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Fostering a culture where colleagues feel empowered to be their very best is at the heart of realising our transformation plans. 

We believe mentoring plays a crucial role in creating and sustaining a high-performing, inclusive culture. That’s why we’ve given our mentoring scheme a complete overhaul and launched a new partnership with Guider.

Putting data and insight at the heart of our mentoring system 

Guider uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match compatible mentors in M&S with colleagues from every part of our business who are looking to learn and grow.

Budding mentees sign up to the platform and list the skills they'd like to develop. Guider will then suggest possible mentor matches to choose from. 

Nicole Edwards, Retail Food Operations Manager, Mentee, said:

“After listing the skills I was looking for support with, Guider produced matches that were bespoke for me – it felt really personal. From that point I could then choose who was the best fit and put some time in their diary, so it felt very professional too.

It’s been invaluable and Emma really has been the perfect fit. She’s helped me improve my confidence and be more self-assured, which isn't something you can learn overnight or from reading a book.”

Emma Burrell, International Food Manager, Mentor, said:

“I’m extremely proud of Nicole. Watching someone grow and develop is so rewarding – mentoring is much more than just another task. What’s so great about Guider is that you’re able to share your specific skills and experience with someone who needs it most, and someone you ordinarily wouldn’t have ever come into contact with!”

A connected culture

In the first six months, over 500 colleagues have signed up and benefitted from the new mentoring scheme. 

Seeing how technology can improve the way we connect all the different people in our business, and raise the profile and visibility of our collective skill set has been such an eye-opener. It’s also great for morale. 

M&S has a rich heritage stretching over 130 years and our people have always been at the heart of our business. 

Our partnership with Guider helps ingrain the data-driven, colleague-led culture vital to our transformation, while engaging, equipping and enabling colleagues to reach their full potential.