We have embarked on a new journey with a lofty dream to have all (yes, all) of our staff to be able to have a mentor to guide them through the ups and downs of work life in Titansoft. The mentor would act as a consultant, advisor, mirror and friend to his/her mentee, providing additional perspective and help bring out ideas to form resolutions to problems faced at work. To be able to do so, we have rolled out a mentorship program.
We call this program “Pathfinder“. You’ll see why.
The Discovery of Pathfinder
Pathfinder came about upon identifying certain trends in our Titaners through our T.Exchange program. We have come to realize that some of our Titaners are feeling a loss of direction with their role in the organization back in the second-half of 2016.
Realizing the potential magnitude of this issue, a task force was formed to work on it. Interestingly, while this could be easily passed on as a HR project to work on, we had a senior Product Developer on board with clear intentions to help his colleagues to grow.
The task force began by identifying the objective and milestones of the program over a 2 year time period. The overall goal was to instill a sense of direction in 70% of our staff within 2 years (Yes, it does seem hard to measure, but I will get to it later). And from here, Pathfinder has begun…
The Pathfinder Program
Since different staff at different job grades have different needs (naturally). It is not possible to simply have a one size fit all program. We had to breakdown the program further to tailor to these differences. As such, we have broadly categorized our Titaners into two classes, Seniors and Juniors.
What’s in it for our Seniors
Objective: To help them achieve a greater sense of purpose within the organization
How: Our seniors are eligible to receive coaching from an external consultant. In addition, they are able to provide guidance to our juniors.
What’s in it for Juniors
Objective: To accelerate their growth to quickly integrate them into our development processes
How: Receive guidance from their mentors.
How we intend to get there
From these objectives, we have identified the process of the Pathfinder program as:
- Identify interested Mentors
- Identify interested Mentees
- Pair them up
- Sample Mentoring Session
- Mentoring begins
The mentoring relationship is expected to last at least six months and it is entirely alright if both parties choose to extend beyond this.
1. Who wants to be a Mentor?
We opened up sign-ups to all of our senior Titaners and have them list down the qualities and values they think that they can impart to our juniors.
2. Who wants to be guided?
We then opened sign-ups for all Titaners, who are interested in looking for a mentor. As we believe that mentoring is a two-way street, where mentors too can learn or discover something new, we also had our mentees list their qualities and values they can bring upon as well.
We made both lists open and available to both parties so they are able to know what to expect.
3. The Get-Together session
We then held a matchmaking (or pairing rather) session for the mentors and mentees to share and clarify with one another about what they hope to learn and what they can offer. This was done through a ‘speed-dating’ styled conversation, where each pair had five minutes to converse.
Once the time is up, everyone will have to switch up and talk to someone different. This way, instead of simply approaching the mentor you have in mind, you would be able to explore the perspectives’ of others and may even discover a prospective new mentor.
At the end of the session, the juniors will openly pick their mentors and there are no limits at this point of time. A mentor could even have three or more mentees.
4. It’s Tryout Season
Of course, that was just the initial pairing. We decided to adopt the coaching perspective towards the program and have the mentors conduct a sample session with all of their initial mentees first to assess the chemistry between both parties.
The mentors will then make the decision to take in the mentee or not. At this stage, the pair will be confirmed and they can embark on their mentoring journey together for the next six months.
5. How do we know if it works?
Before the mentoring begins however, we will conduct an interview coupled with a survey to every mentor and mentee to establish a benchmark of their ‘sense of direction’ in the organization.
Throughout the mentoring period, HR will conduct check-ins every two weeks with both mentors and mentees in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and make changes if necessary.
And at the end of it, the same interview and survey will be conducted and tallied with the initial benchmark to establish the program’s overall effectiveness.
The idea of Pathfinder is to help our Titaners (of all levels) to be able to find a path meaningful to them within Titansoft. By having a mentor, it can be helpful to have additional perspective at work and provide a clearer path to embark on.
What do you think about the implementation of a program of this scale? Let us know in the comments below!