A global division of an FMCG Multinational Corporation wished to further develop the leadership and management skills of two core groups of Managers. They invited VBL to deliver a programme that would engage and de-velop both groups by providing a mentoring programme.
A snapshot of their learning culture is epitomised in this summary statement:
We work as an international team and are the epitome of global networking. Because we believe in developing a pipeline of talent for the global business we have high standards. We want individuals who want to be involved in the bigger picture and are keen to develop new skills and experiences. We learn through doing, as well as through formal training. Our culture focuses firmly on the individual.
Therefore, enhancing the Senior Managers’ mentoring skills and developing Middle Managers’ leadership skills through the VBL mentoring programme fit with the organisations learning culture.
The objectives of the programme differed for each group: For Mentors the focus was on developing awareness around the importance of mentoring for Managers, building a strong mentoring relationship between Mentor and Mentee, developing a set of strong mentoring skills and building trust and rapport with a Mentee.
For Mentees the focus was around using their Mentors and the programme to improve self-awareness and personal effectiveness and to develop authentic leadership skills from a Managers perspective. Other objectives were to improve relationship building and networking skills and develop the ability to career navigate through the business. Finally Mentees were given the opportuni-ty to maximise the benefits of the mentoring relationship and role model some of those senior leadership skills Approach
Once the solution was identified as a Mentoring Programme, the HR Department sponsored the programme which ran for 6 months. The 26 participants were drawn from both Europe and North America and included 12 Mentors and 13 Mentees – one Mentor worked with two Mentees. VBL designed, developed, co-ordinated and delivered the programme, as well as evaluated the out-comes and results of the programme ready to feed back to the HR Department at the end of the 6 months.
The matching of Mentor with Mentee was based on the strengths of the mentor and the development needs of the mentee, rather than geographical location. This approach worked well because it maximised the learning needs of each Mentee and gave each Mentor scope to develop their mentoring skills from a position of strength in a global and remote environment.
The programme was also designed to be taken in-house over a two to three year period of time. This enabled VBL to work to the learning philosophy of 70, 20, 10, a philosophy exactly in line with this particular multinational corporation culture.
70% of the development occurs through the key actions and objectives each Mentee took back to their job. These were developed from the workshops and through the on-going mentoring relationships. Mentees were able to apply their learning to the leadership of the teams they managed. In particular their learning from the workshops and the additional learning from their Mentors .
Mentors were able to apply their mentoring skills back in the workplace. These skills were further practiced and enhanced with their matched Mentee - something which gave the Mentors the confidence to share their mentoring skills around the business.
20% of the development occurred through the on-going mentoring relationships developed in the workshops. Mentors and Mentees independently connected at least once a month and have continued to do so post-programme. During the programme VBL supported the Mentors by telecoms to further develop their mentoring skills. In addition VBL facilitated a 180 feedback questionnaire for all of the participants at the end of the programme. This enabled both Mentors and Mentees to re-view and recapitulate their learning.
10% of the development happened through the mentoring and leadership workshops delivered by VBL across Europe and North America. This included the introduction of mentoring models and the learning of mentoring skills in a workshop environment with an EQ approach using blended learning techniques. Mentees learnt additional knowledge and skills around effective leadership.
All mentoring relationships worked well throughout the duration of the 6 months programme. A number of mentoring relationships continued past the concluding date and will continue into the future.
Each mentor and mentee worked together in specially designed blended learning workshops based at locations in Europe and North America to develop both mentoring and leadership skills. These skills were complemented by the knowledge and experience gained from the opportunity to network across the global areas of the business during the workshops.
Mentors had support from VBL to further develop their mentoring skills via telecoms as their mentoring relation-ships progressed. This provided additional learning opportunities specific to the skills required for the individual Mentee.
A number of Mentors have offered their mentoring ser-vices to other Middle Managers following the programme. This offer has been based on their levels of confidence to do so and has meant other areas of the business and other Middle Managers have benefited.
At the conclusion to the programme Mentors and Mentees were asked to complete a questionnaire on the benefits and the results of the programme and their mentoring relationship. This proved to be a useful way to measure the results of the programme, not just the outcomes.
90% of Mentees and 61% of Mentors said the programme had resulted in a direct beneficial impact on the business and their work, with many gaining promotions.
96% of Mentees and 73% of Mentors said the programme had increased their motivation for their work.
94% of mentees and 81% of mentors said the programme had directly raised their engagement with the organisation.
90% of mentees and 87% of mentors said the opportunity the programme had offered demonstrated their employer cared about them and their development.
Finally, one mentor said, “Following the conclusion of the programme I have received requests to be a Mentor and found the whole experience of learning about the skills of a Mentor to be very helpful in other areas of my job.”