach an ever-changing market. Here are the trends you must consider as we enter the 2023 fall employment market.

Quiet Hiring
Quiet quitting made waves late last year as employees refused to put in extra effort regarding the roles. Coined “quiet quitting,” this bare-minimum approach resulted in the company’s retaining talent but losing the skills and capabilities they provided.

In 2023, forward-thinking executives turned this trend on its head and introduced “quiet hiring.” This approach shows leaders focused on introducing new skills and capabilities to current employees rather than seeking new hires externally.

Flexibility: A Key Driver For Talent
The desire for hybrid working conditions is here to stay. Today’s employee emphasize and prioritize their need for a more conducive work-life balance. As a result, organizations continue to invest in new ways to improve the experience of their employees.

Increased flexibility comes in many forms, but some of the most important aspects of this trend include:

– Ability to work from home
– Increased employee control over scheduling and hours
– Stability in their schedules
– Paid leave
– Projects they work on
– Who they’re working with

Organizations demonstrating a commitment to flexibility and effective coordination are seen as more competitive and desirable to potential talent.

The Gen Z Skills Gap
Social isolation is one of the most damaging lingering side effects of the pandemic, and it has hit Gen Z the hardest. According to a report by Gartner, 46% of Gen Z employees surveyed said that the pandemic has made it more difficult to pursue their education and career goals. Additionally, over 50% agree their education has not adequately prepared them to enter the workforce. Without the proverbial water cooler connections, informal mentoring in many companies has also taken a dive.

So, what are these skills the up-and-coming workforce is lacking? In short, soft skills. Many employees to lack skills related to:

– Negotiation
– Networking
– Public speaking
– Social stamina
– Attentiveness
– Verbal communication

…. and social anxiety is playing a central role for many of all generations.

Addressing this challenge is no easy feat. Companies will need to reconsider their views of professionalism, rethink employee engagement and wellbeing initiatives while providing the training and resources required to positively impact today’s workforce.

Final Thoughts
Many current challenges are historic, meaning today’s leaders face problems that don’t have an existing playbook regarding the solution. Of course, this is to be expected as we move on from a life-changing and generationally shaping event such as the pandemic. Being open, prepared, and flexible offers leaders and business executives the best solutions and results.

Why Are We So Grateful For All The People Who Mentor?

In the intricate tapestry of human development, mentors serve as beacons of guidance, illuminating the path toward personal and professional growth.

The significance of mentors cannot be overstated, as they play a pivotal role in shaping individuals into competent,confident, and well-rounded beings.

This article explores the profound impact of mentors and goes into the reasons why we are deeply grateful for these guiding lights. At Twomentor, we also more and more see the value of mutually beneficial alliances and peer to peer mentoring— a great win/win in the modern day workplace.

Knowledge Transfer and Skill Enhancement
One primary reason for our profound gratitude towards mentors lies in their ability to transfer knowledge and enhance skills (Agile, 2023). Mentor’s have vast amounts of experience and learning that they are open to sharing in the right time and the right place.

Insights are invaluable!

Through this knowledge transfer, individuals gain a deeper understanding of their chosen fields, acquire essential skills, and develop a solid foundation for future success.

Personal Growth and Self-Reflection
Mentors not only contribute to professional development but also play a crucial role in fostering personal growth. Through constructive feedback and guidance, mentors encourage self-reflection, helping individuals identify strengths and areas for improvement (Bradley 2023). Having a sounding board who can challenge and encourage can turn the tides on a career that’s feeling a bit lackluster.

This introspective process cultivates a sense of self-awareness and resilience, enabling mentees to navigate challenges with grace and adaptability.

Building Confidence and Self-Esteem
A mentor’s encouragement and belief in their mentee’s potential can have a transformative impact on self-confidence and self-esteem. In times of great change, resiliency and vision-ahead are paramount.

The reassurance provided by mentors empowers individuals to embrace challenges, take risks, and pursue ambitious goals.

The nurturing environment created by mentors fosters a positive mindset, instilling a belief in one’s abilities that extends far beyond the mentorship relationship.

In one study, physicians who mentor others or are mentored showed a 62% increase in retention.

Networking Opportunities and Elevating Professional Connections
Gratitude towards mentors also stems from the networking opportunities and professional connections they might also chose to facilitate. Mentors, often well-connected within their industries, may open doors to a broader network of like-minded individuals (Role of Mentorship – FasterCapital, n.d.). High Potential employees that have Sponsors within the company or externally may truly benefit from these championing relationships as well

These connections provide mentees with access to valuable resources, diverse perspectives, and potential career opportunities, ultimately contributing to their long-term success.

Role Modeling and Values Transmission
Mentors, by virtue of their role as guides and advisors, become living embodiments of the values and principles that pave the way for success. Their ethical conduct, unwavering dedication, and resilience serve as a powerful source of inspiration for mentees. Each company has a set of core values, good mentors understand these foundational values and can help other embrace them.

