Update! Here’s What’s Happening With the OMERS Ventures Portfolio Mentorship Program!

You may remember my blog post from May announcing the OMERS Ventures Inter-Portfolio Mentorship Program and my promise to update the community on the results of the pilot and our action plan moving forward.

Program Highlights

Participants meet a minimum of once every three weeks for a total of four sessions over the quarter.

Participants are provided with resources including guides, articles, frameworks etc to help them get the most of their experience.

Participants are offered networking opportunities outside of their direct mentoring relationship through cohort specific Slack groups.

Feedback was gathered through-out the program, with pre, mid and post program surveys to participants and debriefs with the Talent Leads at the participating companies.

The following three standards were used to measure success:

Mentors and Mentees enthusiastically participate in the program by establishing goals for their relationship and meeting on a regular basis.

Mentees demonstrate improved performance and/or engagement within their role (confirmed by the Leader and/or HR). Companies see the value in program participation through the development of their employees.

Participants express a desire to continue meeting outside of the established program and/or would recommend participation in the program to others.

We wrapped Cohort One in July and spent about six weeks reviewing survey feedback, debriefing with participating companies and tweaking the program.


100% of our Mentor/Mentee pairs met the mandated minimum of four meetings. 80% of the pairs exceeded the minimum with more frequent meetings and other touchpoints (emails, Slack etc).

100% of Mentees felt they made either moderate or significant progress towards their development goals.

100% of our participating companies confirmed they saw value in the program through their employee’s development and improved performance and would continue to participate.

100% of our Mentor respondents indicated they would like to Mentor again and 100% of our Mentees indicated they would participate again either as a Mentee or as a Mentor once they had further developed their careers.

80% of our matches have committed to continuing their mentoring relationship beyond the program.

What We Learned

Most of our companies use OKRs for goal setting and many of our participants would have preferred to use a similar framework for their personal goals. For Cohort 2 we provided a suggested framework for those who aren’t used to goal setting but left it open for participants to use whatever they are comfortable with.

We provided many resources on how to set personal development goals (i.e. leadership skills) but not much on functional skill set development. For Cohort Two we will focus on balancing the two sides.

We weren’t surprised that the Leadership in our portfolio is very invested in seeing their own employees develop. What was gratifying to learn is that they are equally enthusiastic about the opportunity to help develop the next generation of talent at other companies.

What’s Next?

Cohort Two of our program kicked off this week and the program will continue in 2019. With Cohort Three already filled and only a few spots remaining for Four, we will run this program on an ongoing basis as long as there’s demand for it. We will continue to iterate on the experience to make the program the best it can be for participants. Additionally, our KPIs will also evolve to become more quantitative (i.e. number of Mentees who are retained and/or promoted in the year following their participation).

Building on the success of this pilot, we will be creating and piloting additional career development programs and skills based training sessions for our portfolio employees.

Stay tuned as we continue to enhance this program and build new ones. We’ll share these programs and our findings with the community so we can learn and grow together.