It is our belief that mentor relationships help to accelerate the personal and professional development of junior and senior people. This form of training is widely recognised as one of the most effective ways of driving employee development and organisational performance.
The programme has several clear aims. The first is to facilitate adjustment to new roles, challenges or environments by providing a channel for younger employees to benefit from the knowledge and experience of others.
Secondly, it gives staff the opportunity to gain broader exposure outside their area of work. This allows the bank to build a team of executives able to work across different functions. Thirdly, it is a way to further our group's diversity and inclusion strategy.
We recognise mentoring as a key enabler for creating an inclusive corporate culture as it brings people with diverse talents and backgrounds together to support each other's development.
These days, mentoring is available for all employees in Hong Kong. In the past, it was usually offered only to members of a designated talent pool. Now, though, anyone can be a mentee if he or she has recently joined the bank, just changed roles, wants to explore other in-house opportunities or is interested in becoming a better leader.
Everything is administered through an intranet tool, which provides an online database of possible mentors.
After identifying someone suited to support specific development needs, the next step is to make direct contact and discuss mutual expectations for a mentoring relationship. Assuming this goes well,
the two parties can then agree a "contract". It is always best if there are clearly defined roles,
time frames, goals and expectations. Typically, we suggest that such partnerships last for about 12 months.
Potential mentors must have managerial experience and can sign up for the programme through the site simply by submitting an up-to-date personal profile. Obviously, this should highlight
key areas of experience and expertise, plus other relevant information. It is an advantage if mentoring is part of the individual's self-development objectives.
In general, mentors should also be good ambassadors for the bank's values, have a strong belief in self-directed learning and be willing to commit the time to and meet with the mentee on a regular basis.
Support and feedback
The bank makes various learning tools available through the intranet site to support each
mentoring relationship and make it easier to pass
on relevant skills. After six months, an administrator will review the key objectives to ensure both parties feel they are moving towards the expected goals.
To date, feedback shows the programme is having a positive impact on employee learning and development.