We worked with Sara Lee with our Internal Mentoring Programme for High Potential Managers.
In 2004, an internal mentoring programme for High Potential Managers was run for Sara Lee Intimates UK Ltd (now re-structured as part of DB Apparel). The prime products of the organization are in the intimate apparel sector (a key brand name is Playtex).
The programme was a pilot scheme and was designed to develop leadership potential by supporting the organisation’s succession planning process. Participants had been identified as “High Potential” Managers and mentors were Vice-Presidents and senior executives. As this was a new type of development for the organisation, the HR Director wanted Taylor Clarke to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme, including an assessment of ROI (Return on Investment).
In conjunction with the needs of the High Potential Managers Programme, we designed a 2 day programme to launch the mentoring scheme with a follow-up one day workshop.
Some 10 Senior Executives and Managers attended the workshop and 4 “pairs” of mentors/mentees subsequently worked together over the ensuing 18 months.
All potential mentors and mentees attended the first 2 day workshop where we examined the overall process, roles and skills involved in mentoring and provided participants with a solid start to their mentoring journey.
The programme was assessed to be effective development for both mentees and mentors with all mentoring relationships continued for at least 12 months. All mentees had found value in the relationship and had benefited from the off-line opportunity to work on their own development needs in a confidential setting. All mentors had found the role extremely useful in terms of personal development for themselves as well as for their mentee.
The organisation experienced major disruption whilst the mentoring programme was running – sale of Sara Lee Intimates UK Ltd to new owners and significant levels of redundancy. All mentoring partnerships continued despite the pressures being experienced by both mentors and mentees and this was seen to be an excellent support mechanism. Of the 10 originally trained mentors/mentees, some 7 have remained in the organisation – some mentees as well as mentors have, in fact, been promoted into higher level posts.