How mentoring builds confidence at Nous Group

by John Hilton04 Mar 2016
Sometimes it’s not until new colleagues are inside our organisation that they realise how many highly capable and intellectually agile people we have, said Amanda Codila, chief people officer at the management consulting and leadership development firm Nous Group.

New employees may realise they have a lot to learn and that they need to establish informal networks to effectively get things done, she told L&D Professional.

“If we don’t actively support them through this transition, there is a risk they will experience a dip in confidence,” said Codila.

“Our performance partner and buddy system helps us minimise that dip or avoid it all together.”

The buddy is an informal person who helps new employees navigate their way around the business.

Codila added that the buddy has been in the business for a while and understands what’s involved in consulting, how to get things done, and who you need to talk to about day to day questions.

They are there as a friend to help new employees become more confident and explain what’s required for you to become effective on your projects, she said.

“The new person will meet with the buddy regularly in the first six months and usually at least once or twice a week.

“If they are in one of our smaller offices they will tend to have two buddies: they will have someone in their office but also someone who is placed in one of our larger offices so that the new person can start to build those informal networks across the country."

They also have a performance partner who in other organisations would be seen as a manager, explained Codila.

The performance partners work with the new employees to ensure they have clear development goals, which are reviewed formally twice a year.

“Nous is a high trust environment where we treat everyone as adults and leaders. We assume our people do the right thing and will show a lot of initiative,” she told L&D Professional.

“Therefore, the performance partner plays much more of a coaching role and a guiding role, rather than being an authoritative figure in terms of telling them what they should or shouldn’t do.

“We want new people to come in and feel supported, and there are a number of different informal and formal roles in the organisation that people play to help the individual integrate quickly and work productively.”
Nous Group has offices and experienced consultants throughout Australia and in the UK.