Developing a successful formal mentoring programme
Mentoring helps people to develop more effectively, build confidence and support the mentee to take control.
The list of benefits is extensive: greater job satisfaction, better knowledge transfer, smarter succession planning, faster progression, to name a few.
Mentors also benefit. Guiding and counselling others develops leadership skills, and mentors in turn demonstrate their willingness to take on greater responsibilities.
"Halfway through my mentoring, I was promoted"
Formal mentoring was launched at Enterprise's European headquarters in 2017 by the Enterprising Women committee, open to both men and women, connecting employees with mentors based on skills and experience.
Mentoring has become extremely popular as a result, and each year more campus colleagues get involved, with 55 mentoring partners participating this year.
The results have been remarkable: four level change promotions and eight same level promotions.
And the feedback from the mentors and mentees shows how the programme has greatly benefitted all participants.
Sonya told us being a mentor "taught me how I could take different perspectives on a situation, how I could handle them better in the future. I really enjoyed engaging with the mentee, understanding of what challenges they were facing, helping them through situations I had already faced in my career. I was concerned about how best to connect and help my mentee. I was worried about what I should and shouldn’t say. Finding the right balance is interesting. You’re not their manager, you're there simply to guide."
Sanita Johal joined the mentoring programme "to step up in my career. I believed I had the knowledge and skills to become a Supervisor but didn’t know how to show that I was ready. It was inspiring to hear Jennifer Koontz tell her story of how she reached her position. To enhance my leadership skills, Jennifer put me in charge of the intern Lean in Circle meetings. Halfway through my mentoring, I was promoted. I later found out that Jennifer had spoken to managers in my department to say she thought I was ready for the next step."
"You’re not their manager, you're there simply to guide"
Neal Klasing said, "I have had several mentors inside and outside the company and wanted to continue to pass along that knowledge and experience by becoming a mentor. My mentees have become friends. My biggest takeaway is that the objective is to listen, provide a new/different perspective and help guide them into their desired direction. It isn’t to help them achieve all of their goals in a specific timeframe. Just being a sounding board and advocate can provide the support needed."
"Just being a sounding board and advocate can provide the support needed"
"I snapped up the offer to become a mentee when my manager put me forward for the programme," Frankie said. "My goal was to push outside my comfort zone. I learned I can do anything if I really put my mind to it. Mentoring gave me the confidence to say yes to new opportunities. Everything that I learnt during the programme, I use and have passed on to my team. We have seen a huge change in behaviour and confidence in many team members. I could open up and ask unusual questions and not feel silly. I gained a friend for life, that I can always reach out to if I need any advice."