Making Connections Through Mentorship

Published on : 11/10/23
  • A mentoring program in an organization is essential for employee development and engagement. When done successfully, everyone benefits, including mentors, mentees and the company. Mentoring creates a trusting safe space that fosters a sense of connection and belonging through a mutually beneficial learning exchange. According to the Journal of Vocational Behavior, a mentoring program can “bolster recruiting, boost employee engagement, help train future company leadership, increase diversity, and raise rates of employee loyalty and retention.” 

    Sodexo’s Spirit of Mentoring is a talent management strategy that offers a variety of programs aimed at building relationships with colleagues across the region. Two current programs are garnering interest and excitement: the ALLYance Program and the TENT Partnership for Refugees.

    The recently launched ALLYance Program is a nine-month, 1:1 reciprocal mentoring program available to Sodexo’s Employees Business Resource Group (EBRG) members focusing on leadership development. It is guided by the concept of Resilient Agility, which comprises four pillars: staying connected, enabling new ways of working, maintaining drive and dealing with change. This program goes beyond career development, focusing primarily on the well-being of mentors and mentees. In these challenging times, this is more necessary than ever. 

    Employees who attended the ALLYance launch in October offered glowing reviews of the program, with many looking forward to collaborating with their colleagues in a supportive setting.  

    “Attending the ALLYance mentorship kickoff was wonderful,” says Joseph England, Retail Manager for National Resource Bench. “It was the first time in my Sodexo career to be able to attend an event like that where there was an incredible amount of energy in the room. Everyone was excited to be there, and it was a great networking opportunity. With ALLYance, I will be able to develop some new competencies and enhance my career. I look forward to the next nine months of working with my mentor and improving my abilities,”

    Laurel Elliott, Director for Culinary Offer Development with Entegra, said she’s excited to connect personally and professionally through this development opportunity.

    “ALLYance mentoring is an inclusive and inspiring movement within our Employee Business Resource Group community, made possible by Sodexo leaders who have invested in our greatest resource, our people,” she says. “Cheers to the amazing mentors and mentees who are engaging in the meaningful and memorable start to what is sure to be a greatly fulfilling journey.” 

    Another opportunity that recently launched is mentoring Hispanic refugees through a program organized by the Tent Partnership for Refugees and the National Hispanic Corporate Council (NHCC). Hispanic refugees, who have diverse and professional backgrounds, encounter steep barriers to finding jobs in the U.S. due to their unfamiliarity with the job market. This program provides Sodexo employees with the opportunity to assist Hispanic refugees by providing 1:1 professional mentorship and helping them grow professionally. 

    Prospective mentors will be trained by Tent during a mandatory webinar demonstrating best practices for supporting a Hispanic refugee. Tent will also provide mentors with a curriculum to follow, such as reviewing mentees’ resumes and cover letters and helping them practice their interviewing skills. Mentors are expected to meet with their mentees at least six times over the course of six months. 

    The Sodexo Organization for Latinos (SOL) EBRG is supporting the program, allowing members an opportunity to enter a mentoring relationship. 

    “Tent will match mentors and mentees based on similar professional interests, language capabilities and locations,” says Gloria Puentes, Director of DEI External Strategic Partnerships. “Once matched, mentors will receive training, followed by mentors and mentees setting their first mentoring meeting.”

    If opportunities to thrive in your career through mentoring appeal to you, visit Sodexo Careers and join our team.