Lululemon is a global athletic apparel brand founded in 1998. What began as a retail business for yoga pants and other yoga apparel has expanded to become a mogul in the fashion industry. Lululemon is now known not just for its athletic wear but also for high-quality accessories, lifestyle apparel, and personal care products.
With over 574 stores across the globe and a thriving online retail arm, Lululemon is truly a force to reckon with.
Let’s explore how Mentorly played a pivotal role in the company’s evolution by providing a purposeful platform to elevate its mentorship and coaching initiatives.
The Foundation of Lululemon’s Culture
Lululemon’s cultural identity is deeply rooted in its vision, purpose, and goals involving a profound sense of direction to enrich the lives of every employee.
Emily Cardamon, Sr. Program Manager, Talent Activation & Leadership Coach, says, “Some of the philosophies, beliefs, and programs that were instilled back then are the heartbeat of our culture today. A couple of those notable things that really relate to now, like the expansion of coaching and mentorship.”
Their early practices included new hires crafting the company’s vision, goal, and purpose statements and fostering a unique coaching culture that is integral to the organization’s ethos to this day.
Leadership Development Initiatives
The year 2016 marked a significant milestone in Lululemon’s commitment to employee development. They introduced a high-performing leadership program with coaching at its core. The positive reception of the coaching led to a transformative pilot initiative in 2017. It laid the groundwork for Lululemon’s enduring commitment to mentorship and coaching programs on a global scale.
Emily Cardamon’s Contribution To Global Talent Activation
Emily Cardamon has worked at Lululemon for over a decade. Now a Senior Program Manager in Global Talent Activation, Cardamon plays a pivotal role in overseeing various core talent activation programs with coaching and leadership at the forefront.
Her responsibilities extend globally. She ensures that their coaching and mentorship programs are integrated seamlessly and are tailored to suit the unique needs of each market.
She has played a key role in onboarding Mentorly, as her team works to further grow their talent innovation.
Challenges In Talent Development
Before Mentorly was implemented, Lululemon grappled with many challenges tied to the manual management of coaching and mentorship programs. The process was extremely tedious and labor-intensive. The processes heavily relied on Excel spreadsheets, which posed limitations in terms of efficiency and scalability—manual input and the higher scope for errors hindered growth and required a ton of work.
This prompted the need for a more streamlined and user-friendly solution to cater to the dynamic needs of the organization’s global workflow and mentorship programs.
Mentorly: The Purposeful Choice
Lululemon’s quest for a digital solution led them to Mentorly. This platform is designed for companies running internal coaching programs who want to make their processes more streamlined and efficient.
Emily Cardamon continues: “Mentorly was one of the first ones we saw that was specifically catering to the company running a [mentorship] program internally.”
Mentorly’s commitment to providing a comprehensive platform to enhance mentorship and coaching programs aligned seamlessly with Lululemon’s vision for talent activation. Mentorly quickly emerged as a standout choice in a landscape where few solutions are tailored to internal coaching initiatives.
Mentorly’s Transformative Impact
The transition from manual processes to Mentorly’s convenient, easy-to-use, and highly accessible platform ushered in many positive changes for Lululemon’s programs. Emily saw this firsthand: “Now we have great search filters and people can search by language or by market [or] by topic and find someone and read their profile that they really see themselves in.”
Its innovative features and simplified interface significantly impacted the overall employee experience and the efficiency of talent activation processes.
It contributed to the following:
- Global Accessibility: With its innovative self-match feature, Mentorly empowered employees to connect with coaches globally without requiring manual intervention. This streamlined the matching process, reducing administrative burdens and facilitating a more personalized and instantaneous coaching experience.
- Reduced Go-to-Market Time: One of the most notable outcomes after Mentorly’s integration was how significantly it reduced the time required to initiate coaching sessions. Employees were able to book a session with eight hours’ notice, thus making the program much more accessible. This aligned perfectly with Lululemon’s employee development goals.
- User-Friendly Interface: The vibrant, user-friendly elements of Mentorly’s interface are a particular point of emphasis. It offers customizable colors, easy-to-read profiles, and a fantastic aesthetic appeal that contributes to a positive user experience globally.
- Choice and Inclusion: Mentorly has advanced search filters that empower employees to make informed choices based on market, topic, or language, thus fostering a better sense of diversity and inclusion. This shift from blind matching to more intentional pairings significantly impacted engagement and ensured a more personalized and meaningful experience for coaches and students.
Overall, Mentorly helped reshape Lululemon’s coaching programs and completely transformed employees’ approach and experience with them.
Lululemon aims for continued growth in the talent activation space, and its partnership with Mentorly, another Canadian founded-and operated company, is a cornerstone to further enhance its strategic approach towards the same. The platform has a design-focused approach that aligns seamlessly with Lululemon’s commitment to making the mentorship experience seamless and enjoyable. Mentorly’s forward-looking perspective underscores any organization’s dedication to being at the forefront of talent activation.