Mentorship can be transformational for an individual’s career.
If you’ve had the privilege of being part of a mentor-mentee relationship, you can undoubtedly speak to the benefits yourself. The exchange provides a source of experience-based knowledge, individualized career guidance, and professional support. Those with mentors evenreport being happier at their job than those without.
However, people who have mentors are in the overwhelming minority. While 76% of professionals believe in the importance of mentorship, only 37% actually have one.
Why? Some simply don’t know where to start. Choosing a mentor involves not only defining your own career goals, but finding someone whose experience and values align with your own. Others struggle to cultivate the relationship needed to initiate a mentorship role. This can be especially intimidating for those approaching a prospect with significantly more seniority.
Breaking Barriers by Building Bridges
As a company that believes in the value of investing in its team, Trailer Bridge is breaking the traditional barriers to mentorship and empowering professional growth with its new Building Bridges program.
Building Bridges is a voluntary initiative that follows a group mentoring structure. Cohorts of 3-4 employees are matched based on career interests and professional goals and assigned to a mentor – a member of the company’s leadership team who has demonstrated expertise relevant to the interests of each cohort.
The program will begin by offering 9 areas of expertise:
- Personal branding
- Cultural awareness in business
- Customer success
- Effective communication
- Executive presence & leadership
- Tips for navigating your career
- Finding success in business
- Thinking Strategically
- Public speaking
To promote exposure to different leadership styles and skillsets, cohorts are assigned a new mentor each quarter for the program’s 9-month duration.
Having a primary mentor leading each group enables participants to glean the traditional benefits of a mentoring experience. Namely, forging relationships with leadership, growing their professional skill set, and gaining insight from someone more advanced in the industry.
But introducing the group element allows them to gain even more from the same experience. This is especially true when pairing peers with the same career interests. Having these connections expands an individual’s network and provides diverse perspectives that may not otherwise be introduced. This is especially important as the organization grows and welcomes individuals with varying backgrounds and levels of experience.
“The growth of Trailer Bridge is dependent on the continued growth of our people – the two go hand-in-hand,” said Whitney Croxton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications. “Developing and facilitating programs such as Building Bridges is just one way we can be champions for our people and it’s a service we feel is essential.”
While the program is the latest in Trailer Bridge’s training and development efforts, the sentiment and motivation behind its inception are not. Trailer Bridge has always believed that its people are its most important asset and will continue to innovate and find new ways to support their growth.
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