Powering employee development through mentoring at SOLV Energy

Technology can help you manage, measure and grow your mentoring program in a way you couldn’t otherwise accomplish.

At SOLV Energy, a California-based solar services provider for utility solar, high-voltage substation and energy storage markets across North America, we believe that good energy has a ripple effect. That’s why we only take on projects that provide cleaner power, better jobs, greater education and a brighter future for our communities. 

We apply this same approach to our employee development practices. As we build a coaching culture here at SOLV Energy and focus on helping our employees develop critical skills, we made the strategic decision to amplify the power of talent development through mentoring. Just like the ripple effect good energy can have, we know the ripple effect of mentoring can be felt in numerous ways:

  • Positive relationships can form between the mentoring pairs as mentees and mentors collaborate with one another, share ideas, embrace continuous learning, advance their skills and build trust with one another.
  • A welcoming and supportive corporate culture can grow as people participate in mentoring that spans across all levels and departments of the company, helping to break down silos.
  • Colleagues not directly involved in mentoring can benefit through more positive interactions with teammates who are involved in mentoring, especially as those being mentored bring new skills, curiosity and awareness to their daily work. Additionally, those who are mentors often report feeling a renewed sense of excitement for their job after they mentor someone.
  • When employees take part in mentoring, it can mean that customers experience positive interactions with employees who are engaged at work, who have ever-evolving skills to help our customers and who are genuinely happy to be at work each day.
  • Lastly, by offering mentoring, leadership can move the company forward knowing that employees continue to build the skills necessary to support the mission of the organization.

Mentoring software electrified growth

SOLV Energy grew from a small department of a company into its own company with more than 800 employees. The leadership team fully embraced looking for innovative ways to tackle employee development.

We started a mentoring program in 2021 as a critical pillar to our larger talent development strategy.  With a focus on building a coaching culture with open and transparent dialogue, we knew we wanted to encourage forward-focused conversations among employees. Mentoring offered the perfect way to initiate and sustain the positive ripple of energy we wanted to create.

We began our mentoring program as a manually run pilot with 40 people (20 mentoring pairs). These individuals focused on professional development areas such as career conversations, communication styles and technical skills. Those involved in the program gave it glowing reviews, and we knew we wanted to grow this opportunity to include more of our employee population.

In 2022, we doubled our program to 80 people (40 pairs), which constituted roughly 10 percent of our employee population. Again, the program was a success and more employees asked to be included. To accommodate this growing mentoring program, we knew we needed software to help automate and manage the process. We turned to MentorcliQ to help us run our program.

Using MentorcliQ’s mentoring software, we launched our revamped mentoring program in early 2023. As a result, we have already expanded mentoring to roughly 200 employees (100 mentoring pairs), which is 25 percent of our workforce, and more than doubled our last cohort size from when we ran the program manually. We anticipate this number will continue to grow in the coming years. Without this move to technology, our program would not have been manageable at that size. 

One of the key aspects of MentorcliQ’s mentoring software is the automated SMART matching capability, which leverages a Nobel-Prize winning algorithm that is proven to deliver the highest quality match quickly and easily to all of our participants. Not having to manually match our growing participant pool saves us time and money. As an innovative technology company ourselves, we fully embrace leveraging technology to be more effective and efficient in our talent management efforts.

In addition, the software includes built-in reports, LearningLabs, milestone touchpoints, pre-built communications and expert resources to guide people on their mentoring journey. Those robust features allow us to leverage world-class mentoring expertise without having to create it all ourselves.

Ask yourself…

Having moved from a manual mentoring process to one driven by technology, we quickly realized the positive effects technology had for us. The amount of time it would have taken us to hand-match 200 people would have equated to days of work. Yet with the automated SMART matching we used through MentorcliQ, we were able to match 200 people in minutes. 

As you contemplate mentoring software and the ways that this technology could help you, ask yourself:

  • How many hours do I spend matching participants? 
  • How many emails do I have to send out to make sure people are meeting?
  • What actions must I take to ensure relationships are progressing?
  • How do I track hours spent mentoring?
  • How do I analyze what competencies, skills and focus areas people work on when mentoring?
  • How do I track satisfaction with the program and their relationships?
  • What reports do I have to build to show the impact of mentoring?
  • How do I share data and reports with stakeholders?
  • How do I recruit the next cohort of participants and grow my program?
  • How do I manage multiple mentoring programs and scale mentoring across the enterprise?

When you start to look at the impacts through this lens, the positive ripple effect of mentoring software on your talent management initiatives becomes apparent.