Happy National Mentoring Month! Mentorship plays an important role in our company culture, and we think that’s worth celebrating. Mentoring can take many forms, but at Shipt it typically involves someone with experience providing advice or guidance to a fellow colleague. It’s a way of giving back and allowing others to learn from your knowledge and experiences at work or in life.
In honor of National Mentoring Month and all the great leaders we have at Shipt, we’re shining a spotlight on a program we call “Mentorshipt.”
As the name suggests, “Mentorshipt” is a program at Shipt that identifies mentors, typically company leaders or experienced employees in leadership roles, and matches them with mentees, employees at various stages of their careers looking to learn and grow. While we see examples of mentoring within our company every day and have since the very beginning, we’ve taken the extra step of creating this program to provide our employees with both a process and a setting for working with a mentor. The program started with 10 participants in 2017 and has since grown to over 100 total participants across the company.
As a fast-growing company in an emerging market like Birmingham, our company attracts a lot of young talent. From recent college graduates to young professionals establishing new career paths, it’s crucial that we do everything we can to help our employees develop the skills they’ll need to be successful, and ultimately make our company more successful.
We asked a recent mentor/mentee pairing for their take on the Mentorshipt program. First up, Jason C., Director of Operations at Shipt, shares what being a mentor means to him.
How did you get involved in the program?
I’ve been in leadership roles for 15 years and have always enjoyed helping others learn from my experiences, especially my failures. When Mentorshipt was first starting out, I jumped at the chance to get involved. That was back in late 2017 when the program was just kicking off, and I’ve been involved as a mentor ever since.
How does the program work?
The program runs for one month at a time and then restarts at the beginning of each new month. We match mentees who’ve expressed interest in a particular function or role at Shipt with mentors that have experience in that area. As Director of Operations, I’ve mentored those interested in everything from recruiting and logistics, to shopper appreciation and merchandising, all things that fall under the operations umbrella.
During the month, I meet with my mentee once a week to discuss their areas of interest and help identify ways they can grow and evolve, and ultimately achieve whatever goals they’ve set for themselves here at Shipt and beyond. Although we rotate mentor/mentees every month, those relationships don’t just end after 30 days. I stay in contact with many of my previous mentees through coffee meetings, email or Slack, and I make sure they know I’m always here as a resource for them.
Where do you draw your inspiration as a mentor to others?
I’ve been fortunate to have some tremendous mentors over the course of my career, one of them being Bill Smith, the founder of Shipt. The chance to work with Bill is actually what attracted me to Shipt in the first place because I knew I could learn from him and I trusted that he could pull more out of me than I could accomplish on my own.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from mentors throughout my career, including Bill, is compassion. Compassion for others on an individual level and compassion for the team as a whole, making sure everyone is taken care of. When you show compassion and connect with people, it’s a special thing. That’s something I try to bring to every mentoring opportunity.
What’s been the most rewarding part of the Mentorshipt experience for you?
There’s nothing like seeing someone you’ve mentored achieve success or reach a goal they’ve been striving for. Witnessing the progression and incremental improvement from where they started and seeing them reach new heights and be successful in larger roles is tremendous. It’s one of the most gratifying feelings you can experience, just knowing you helped them get there in some small way. Seeing others experience success and celebrating with them is the best part of being a mentor and why I love the Mentorshipt program.
Next up, we spoke with Bill B., X-teamer and relative newcomer to the Shipt family and the Mentorshipt program, for his perspective on why having a mentor is so important.
How did you hear about the program?
I heard about the program when I first started at the company, but it took about two months for me to inquire seriously about it. At the time, I was in the middle of the weird transitional phase from full-time school to full-time work and I needed all the help I could get.
What drew you to Mentorshipt?
I was in the military before going back to school and ultimately landing at Shipt, and I’ve learned that mentoring is something we need at every stage of our lives. It can be really challenging to undertake large life transitions, like moving from the military to school or full-time school to full-time work, and having someone there to help guide you, someone who understands that it’s a process and is willing to teach you how to embrace and cope with the process is invaluable. That’s what I was looking for when I signed up.
What’s been the most valuable part of the experience for you?
Just having someone more experienced I can share my questions about the process with. Getting advice on how to approach situations my mentor has gone through personally or seen others go through is really helpful. There’s one piece of advice, in particular, that’s sticks out, and that was to never accept “no” for an answer when chasing my goals. If I focus on working hard and proving my value, even when things are out of my control, good things will generally happen.
Do you see yourself becoming a mentor to others one day?
Absolutely, I would love to one day mentor others and give back. I’ve had some unique experiences, including being the “first” in my family to accomplish a lot of milestones. I think I can use those experiences to help others in a similar situation.
Interested in joining our Shipt team? Check out www.shipt.com/careers for more information and apply to work with us today!