Original Date: 03/06/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Phalanx Mentoring Program
Raytheon-Louisville’s non-traditional mentoring program has succeeded in identifying and engaging high-potential employees who undertake strategic projects that would be beneficial to the Phalanx program in the future. This program has been more successful than previous attempts at a conventional mentoring pilot program that was more network- and lecture-based than interactive. Raytheon-Louisville’s investment in its people has had the dual benefit of getting real-world projects done while developing future leaders and employees with a high potential for success.
In 2003, the significant growth of Raytheon-Louisville’s Phalanx program prompted focus on the development of the program’s future leaders. Prior to 2003, Raytheon-Louisville had tried a conventional mentor pilot program that was network- and lecture-based. Management soon realized that the pilot program lacked a clear focus and had limited visibility and made the determination that something more interactive than a one-on-one mentoring program was needed – something that would reinvigorate the mentor program by engaging promising, high-potential candidates.
A renewed, non-traditional mentor program was initiated that focused on future leaders and complete strategic project work. A group of high-potential employees was identified and nominated to join the Mentoring Program. The program was structured to deliver regular business-related training, networking opportunities, visibility to program and Raytheon leadership, and to set up teams to tackle strategic projects that would benefit the Phalanx program in the future. The new mentoring approach focuses on networking with all levels of management, diversity within cross-functional and cross-location teams, and challenging projects that are important to the future of the program as well as to those being mentored.
Mentored employees must make a one-year commitment to the program but are allowed to remain as long as desired. Typically there are between four and five projects the teams will work on a year, with five to six employees assigned to each project. The project is assigned a mentor to give guidance and ensure that the team consists of cross- functional members. Quarterly meetings are held with their mentors, which are used as formal exchanges of ideas and training. Mentored employees attend strategic off-site meetings biannually, during which milestones and progress are evaluated by high-level management. It is during these formal meetings that mentored employees learn about Raytheon-Louisville’s way of doing business and make important networking contacts.
Two strategic projects that were assigned to the Mentoring Program in 2005 are currently being considered as potential business solutions or future programs. Raytheon-Louisville’s new Phalanx Mentoring Program has been successful in identifying and challenging high-potential employees while completing real workplace-strategic projects.
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