• Workplace mentoring: part of your inclusion strategy

    November 11, 2016 by

    Mentor coaching two employeesIn a scramble to create more inclusive workplaces, many companies have implemented mentoring programs. The programs live in the Diversity and Inclusion space because often, minorities and women benefit the most from having a mentor. Research by Catalyst has found that female employees with mentors increase their salaries by 27% compared to women who do not have a mentor. Having mentors, says Kerry Stakem at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is “like having your own board of directors.” Depending on your situation, you seek help from different board members. If you have or want a mentoring program, think through these tips and examples.

    Set your objective. “One of the main mistakes many organizations make when starting a mentoring program is not having a goal or program objective,” says Lori Long. Long is a business professor at Baldwin Wallace University who specializes in understanding and promoting effective workplace management. There are four objectives commonly found among mentoring programs, according to research done by APQC. Those are: “the transfer of discipline-specific knowledge; career pathing and counseling; the development of business acumen and soft skills; and the dissemination of “insider knowledge” about an organization’s structure, norms, culture, and professional networks.”

    Get everyone involved. Even if your program is intended to help women and minorities catch up to their White male counterparts, you should include all employees in the program. Often companies may only provide the opportunity to participate in the program to certain groups of employees, thus excluding some employees that may really benefit from such a program,” says Long. Plus, given the disproportionate number of White males in senior leadership, you likely need their participation as mentors. It’s a numbers game.

    Many companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Boston Consulting Group, assign mentors to all employees. To make a match, organizations may use demographic or personality questionnaires. Lori Long says that one approach is “to host mentoring networking events to allow potential mentors and mentees to meet each other informally.   Then the program can ask mentees to request their preferred mentors. “She believes mentees should make the request. The formality of the networking event can ease the intimidation of asking someone “Will you be my mentor?”

    PwC recognizes that not all matches are made in heaven. Employees can change their mentor every year during PwC’s open enrollment. Kerry Stakem, PwC’s Northeast Talent Acquisition Leader, says “If it’s not working then it’s doing neither side any good.” If an employee swaps their mentor for someone who they prefer, their buy-in goes up and participation becomes more voluntary. A voluntary evolution of the mentor-mentee relationship is key. They will naturally build a trusting relationship.

    Mentoring can evolve into sponsorship and advocacy. If the mentor-mentee relationship goes well, the mentor can become more of a sponsor. While a mentor can be passively available to guide their mentees’ development, a sponsor is more active. Lori Long says that the “sponsor’s role is much more proactive and can usually have a more significant impact on one’s movement within an organization. “ A mentor is good. Even better is a sponsor, and a real advocate is ideal.

    At BCG, Matt Krentz leads the Global People Team. Their mentors, he says, are responsible for tracking their mentee’s engagement and watching for someone in the company who can be a sponsor, and hopefully an advocate. An advocate is someone who more naturally puts themselves on the line for someone else.

    It should be reciprocal. Advocates and sponsors should benefit from the relationship too. Employees being advocated for should help their advocates look good. Kerry Stakem says that aside from the warm fuzzies of helping others develop, mentoring others builds her own leadership and listening skills.

    One company that is doing this right is Sodexo. They have programs for mentoring women at all levels, from entry-level to senior management. Here’s what they do for their entry-level hires (excerpt from BCG’s recent report, “The Rewards of an Engaged Female Workforce“):

    “French food services and facilities management company Sodexo is globally recognized for its commitment to diversity. …Sodexo launched mentorship programs at all levels, many targeting high-potential women and focused on operational roles. For example, promising junior women are offered networking opportunities and exposure to female leaders through virtual webinars. …“It’s a high-touch process,” says Anand, “but that level of people investment is part of our culture.” …Selected employees get matched to senior mentors, who are chosen through a similarly rigorous process and trained in good mentorship practices. The program matches people across business lines to ensure broad exposure for mentees. Most important, it works: women in the program are promoted significantly faster than their peers.”

    If your goal is to create a more inclusive workplace, a mentoring program can be part of the solution, but not the whole solution. Inclusion must be a core value and be integrated into the fabric of the organization.

     

    lori-longLori Long is a Professor at Baldwin Wallace University and instructs courses in human resources and general management. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources through the Human Resource Certification Institute. Lori is also the President of LK Consulting, LLC, a human resource management consulting firm and she is the author of “The Parent’s Guide to Family Friendly Work” (Career Press, 2007). Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

     

    kerry-stakem-pricewaterhousecoopersKerry Stakem is the Northeast Market Sourcing Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers with specialties in Assurance, Tax and Advisory Recruiting. She is excited by opportunities to connect people with their passions through her work.  Connect with Kerry on LinkedIn.

     

     

    matt-krentz-boston-consulting-groupMatt Krentz joined The Boston Consulting Group in 1983. He is a Chicago based Senior Partner and head of the firm’s Global People Team, which is responsible for attracting, developing, and retaining top talent across all cohorts. He is also a member of BCG’s Executive and Operating Committees, as well as the Consumer and People & Organization practice areas. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

     

  • Networking on college campuses builds relationships

    June 30, 2016 by
    Human resources photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Building a relationship with anyone requires time and effort. Once a relationship is established, both parties must work to maintain it. If recruiters and hiring managers want to really connect with college students, they should consider showing up on college campuses. These are networking opportunities not only for students but also for employers. Employers can create connections by personally interacting with college students, answering their questions, or by handing out business cards or other company information. Recruiters and hiring managers who spend time and energy on college campuses can not only network with students but also potentially build long-term relationships with schools. Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific, shares his thoughts on the importance of recruiters attending networking events on college campuses.

    “It’s important for organizations with ongoing hiring needs at the college degree level to build and maintain excellent working relationships with their target institutions. Many times, it takes a year or two for given organizations to begin building strong brand reputations at colleges and universities that will attract the top caliber talent they (and other employers) desire.

    Creating good recruiting relationships means you want college students talking to and talking up your organization to other students. Nothing is more powerful than trusted friends making a referral based on their own first-hand experience. Approved sponsorship opportunities with key student groups can also help cultivate student recognition of your organization.

    Developing a strong partnership with the college’s career services operation is probably the most important thing an organization can do. Doing so can open all kinds of opportunities to engage students and even faculty potentially. In my 20 plus years doing this, I have seen time and again those employers who commit to long-term relationships with schools (i.e., don’t abandon the relationship even when employers are not hiring or there may be a market downturn) will be the most successful.”

    Learn more on the importance of networking on the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific

    Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific

    Tom Vecchione is the Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific. Tom earned a Ph.D. in Counseling from Ohio University, specializing in college student career development. Tom has 22 years of progressively, responsible experience in career services/placement and university student affairs and works extensively with employers seeking to hire college students or alumni.

  • Career advancement: What it is and how to achieve it

    January 31, 2014 by
    Climbing career path; career advancement

    Climbing career path; career advancement. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Career advancement is one of the most important elements for employee satisfaction and retention at a company. According to Victor Lipman of Forbes, clear opportunities for career advancement are an “especially powerful” employee motivator. Speaking of his observations as a manager at multiple companies, Lipman notes, “At times when career paths were clear, individuals tended to be more motivated, with tangible goals to work towards. At times when career paths were dim or nonexistent, individuals tended to be less motivated, less focused, more uncertain. […] That’s why it makes good business sense for organizations of all sizes to spend time developing and maintaining thoughtfully structured career path systems.Continue Reading