At Mackenzie Investments, they believe that everyone is a leader – whether they are leading a team or simply leading themselves on their own career path. That means everyone needs leadership skills, and one strategy that Mackenzie has adopted to develop those skills is to encourage their employees to mentor skilled immigrants new to Canada.
Since 2007, Mackenzie employees have been volunteering their time and effort as mentors. This year, they crossed an important milestone – Mackenzie employees have mentored over 100 new immigrants. “We continue to take part in The Mentoring Partnership for three main reasons,” says Pamela Preston, Senior Learning Consultant and mentoring coordinator at Mackenzie. “In addition to the professional growth opportunity for our employees, it is a way for us to get involved and give back to the community, plus it gives us insight into potential job candidates whom we might not have been aware of otherwise.”
Mackenzie employee Nicolae Stanca has experienced the benefits of The Mentoring Partnership from all angles. A former mentee with the program, he can draw a direct link between the program and his securing a position at Mackenzie. Now a three-time mentor, Nicolae sees the benefits for his professional development. “As a mentor, you meet so many people and learn so many interesting facts about their countries and cultures that you would never learn from your day-to-day work,” says Nicolae. “My experience as a mentor is helping to strengthen my leadership and communication skills and will help me succeed with my long-term goals at Mackenzie.”
Participation in The Mentoring Partnership at Mackenzie goes above and beyond just the mentors’ involvement. The company organizes internal coaching and communications workshops for both mentors and mentees. In addition, the Human Resources team reviews and provides advice on mentees’ resumes. It is a group effort across the organization to ensure the best experience for both mentees and mentors. “It really is an opportunity for everyone at Mackenzie to collaborate and develop our skills,” says Pamela. “We’re involved for the long-term, to develop the skills of our employees, build a network of mentors for the organization and support individual immigrants and the community.”