Company: Advisor Group, Phoenix , AZ USA
Nomination Category: Training Programs or Media-Other
Advisor Group is one of the largest networks in the U.S. of independent financial advisors, overseeing more than $268 billion in client assets. The company’s 1,000+ employees, stationed at offices in 5 states, serve more than 7,000 customers in a fast-paced, dynamic industry. The past 18 months have been a time of growth and vitality: the business added 2,000 more customers (+35%), launched multiple new services, integrated 3 major acquisitions, and addressed significant new regulatory requirements. The efforts of the 17-member HR team were key to the culture change and employee engagement required to support the needs of the business.
Connecting senior leaders as mentors with frontline talent emerged as a key talent development need. Speed Mentoring was designed by the CHRO, VP of Talent Development, in partnership with full HR function. This quarterly talent development experience has become so popular, the seats fill within 30-minutes, and earned a world-class net promoter score of 90.
Speed Mentoring connects executives with employees that are high performers and high potential, to enable a personal touch mentoring experience on industry knowledge, career progression, and career advice. This program offers a series of short, focused conversations about top-of-mind questions during one-on-one interactions between an executive and employee. It is an interactive, in-person event offered at all our sites.
High performing employees are identified by using our annual performance evaluation program. Executives, including the CEO, volunteer to serve as mentors and meet with employees. Nearly all executives volunteer to give 2 to 3 hours on event day, which gives 20 to 30 employees the opportunity to be mentored depending on the particular site. Seats are reserved on a first-come first-served basis. More than 75 employees and nearly all executives have attended and rated their experience 4.9/5 in both 2018 and 2019.
Program Design and Delivery
Speed Mentoring is in-person, where employees engage one-on-one with the executives, ask their questions, and receive advice. The event is fast-paced; employees meet with each executive for just 10-minutes and then move onto the next executive. For many employees, this is the first time they are speaking one-on-one to an executive.
To prepare, two weeks prior, the employees attend a brief training webinar, “Get the Most out of Speed Mentoring.” This readies them for the 4 executives they are assigned to meet by providing helpful guidance on having a productive dialog. Since all the executives are responsible for different parts of the business, employees are encouraged to do research on the executives in advance to create customized questions for them. Similarly, executives are given an employee written bio so they arrive fully informed about their mentees in advance.
At the Speed Mentoring event, employees use their “rotation card” to navigate from executive to executive. They refer to their pre-prepared questions to use their time effectively. The event concludes with group discussion where employees share and discuss the best advice they received, and what their work plans are to implement that advice.
Speed Mentoring is designed with a variety of learning methods including active learning plus class and small group discussions. It connects executives and employees in an intimate setting where they can get to know each other and discuss a variety of topics. Designed to be fast paced, Speed Mentoring delivers significant and lasting outcomes for both participants and the organization.
Participants receive leadership and talent development by building personal connections and learning from executives. They build skills in networking, communicating, and preparing their personal bio’s. They learn more about our industry, organization, and gain career advice. Executives build relationships with employees, recognize high performers and enjoy sharing their expertise.
1. Talent development: Designed and implemented a mentoring talent development event
2. Develop skills: networking, communicating, and preparing personal bio’s
3. Employee Engagement: the 2019 employee survey indicates that establishing a connection with executives increased employee's connection with the values and culture by 11% and opportunities for career growth by 21%
4. Program reach: 3 events, 75 employees, and almost every executive
5. Learning continues after event, with employees implementing their plan and all employees receive articles, advice, and go forward relationships with the executives and attendees
6. Business impact: Executives and employees build connections, top talent is identified, and employees gain valuable insight to grow their careers
7. Overall satisfaction rating: 4.9/5 in both 2018 and 2019 and a World Class NPS of 90
8. Event is in high demand: This program fills up within 30-minutes of seats opening