Growing within when company is growing out

When companies grow by acquisition, the company culture and what keeps it coherent might be lost along the way. Mentoring is one practice that can help people continue growing within the company more smoothly as it is expanding and becoming more complex.

growth - innovation copilots

Since 2014 I’ve been working with Worldline on designing, implementing and supporting two mentoring programs (traditional and reverse). They clearly support their growth and transformation strategies which need a good attraction, development, and retention of talents as well as a capacity to rely on and learn fast from each other. “Growing within the company” is key to avoid unstable workforce which could hinder the fast growth path they’re walking.

What sets us apart is, first of all, our history. A history of mergers and acquisitions that have made Worldline from different horizons, such as banking and multimedia. It is through our history that we have been able to develop a very strong culture based on technological trades related to payments, transactions and mobility. – Patrice Gry (HRD, Worldline Group)

In a recent article (in French), Patrice GRY (HRD) is explaining in a clear and simple way, the HR strategy he’s implementing to enable the company’s vision.

Mentoring has been for the past few years one of the key programs in his strategy. The fast aggregation of companies into the Worldline group and hence culture requires a special attention to helping people:

  • Find their place in such a large group;
  • Stay aligned with an evolving vision;
  • Feel they belong to a meaningful collective;
  • Know how they can evolve in a more complex structure.

Our other major point of differentiation is the accompaniment of our employees. As Worldline’s growth is based on its Human Capital, we are implementing ambitious HR development programs such as mentoring, training and certification, evolution chains, reverse mentoring, etc.” – Patrice Gry (HRD, Worldline Group)

Toward a cultural integration

From a pilot programme (30 mentoring pairs) sponsored by Pascal TRACLET (then BU Director in 2014) to 2 consequential deployments to all French BUs (between 96 and 126 mentoring pairs), while starting in 2016 a reverse mentoring pilot with a deployment this year; Worldline is truly fulfilling their HR and strategic ambitions on this aspect.

From my point of view, the success of their program is also in a large part due to a dynamic and mixed internal coordination team (HR and operational) who is becoming more and more autonomous in the management of such programs. They have well integrated the values and the critical points such as matching, initial training of participants and facilitating the mentoring community. They need me less and less, which might not look like good business for me, but shows that they are on the way to fully integrating mentoring practice in their culture. Hence mentoring becoming a sustainable beneficial practice and not a one-shot trendy program. Job done!

Author: Stéphanie

Specialist of Executive Coaching and Entrepreneurial Mentoring, insightful and open-minded, Stéphanie accompanies organisations in their cultural transformation to support innovation and business agility. She is one the few European expert both implementing and doing research on mentoring programmes.