Mentorship, sponsorship keys to building a strong and committed workforce: Ernst & Young
(Toronto, 12 April, 2011) Creating robust mentorship programs is one of the most effective ways for businesses to invest in their people and retain talent, says Ernst & Young, one of Canada’s “Best Workplaces” for 2011.
“Most employees want to grow their careers. That’s why we spend a lot of time mentoring and sponsoring our people,” says Stephen Shea, People Managing Partner with Ernst & Young. “Being named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces is an encouraging sign that we’re on the right track.”
Ernst & Young has a range of targeted mentorship programs designed to meet the professional needs of all its people, particularly women, minorities and new immigrants. Mentoring is important to helping employees build on their experiences, develop their talents further and network with senior leadership. It’s also an effective way for businesses to build a healthy pipeline of future leaders and carry out their succession plans.
But beyond mentorship, company leaders should focus on sponsoring high-performing staff. “Sponsoring is different than mentoring because sponsors take a more active role in the employee’s career,” notes Shea. “Sponsors advocate and support less experienced professionals and help them get the operational roles and experiences they need to gain positions in leadership.”
“But don’t focus on people with the same leadership styles and characteristics because that will limit your available talent pool,” cautions Shea. “Considering how over 20% of the Canadian workforce is made up of immigrants, businesses would be losing out if they fail to tap into its diverse workforce.”
Ernst & Young’s mentoring programs include the following:
- A reverse mentoring program in which women and visible minorities mentor
Ernst & Young leaders on diversity and inclusiveness issues
- A mentorship program in which members of Ernst & Young’s executive committee monitor the professional development of select high-performing or high-potential women and visible minority managers or senior managers
- A one-on-one coaching program to help all international new hires integrate more quickly and effectively into their new jobs at Ernst & Young and into their new lives in Canada
About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 141,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.