The development of mentoring conversations at Swarovski was initiated and launched by Petra Lockhart, Global VP for Learning & Development and sponsored by Anna Cocca, global HR business partner. Pockets and examples of informal mentoring were already in place at Swarovski but they had not yet established a shared approach to mentoring across the global business. Alongside establishing a good practice base for mentoring, they were looking to use mentoring to empower women in leadership as well as high potentials within the European business.
Their pilot programme launched in June 2014 supporting an initial 11 pairs across Europe. Global roll-out began in Asia/Pacific in February 2015 with another 12 mentoring pairs, a second Europe cohort in April 2015 doubling the number of mentoring pairs from the pilot and a further Asia/Pacific cohort in summer 2015.
The Conversation Space helped to design, set up and launch the scheme. They facilitated learning for mentors and mentees to focus on the key skills of mentoring, supported pairs to get off to the best start and helped grow internal capability through train the trainer sessions.
Some unique features of the programme were:
• Full day training workshops which were highly interactive and challenging
• Ongoing support via action learning sets to older mentors facilitated and peer supervision
• Matching and meeting up
• Full briefings for all Line Managers of mentees, including a live Q&A
• Encouraging the use of reflection journals
• Almost two thirds of mentees have been promoted or taken on extra responsibility since beginning the mentoring
• There is a continuously a long waiting list for each next round of mentoring
• 100% of mentors continued for a second year
• 30% of mentee’s line managers expressed an interest in taking part in the mentoring as a participant
• Following the workshops all participant responses agreed that they felt highly or very highly equipped to work as a mentor or mentee