In a hyper-connected, fluid world, companies must act on how to better help employees connect and belong. Stanley Consultants has around 1,000 geographically-dispersed employees (“Members), serving clients and communities in 26 locations around the world since 1913. Our mentoring program is one of several company-sponsored programs, designed to improve connection, communication and decision-making by helping encourage diverse discussion, explore inter-generational blind spots and navigate choice and uncertainty.
A company-wide pilot program was initiated in December 2018, focused on engaging, empowering and supporting individuals in their career development choices. A steering group was formed to develop “rules of the road” so that participants would feel comfortable in their interactions and to set expectations around duration, frequency and connectivity (minimum one hour over six months, connecting in person or via technology as appropriate). Members had an opportunity to become a mentor, mentee or both, with mentor-mentee pairs being matched according to specific interests, needs and skills.
The response has been tremendous. With over 13% of our workforce applying to our first program, 57 mentor-mentee pairs were formed to agree and progress mutual goals, with six participants serving as both mentees and mentors and two mentors having multiple mentees. Mentees reported the value of a dedicated mentor outside their direct reporting line to help navigate personal and professional choices and challenges. Cross-generational connection has significantly improved, pairing mentors and mentees with an average industry experience of 25 and 8 years respectively. Based on this success, a second mentoring program incorporating feedback from initial participants will be rolled out alongside a new reverse-mentoring program.
As a mentor, I enjoyed the chance to share thoughts and experiences with a younger member. As a mentee, I appreciated the encouragement to think beyond my technical discipline and consider the ways in which we all can market our skills services every day.
Mentoring and Reverse Mentoring programs are essential building blocks as to how companies must make better connections in a hyper-fluid world. They provide our Members with a genuine opportunity and an active support network to help assess, navigate and balance competing experiences, priorities and choices. They are central to Stanley’s People First strategy and our active mission to provide an exceptional company experience and a strong sense of belonging for all.