Webinar Recap: Formal Mentoring Programs Best Practices

Panelists: Elaine Pérez-Bell, Director and Senior Project Manager for the Diversity, Inclusion, and Corporate Social Responsibility Team at ADP; Chris Wilson, Senior Organizational Effectiveness and Development Consultant and Enterprise Talent Planning at Wells Fargo; Marilyn Wagner, Director of Client Fulfillment at DiversityInc

Two top professionals in the field of diversity and inclusion — Director and Senior Project Manager for the Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility Team at ADP, Elaine Pérez-Bell and Senior Organizational Effectiveness and Development Consultant,  and Enterprise Talent Planning at Wells Fargo, Chris Wilson — talked best practices for formal mentoring programs with DiversityInc’s Director of Client Fulfillment Marilyn Wagner.

“ADP is in the business of adding valuable tools and resources at every step of the employee lifecycle, from hire to retire,” Pérez-Bell said. “As a human capital management company and as an industry leader, we focus on development. So mentoring is directly aligned to what we’re all about.”

Key Takeaways

  • Pilot mentoring programs are an effective way to create an approach that works for everyone
  • Mentoring is critical for advancing diverse talent
  • A good mentoring technology tool will facilitate every step of the journey seamlessly.
  • Mentoring is a powerful development strategy

ADP’s Approach Takes Everyone into Account

At ADP, leadership created Business Resource Group (BRG) Connect to pull together employees from all across the company from the Business Resource Groups to create a pilot mentoring program.

“For BRG Connect, we invited all BRG leaders, all BRG sponsors, and BRG members with at least 15 years of tenure across all people levels. This was ranging from individual contributor, all the way up to senior executives. All of those folks were asked voluntarily, if they would serve as members,” Pérez-Bell said. “I’m sure all have heard the saying, failing to plan is planning to fail. This absolutely applies to mentoring programs. If you don’t plan your mentor population first, you run the risk of too much mentee demand and not enough mentor supply to meet it.”

In order to make sure they were matching the right mentor with the appropriate mentees, ADP asked both the mentor and mentee which capability or capabilities they connected with or they wanted to connect with. It makes the mentee focus on what they hope to get out of the mentoring interactions and prepares that mentor, too.

Wells Fargo: Mentoring Means Employee Development

“We recognize that through mentoring, our team members who participate in these programs, these opportunities have the opportunity to spend dedicated time reflecting on their development. Getting insider perspective from a mentor or co-mentees. It’s a very powerful developmental strategy for us,” Wilson said. “It’s an opportunity for our team members to really spend the time developing their skills.”

Because Wells Fargo is such a large organization, Wilson said mentoring is an important aspect of connecting employees geographically and across different management levels of the company. There are three different categories on their mentoring platform: self-directed, selection-based and executive top talent.

In the selection-based program, employees join when they are invited and noticed through a talent review process. It is for high-potential employees.

In the self-directed program, any team member can join and choose a mentor that has also joined to have a one-on-one relationship with.

The executive top talent program is for more senior executives who pair with a mentor on Wells Fargo’s operating or management committees and spend a year on development.

“We’re very fortunate in our organization to have a tremendous amount of effort around diversity and inclusion. And part of that is that we have team member networks across our organization that address certain diversity dimensions of Wells Fargo,” Wilson said.

To hear the full conversation with even more takeaways, listen here. For more on recruiting diverse people, career advancement and advice, visit DiversityInc.com and DiversityIncBestPractices.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and check out more webinars like this.

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