What strategies have been effective in fostering a culture of mentorship and knowledge sharing within your IT department?

2.8k views6 Comments

Director of Data in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees
I firmly believe that the foundation of fostering a culture of knowledge sharing and mentorship starts with assuring everyone that it's okay to fail. We view our mistakes and failures as invaluable learning opportunities. When employees are not apprehensive about punishment for errors, they are more likely to share their experiences and learn from each other. Even when a mistake is catastrophic, I ensure that everyone focuses on the solution. Subsequently, we establish precautions to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. The key here is to cultivate a safe space where individuals feel comfortable to speak and act freely.

In our department, we hold bi-weekly brainstorming and knowledge sharing sessions. Scheduling regular meetings where everyone can openly share their insights and learn from each other's knowledge is crucial. These sessions are occasionally complemented with catered lunches, and attendance has consistently been high. We consciously avoid putting anyone on the spot, ensuring that these forums remain open and comfortable for all.

We are also staunch advocates of continuous learning. To that end, we support any educational course or subject our team members wish to pursue, provided it is not unreasonable. This approach encourages our staff to maintain their curiosity and continue their professional development.

Recently, we initiated the implementation of formal mentorship and internship programs, which are still in the early stages. The objective is to consistently allow individuals to acquire the skills they aspire to master. With regard to internships, we make a concerted effort to ensure they culminate in a tangible outcome, such as a publication, product, or presentation. 

Overall, we strive to create a nurturing and inclusive environment that promotes learning, sharing, and growth.
CIO in Education, 501 - 1,000 employees
Lunch and learns have actually been working very well for us.
Associate Director of Engineering in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
At a higher level, these aspects are part of larger purpose statement/vision/mission and core values. Making it part of the leadership focus areas and to some extent part of their KRAs will establish some sort of north start for the group. 

I see this as a precursor to any further conversation and discussion. Leaders need to be at the forefront in showcasing learning and sharing culture, mentoring others in the organization and leading by examples.  
Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
After our formal leadership training we always assigned a senior leader to mentor the leader for one year. And we trained the senior leader a bit on how to mentor. EG ensure their type A personalities didn’t stop the students from asking questions and expressing their opinions/questions/fears

And whenever possible the senior leaders were from unrelated departments from the students. When possible from business areas like Finance, Marketing, Manufacturing
CIO in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
We have designed and implemented training and learnings throughout our IT organization. We're not large, but we are intentional as we teach operational design, foster mentor/mentee relationships, and openly publish project opportunities for people to participate in learning about new roles and functions. We are strict about managers holding 1x1s with their team at least every other week and we do skip-level 1x1s every 6-12 weeks. We train and stress that the 1x1 time is not a status report but the time is for discussing personal and career growth, relationship development, Q&A, etc. We fund a learning budget that every employee or team can pull together to develop and grow. We have an established internship program where we cycle interns through on real projects, and give employees opportunities to mentor the intern and learn in that way. 
CIO in Telecommunication, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Making it a long term, intentional, set of milestones towards a defined goal.  Too many times it's treated as an "extra" or as something that's a 1 and Done.  Culture change needs to be intentional.

Content you might like

CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
Read More Comments
40.7k views131 Upvotes319 Comments

We are not doing regression testing10%

25% manual, 75% automated50%

50% manual, 50% automated27%

100% manual, 0% automated8%

Don't know2%


1.6k views3 Upvotes2 Comments

Software category14%

Organizational structure45%

New operating model18%




Founder, Self-employed
Work travel is a privilege. Embracing your experience to meet new people, and see the beauty of nature and culture wherever you go.
Read More Comments
66.8k views69 Upvotes39 Comments