Witnessing these qualities in action motivates individuals to actively cultivate similar traits within themselves. This transmission of values through mentorship extends far beyond the professional realm, permeating various facets of life. It acts as a catalyst for the development of responsible and principled individuals, creating a ripple effect that positively influences not only the mentees but also the broader community and society at large.

Emotional Support and Guidance
Beyond professional and intellectual growth,mentors offer invaluable emotional support and guidance. The mentor-mentee relationship often extends beyond the confines of the workplace or academic setting. We see this a lot with people who are Quiet Quitting. They have lost hope. Having a trusted talk (or several) with a mentor might be a turning point in overcoming challenges and staying the course.

Mentors become trusted confidantes, providing a safe space for mentees to share concerns, seek advice, and receive encouragement during challenging times.

This support fosters a sense of belonging and resilience, reinforcing the mentee’s ability to navigate life’s personal and professional complexities. Of course, we note a mentor is not a therapist and the relationship should have some solid boundaries.

The gratitude we feel towards mentors (and mentees) is grounded in the multifaceted impact they have on our lives. From knowledge transfer and skill enhancement to fostering personal growth and emotional support, mentors play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of individuals’ lives. Most mentors will often tell us that they get just as much out of the relationship as their mentees.

As we acknowledge the immeasurable contributions of these guiding lights, it becomes evident that mentorship is not merely a professional transaction but a deeply enriching and reciprocal relationship that transcends time and circumstance.

A ‘Family’ Breakdown: How to Lose a Merger or Acquisition (M & A) in the First 6-Months

It always irked me when companies would position themselves as families.
“Come join the XYZ family.”
“We are just one big happy family here.”
It’s heart-warming concept at the beginning as it is human nature to want to belong and be part of a family…. but tell that to someone who just got laid off or moved on to another company. Within 24-hours they lose their position, their email account, work brothers and sisters, work-wives or work-husbands, and can feel shunned as they drift further and further away from the mother ship.
With all that said, working in the M & A (Merger & Acquisition) space with many companies, I can’t help but see a familial overlay to why so many firms fail and employees quietly quit.

The companies that merged are now making plans, merging systems, cultures, employees, reducing redundancies and the leaders (i.e. the parental figures here) are behind closed doors meeting… a lot.
It’s like having a new stepfather or mother who has their own kids and all move into the same house. The parents are on the 3rd floor, hopefully with good intentions, talking things through and the kids are a few levels down— often fearful and anxious.

“Will I lose my job”
“Why aren’t they friendly”
“I don’t think he likes me”
“Should I brush up my resume and look for something new?”
“Their health benefits are not as good as ours were”
“How am I going to manage a remote team, we used to get together in person but now we are spread all over the place”
… And the leaders keep talking and planning how they will best steer the ship. And underneath them, there are dozens, 100s if not thousands of confused employees that are feeling change-adverse with most wanting to part of the solution, others feeling fight, flight, freeze (or fawn) reptilian brain angst.
… and some leaders were gone before day one, perhaps as part of the gameplan or a cash incentive. Leaving a big gap and furthering confusion.
At this stage gossip starts running rampant and the US/THEM conversations begin. It’s a natural response to change and we could all brush up on the book Who Moved My Cheese on our own attitudes about handling change.
Understanding to be able to communicate about the modifications taking place helps the employees, especially those people managers that have teams reporting to them. Their teams are looking for solid direction, people to quell their anxiety and “I’m not sure yet,” will only last for so long. They want answers.
Mergers & Acquisitions happen so much these days in corporate America that some companies have permanent Unification Offices.
HR will often step in here with training to help onboard the new employees, and a lot will be focused on paperwork, systems, policies and of course the dog-and-pony show to feel proud of the company one is joining and to then be able to sell it well.
With one company, an HR leader with a big heart-for-the-people brought my team in to UNITE the new teams (‘siblings’ in this family analogy) quickly and fast track trust.
We used tried and true mentoring best practices but with an important twist. A little engineering went a long way…
Starting with people managers, we utilized the power of peer- to- peer to provide each person an onboarding-through-the-change ‘Mentor Buddy.’ In fact, we then scaled the opportunity for all people managers so that they could have connection, support, learning from people on the other side of the merger. It was an incredible win/win.
“They are just like us”
“She showed me how to use their CRM system”
“We are going to meet in person next week for lunch”
“He connected me to the right person to help me with XYZ issue”
“They really want to understand how we were able to grow so fast last year and what systems worked the best for us”
We utilized an 8-Step MIB (Mentoring-in-a-Box) process and had a lot of fun with speed mentoring to turbo-charge early connections. Matches in these initiatives are often for the first 6-months of the unification and last 4 – 6 months.
A month later, the parent leaders are hopefully ready to implement a more cohesive and winning team. Joining together on the ground floor with a game plan they will strive to build a successful and collaborative winning organization, together. For some companies they do the pre-work before the acquisition, others take years and unfortunately suffer loss of good people. Reduction of US/Them mentality is the way forward. United.