We believe passionately in creating a culture where people can learn, grow and succeed on the job. That’s why we launched our mentoring program, connecting WEXers from our offices across the globe and supporting their development of specific career goals and objectives. We’re one year into the program, and it’s already making an impact for participants and the company overall.
To date, approximately 10% of WEXers from offices in the U.S., U.K, Australia and New Zealand have been connected through the program as mentors and mentees – with more than half of the matches made up of individuals based in different WEX locations. In fact, more than one-third of these “remote matches” pair mentors and mentees located in different countries.
“We look at the entire organization when it comes to matching people with the best mentor possible,” says Katelyn Gendron, our mentoring program lead. “This allows us to mix things up a bit and pair people who may not be able to connect organically because they don’t work in the same location or line of business. Having your mentor from outside your usual frame of reference gives mentees a different perspective and allows for a more neutral engagement where both mentor and mentee can be even more comfortable to share.”
Three Tracks to Success
The program is open to full-time WEXers at all of our locations who are willing to commit time to the program. Mentees must have a completed Individual Development Plan (IDP) – a tool we use to help employees drive their career forward. During the course of their mentoring relationship, mentees leverage their IDP to support their desired outcomes.
Mentees choose one of three specific tracks to guide their relationship with their mentors:
- New to WEX/new to role: Increase understanding of WEX or a new role to help increase productivity and success.
- Skill development: Improve identified skill(s) in order to progress on an identified career path.
- Career exploration: Explore different career options in order to identify a career path within the organization.
“What was most helpful for me was a breakdown of the entire virtual line of business given by my mentor. From there we were able to identify a few areas that interested me and that I could explore further. After job shadowing in those areas, I was able to identify where I wanted to be put into projects,” says Jessica Cook who works as an implementation manager in our virtual team of her experience as a mentee.
Mentors volunteer for the program, and Gendron notes that leadership training programs held throughout the organization often talk about the value of serving as a mentor. According to Renata Caine, a mentor who works in California as the Vice President of Virtual Payments, “I love having a mentee in another line of business as it gives me a sense of what opportunities and challenges others in the business face.”
The benefit of the mentoring program was summed-up by Jeff Yaeger, a mentee and channel strategy manager from our fleet team, “The main benefit for me has been overall enjoyment of my new role. It’s definitely a big challenge for me personally and professionally, but in talking with Jason, we came to the conclusion that the quickest way to grow is to face the challenge head on with the understanding that there are people all around that are willing to provide guidance and support to make me successful.”