We’ve all worked at companies where conversations about professional development and growth were relegated to quarterly or annual check-ins where managers and direct reports came up with a list of goals, then promptly filed them away and forgot about them. At RH Strategic, our focus on developing and retaining talent led us to consider better ways of fostering professional growth with on-the-job training and dedicated talent development resources.

As part of our broader talent development initiative, we launched the Mentor-Manager Program in Q4 of 2018. This program brings together staff members across the Seattle and D.C. offices to discuss long-term goal setting, address professional challenges and identify opportunities for growth. At its core, the program builds partnerships between employees, empowering them to navigate roadblocks through feedback and coaching.

An Ongoing Conversation

When we launched the program, we paired staff up based on their professional goals, current roles and focus areas. Mentor-managers aren’t necessarily involved in mentees’ day-to-day project expectations or management; rather, they offer mentees an additional avenue for sharing ideas and working through feedback they receive from account managers. We’ve found that weekly or bi-weekly check ins are most effective in creating intentional, collaborative partnerships.

How does it all work? In this podcast, Associate Vice President and RH Strategic Talent Development lead Kara Lundberg chats with Sam Garrard, a mentor-manager, and Cara Bolt, a mentee, about their own mentor-manager relationship.

The RHesults

The days of infrequent check-ins and forgotten goals are over. More and more companies are realizing, as we did, that investing resources in professional development pays long-term dividends in improved work output and employee satisfaction. Our Mentor-Manager Program has provided staff a streamlined mechanism for giving and receiving feedback. As a result, employees are seeing career progression via new responsibilities and well-deserved promotions.

To learn more about working at RH Strategic, please visit: https://rhstrategic.com/careers/.


RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.