Mentorship & Sponsorship: Two Powerful – and Different – Workplace Relationships

No one wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Gee, I can’t wait to get to work today, where no one values my contribution or has my back!’ It’s common knowledge that feeling supported at work leads to all kinds of positive outcomes like improved engagement, commitment, willingness to go the extra mile, and reduced turnover. And there are many ways that organizations can achieve a more supportive culture – among them, mentorship and sponsorship.

Diversity and Inclusion as a Business Driver: Spotlight on Northwestern Mutual (NM)

Many organizations, both within and outside of the insurance industry, have struggled with how to embrace or operationalize diversity and inclusion and how to bring it through their eco-systems.

Ronald Adams, Assistant Director, Leadership Development/Diversity and Inclusion, joined Northwestern Mutual in 2015 to support the organization’s dedicated focus on diversity and inclusion as a business driver. Ron graciously shared NM’s vision for organizational change with us as a panelist at GAMA International’s LAMP Conference in Nashville this past March. Importantly, these initiatives are a part of the company’s effort to fulfill the goal set forth when Northwestern Mutual’s CEO John Schlifske took the helm: “The best must get better.”

From the (Virtual) Desk of Meryl Rosenthal

It was my privilege to be invited by GAMA International to facilitate a panel, comprising esteemed home office and field leaders from Guardian, London Life, Northwestern Mutual, and Penn Mutual at the March LAMP Conference in Nashville. Our premise was this: In order to appeal to various talent segments – so that they stay, produce and thrive, and in turn, attract the next generation of advisors and clients – agencies need to have workplaces and experiences and practices that resonate. We used the study, ‘Building the Bridge for Culture Change: A Mandate for 2020,’ spearheaded by FlexPaths, in partnership with major U.S. and Canadian insurance sponsors, as the jumping off point for the conversation.

From the (virtual) desk of Meryl Rosenthal

We have a lot of opportunity to revisit and remodel the workplace. This strategic focus has been validated in three important ways: by the study we conducted; by the leaders we spoke with who are putting progressive models and approaches into action; and importantly, by GAMA International, the well-respected professional organization dedicated to leadership in the financial services arena, which is spotlighting this area at its 2018 events and conferences.