We are mentoring advocates first – and a mentoring software company second. We would love to live in a world where every company does mentoring right and goes about it using best practices. But unfortunately, mentoring is often one of those invaluable people programs that often ends up in the check-box category; implemented to fill a void or gap in an organisation’s People and Culture quota – but never really invested in, measured, or emphasised as a tool for creating real change for employees or company.
This is a real shame. Because companies and individuals who are involved in the best company mentoring programs see very real and tangible results – results like increased engagement, increased satisfaction, and increased diversity.
So to give you a bit of inspiration on your way to building a better mentorship program, here are a few of the best examples of company mentoring programs on Mentorloop.
iGrow – Philip Morris International
iGrow is a grassroots initiative created by employees, for employees at Philip Morris International.
The goal of the iGrow mentoring program’s team of volunteer program coordinators started this initiative to empower their fellow PMI colleagues from across the world by giving them an opportunity to hone their leadership skills, expand their network, grow as individuals, and be supported by someone outside of their immediate team.
iGrow started in 2020 in Neuchatel Switzerland with only a handful of participants and in just 2 years, expanded into a truly global program with participants from PMI departments all over the world. iGrow’s participants span the entire spectrum of the professional cycle. They have mentors and mentees from members of the senior management team, mid-level management, and to new people within the organization.
The iGrow mentoring program is a stellar example of a truly grassroots program that addresses an organization’s collective demand for mentoring. iGrow has since gotten even more support from the leaders at Philip Morris International and continues to grow and expand globally.
The Ziff Davis mentorship program allows employees within the Ziff Davis brand to connect with colleagues from all over the world.
This program uses a hybrid matching approach – allowing self-matching for role-specific skills while also making smart matches based on compatibility and general mentoring goals available.
This has encouraged employees to meet new people within the Ziff Davis brand. Through the program, junior employees have gotten more exposure to senior leaders who are able to guide them in growing relevant skills and progressing in their careers. This has also encouraged leadership teams across all divisions to commit to shaping and guiding those who are looking for mentorship.
Hear from some of the mentors and mentees in the Ziff Davis mentorship program:
The Ziff Davis DEI & HR programs team continues to find ways to improve upon this program and it’s still going strong today.
The United States Tennis Association
The USTA Cross-Cultural Mentoring Program is a great example of a workplace diversity & inclusion mentoring program done right.
In 2020, events involving racial injustice in the USA meant that for the first time, deep and candid conversations around diversity and inclusion were happening within the USTA. In light of this, the USTA Diversity & Inclusion team saw that a mentoring program could play a pivotal role in creating greater understanding and awareness of different cultural backgrounds while providing a safe environment for employees to learn about and share their experiences.
The program coordinators run this initiative as a peer mentoring program with every participant on the same level so they can focus on learning about each other’s background and culture instead of one mentoring or teaching the other. It has allowed them to create genuine connections that challenge unconscious bias among their people and has allowed participants to gain new understanding about their colleagues and their communities.
The USTA Cross-Cultural Mentoring Program has helped to improve connections and culture- as well as grow DEI initiatives in the organization.
Amplify: OLX Group
OLX Group launched their company mentoring program “Amplify” to their Global Product, Data and Tech (PDT) teams across 26 countries and 5 business units covering ~1300 employees. They had a few objectives for this initiative:
- Engage talent in richer ways
- Enable leaders and employees to find opportunities to hire and develop promising people
- Enhance cross-functional collaboration by connecting employees across businesses, roles, and geographies
What they found was that after a year of running the Amplify mentoring program, they enjoyed a culture-changing increase in engagement among PDT employees.
- 9% increase in employees who feel that their manager or someone in management showed a genuine interest in their career aspirations (84%)
- 5% increase in employees who felt that OLX Group was a company where they had opportunities to learn and develop (85%)
Due to the success of the program, they expanded Amplify by building a new cohort aimed at people manager capability open to all people managers at OLX.
OLX Group also found that the Amplify mentoring program has resulted in high engagement and enablement for a few key demographics:
- Women employees coming back from parental leave or have assumed bigger roles
- Employees working out of remote locations
- Employees looking to expand networks and build new skills
Encouraged by these results, OLX Group integrated the Amplify mentoring program for global campus graduates, giving them the opportunity to be mentored by an Amplify mentor who can help them navigate the organization and their new roles.
The Secret Sauce: There Isn’t One
These are just examples of what the best company mentoring programs look like. They also illustrate that each mentoring program should and will be different because each will align with the overall goals and culture of the company – as well as the specific goal of your people programs (succession planning, diversity and inclusion, learning and development etc.).
While there is no perfect formula for your creating the best company mentoring programs for your particular organization, these examples prove that the key to creating a good mentoring program and great employee outcomes is the same as creating a good anything: invest the necessary time, money, and effort into making it work.
Mentoring shouldn’t be a checkbox category – because it can make a real difference. You can start building an enviable mentoring program by checking out some of our best mentoring program resources.
And if you are interested in seeing how the Mentorloop platform can help you build an exemplary mentoring program, explore how it works or get your own program started by chatting to a mentoring expert and see a demo.