By Scott Handley, Sentek Global Talent Acquisition Manager
A quick Google search for the word “mentorship” yields countless results. There are differing perspectives, a variety of definitions and thousands of stories that illustrate the importance and impact of having a good mentor in our lives, both personally and professionally. In my experience, the best kind of mentor relationships are those that happen organically, over time and without provocation. Throughout my career (and I’ve had more than one career) I’ve had a number of mentors that have helped me in my journey, and conversely, I have done my level best to ensure that I’m available to provide mentorship to those who seek it. However, not everyone is forthcoming in their desire to obtain a mentor. Not everyone is comfortable asking for career guidance or help with their professional or personal growth. Nor is everyone confident in their own ability to serve as a mentor. That’s when a formal process is required to foster an informal relationship. Meaning, sometimes you need an encouraging push and the right tools to succeed when entering an unfamiliar relationship that is outside of your comfort zone.
In 2017, Sentek Global leadership made the decision, albeit a no-brainer, to invest in a robust and deliberate mentorship program. Sentek Global’s Founder and CEO, Eric Basu, believes that obtaining a mentor is vitally important. He states:
Whatever your career path, you should look for like-minded mentors who have been successful at skills in which you desire to be exceptional. In your company, you should actively encourage the process of people seeking mentors and, if practical, formalize the process to ensure that people in your company see that they have a career path, not just a job. This will improve morale, retention, and recruitment.”
This notion of improving retention and enriching the lives of our employees is the primary reason we stood up the Sentek Global Mentorship Program.
Today, over twenty percent of our employees are engaged in the program and we’re expecting that number to increase by 10% or more in 2019. I mentioned earlier the idea of creating a formal process to foster an informal relationship. Our program does come with a few formalities:
- Requisite 4-hour Mentoring Essentials 101 Workshop for all Mentors (recommended for mentees)
- Signed Mentorship Program Understanding (MPU) – signed after discussing communication preferences, expectations and goals.
- 1-hour/month minimum (we require that one hour is set-aside to meet with your mentor/mentee)
Outside of these three requirements, the rest of the program takes on a life of its own. It really is organic and outside of me checking in from time to time, the mentor and mentee are off and running on their own. Sharing ideas, providing feedback and lending an empathetic ear. Mariana, a Senior Systems Engineer and Deputy Program Manager with Sentek Global, states that:
Sentek encouraged me to share my strengths as a mentor and simultaneously provided me the opportunity to be a mentee so that I could continue to grow myself. Moreover, I’ve reached a place in my career where I finally have something to offer and there is someone who wants what I have to give.”
The Sentek Global Mentorship Program is just one of the many ways that we are committed to providing our employees with the opportunity to learn, grow and give guidance to those who seek it, not just in their role at Sentek Global, but in their career and in life.
If you would like to learn more about the Sentek Global Mentorship Program, life at Sentek Global or are curious about opportunities, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.