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Perkins Eastman: Running an inspiring mentoring program

Architectural firm Perkins Eastman has set up an innovative mentoring program called PEople which pairs mentors and mentees across global locations. Using a custom SharePoint site and a network of volunteer mentoring champions to support the right pairings, the program has very high levels of adoption with 73%of employees participating.

Innovative approaches include a very flat structure that allows mentees to seek senior leaders as mentors, the use of the Gather Town virtual collaboration platform for potential mentoring pairs to meet, a series of ‘pathways’ to enable meaningful pairings and even a ‘shopping basket’ to select potential mentors.

Benefits include increased networking, knowledge sharing, opportunities for personal growth, employee engagement, and a positive contribution to the firm’s organisational culture.

Why this won a Gold award

  • The 73% participation levels for a mentoring program are extremely high.
  • We love the innovative and flexible approach to managing the program, with the team making tweaks to improve it each year such as introducing the mentor shopping cart.
  • The program has managed to flourish despite the COVID-19 pandemic, partly because the team has successfully evolved the process to be more virtual.
  • The use of Gather Town for mentors and mentees to be introduced to each other is not only innovative, but also got great feedback from participants.
  • The ‘pathways’ have been well selected to better match mentoring pairs.
  • We like the flat structure of the program, allowing junior staff to ask to be mentored even by senior management.
  • The program has obvious benefits for individuals for personal and professional development, but also contributes to organisational culture.
  • There is a very good use of the network of mentor champions.

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