Mentorship Matters: Big Growth Facilitates Cross-Departmental Connections
Content by Merry Michael Smith
No matter what industry you’re in, growth is hard. It can get messy, but it’s ultimately very rewarding.
Here at Big, growth is more than a mindset—it’s in our DNA. We are Young, Hungry, and Wide Open. It is not just a cool wall graphic, it’s our very nature. We are always learning, always growing, always pushing, always teaching ourselves and our clients alike.
Individuals who believe their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts).
So what happens when an entire company embraces a growth mindset? Not only do employees feel far more empowered and committed in their work, they also receive far greatest organizational support for collaboration and innovation.
At Big, one of our core values is to make financial, emotional, and educational investments in our entire staff. That is why we created Big Growth, a cross-departmental mentorship program.
This one-to-one mentorship program provides our staff with the opportunity to connect with someone they might not interact with on a daily basis and gain perspective and empathy. The goal is to create an environment that encourages personal growth, emphasizes professional development, and furthers a culture of learning.
Big Growth kicked off in 2019 with our pilot program. During the enrollment process, we asked our staff what they desire from a mentor and what they could bring to the table as a mentee. Then we made our matches based on these answers, along with their personality profiles.
Once our mentors and mentees were paired, they engaged in monthly meet-ups over coffee or cocktails to get to know each other and learn from each other. Knowing that this might be the first mentorship relationship for some, conversation cards were provided for each pairing to keep things fun and fresh.
Our pilot program was a great success. We had 21 matches with a 67% staff participation rate, and we received some terrific individual feedback.
“It was great getting to know and understand the mindset behind some of the younger workforce here at Big—their fears, hopes, insecurities, etc.,” one mentor said. “It definitely helped me grow my leadership by providing them ways to grow in their own skill sets and professional lives moving forward.”
“I grew through perspective,” one mentee said. “It was helpful having someone who has been in my position before give advice on what to look out for.”
Big Growth is currently gearing up for its second edition this spring and summer, and we’re pretty excited for an even better experience this time around. Here’s to another round of building empathy, encouraging communication, and promoting positivity in the workplace.