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Spotlight: S&P Global's Mentorship Program (8313 hits)

By Jennifer London

S&P Global’s mentorship program has just launched its 22nd phase in 14 years and has a number of programs scheduled for 2018. With that much experience under their belt, Diversity Best Practices wanted to find out how their program is structured and their keys to success. Here is what we learned.

Mentorship Program Structure

The journey began in 2004 with the launch of their first, formal one-to-one program with 55 partnerships across North America and EMEA, and has evolved since then to include bespoke programs that span mentoring approaches. To date they have seen over 5,000 employees participate across all of their mentoring offerings. As the program became more global it also became more virtual and now includes North America, Latin America, EMEA and the Asia Pacific Region.

Formal mentoring matches last for 12 months with 100 pairs each phase. The programs includes a kick off /launch event to inspire the group and provide momentum as the partnership begins, along with a three and six-month check-in for the whole group to review progress toward goals. Each of these check ins happen virtually and there are always two scheduled to accommodate the multiple time zones.

Throughout the year the program support team sends out supplemental emails that include tips and templates on how to structure the mentor/mentee meetings and conversations, enrichment materials and other resources for the mentors and mentees to refer to as needed. In addition, there are multiple online platforms where mentees and mentors can access resource materials.

Although there is no mandate as to when the pairs should meet and how to structure those meetings, the minimum requirement is that each pair meet for one to two hours a month. The expectation is that mentees should set three to four goals and those are the things they are working towards accomplishing with their mentors. It is the mentee’s responsibility to schedule these meetings.

A new addition to the program structure are mentor calls. These calls are to facilitate information sharing and to act as a forum for mentors to share how the partnership is going, best practices and any roadblocks they are encountering and could use some help with. These have been well-received and will become a standard part of the program moving forward.

Mentor and Mentee Selection Process

Each phase of the mentoring program targets a specific “grade” level of employees and grade levels are rotated through each phase. Multiple factors are considered when deciding which level to invite to participate such as where they are not seeing a lot of growth, lateral or vertical movement, a particular grade where employees are choosing to leave the organization and general employee distribution. They also take into account data from employee engagement surveys to pinpoint where there is the most interest for mentoring.

HR is brought into the process to identify specific needs they are looking to address like job roles to fill or aspects of diversity that need to address. For example, S&P recently targeted women at grade 12 for a phase of the program based on information received from senior leaders and from engagement surveys that pointed to a desire from women at that level to participate in a mentoring match along with several smaller programs that are face-to-face and within the same division and one specifically focusing on employees in more senior global finance roles

Once the grade or target participants has been determined, employees are invited to apply for the program. Employees interested in the program must be in good standing and fill out a brief questionnaire that asks for basic information including the employee’s location and department. Employees are given three days to fill out and submit this application and deadlines are firm. Once the applications are received, there is a random drawing to choose the mentees for that Phase as each Phase is limited to 100 partnerships.

The first set of questions asks employees to share why they want to be a mentee, what the most important thing is they are looking for in a mentor and what they are looking to get out of the partnership. They are also asked to share any “deal-breakers” for them. For instance, an employee might request a mentor in a time zone that is not too far from the one they live and work in to make scheduling easier.

Employees are then asked to identify four areas of development, that are linked to S&P Global’s leadership essentials, in order of importance. Those areas are:
•Adopt a worldview
•Operate outside in
•Speak the truth
•Elevate people
•Execute with discipline
•Drive performance

Mentees list the top three additional areas of development they need to work on such as:
•Influencing and negotiating
•Navigating the waters of the company
•Becoming more digitally aware
•Work life balance; and
•Leading through uncertainty and ambiguity

Lastly, mentees are asked to share any personal interests like sports, books they like reading and what they do outside the workplace. Although they would never make a match on personal aspects alone, it is nice when that comes together as well.

Once again there is a strict timeline in which mentees need to complete these questionnaires. If they miss the deadline, they will not be able to participate and the implementation team will go to the waitlist to fill the spot. If potential participants are not able to meet the deadlines in the preliminary planning, it is usually a good indicator that they may not be able to keep to the commitments of the Program

Mentors are at least two grade levels above the grade level of mentees. The implementation team generally recruits 25 extra mentors for each phase to ensure that there is a diverse group to choose from and that someone is available to step in if another mentor is not able to commit for that phase. Mentors are able to serve multiple times but never in overlapping phases. Potential mentors are asked to fill out a complementary questionnaire to gather what they can offer, traits and characteristics that they admire in the workplace, and which of the leadership essentials and additional areas of development they excel at and where their strengths are.

Once all of this information is gathered, S&P employs a technology platform that helps aggregate the data to produce a preliminary list of potential matches based on alignment on the leadership essentials and areas of development. However, they do not rely solely on technology as what looks great on paper, may not always lead to a great match. Instead, each mentee is interviewed by a member of the volunteer implementation team to get a better sense of the mentee and gather any additional information that might inform the match process. After all of these interviews have been conducted, there are multiple match sessions during which the match team presents each mentee to the group and together they decide on the mentor matches. These match sessions are scheduled to accommodate multiple time zones so that everyone can be involved in these sessions without having to work extremely late into the evening or get up unreasonably early to participate and to ensure that the person who interviewed the mentee is in the room when their information is being presented.

More: https://www.diversitybestpractices.com/spotlight-sp-globals-mentorship-program
Posted By: Elly Moss
Wednesday, March 28th 2018 at 10:19AM
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