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To wrap up 2023, TechKnowCon hosted Benevity’s Bonnie Ting and Cindy Fitzel for a look into their robust technical mentorship program. In addition to the head count growth the company saw, high turnover rates in the industry highlighted the need for talent retention and new skill development strategies, and the siloed nature of Benevity’s engineering teams impeded cohesive growth and skill sharing.
“We knew that in order for us to stay competitive, we needed to have incentives specifically targeting retention.” – Bonnie Ting
Bonnie and Cindy, along with their steering committee members tasked with developing initiatives to meet these challenges, wanted more than just a basic mentorship program. They envisioned a whole new way to strategically empower their workforce, a way that would enhance technical skills, facilitate career development, break down internal knowledges silos, and have a positive impact on what it meant to be part of team Benevity.
Revolutionizing the matching process
It all started with an innovative approach to pairing mentors and mentees by using a matching algorithm. This approach ensured that each mentorship pair was well-suited, maximizing the potential for genuine skill development and career progression.
Focusing on competency over information dumps
With Benevity’s matching system in place, the next step was to steer their mentorships toward real-world enablement, measuring success beyond traditional metrics like course completion rates and satisfaction scores. They focused on tangible outcomes that exhibited proven technical competency and encouraged mentees to apply and internalize their newfound knowledge actively.
The results and the future
Though it is always a never-ending journey, their team has been able to successfully bootstrap a program that is impactful from the ground up. Relationally-driven enablement, fueled by strategic and effective mentor-mentee matching and directed toward real-world impact, has produced a better connected and more highly skilled workforce. And for Benevity, the fun is just getting started.
“100% of our participants would recommend the program to their peers and 97% of both mentors and mentees said their confidence has improved in their learned or taught skill.” – Bonnie Ting
Bonnie and Cindy plan to further integrate their mentorship program into the company culture, emphasizing the importance of diversity and empowering mentees. They envision a program that encompasses a blend of different learning formats – from self-paced eLearning to immersive, hands-on sessions. This diverse approach caters to various learning styles and preferences, making the program more inclusive and effective.
“There’s so much more we want to do with this program… like leveraging the leadership team and people leaders to increase engagement awareness and participation.” – Cindy
Benevity’s technical mentorship program is a beacon for tech companies worldwide. Learn more about how to emulate them within your organization, and check out the full recording of Bonnie and Cindy’s talk below.