Name: Tutor House
Founded in: 2013
Tip: “Use a mentor sooner rather than later.”
After receiving external funding, one-to-one tutoring service Tutor House rapidly grew from a team of five to 14 in just three months.
The company had hired people for certain roles, but founder Alex Dyer realised the firm hadn’t properly outlined their responsibilities. He noticed that internal cliques were developing and that there was general dissatisfaction in his growing team.
Alex took a step back and realised that he needed help from someone who was completely external and neutral. He found a mentor through a personal recommendation and started a course of 10 sessions with him.
“The first thing the mentor asked me was about the last time I checked in with how staff were feeling,” Alex said. “I was honest and said, ‘I don’t think I have this year’. Since then we’ve worked through a lot of the empathy side of things, looking at how people are thinking and feeling.”
The pair meet up for two hours every other week and the mentor sets goals to complete before the next meeting. They look at how successful he’s been, what worked and didn’t work, and how to develop.
The mentor also helped Alex structure a two-day workshop away from the office, looking at accountability, goal setting and reporting to your manager.
Working with a mentor has helped Alex to take personal accountability for things. He’s realised that people enjoy coming to work when they feel supported as an individual.
“I can’t say how important that realisation has been – now everyone is driving towards a common goal that we didn’t have before. I’ve delegated tasks, which has made people feel more empowered because they’ve got responsibilities. Those things didn’t exist three months ago.”