PennyMac Loan Services, LLC, is an American residential mortgage company headquartered in Westlake Village, California. They are one of the top three lenders in the United States, with $116 billion funded in 2019.
Building an effective leadership bench, fast
During the COVID-19 pandemic, PennyMac has grown from around 2,500 employees to over 5,000. This rapid growth increased their need to build an effective leadership bench, fast.
PennyMac had been using a traditional mentoring services provider for leadership development, but it wasn’t providing the experience they needed. Switching to Torch provided PennyMac with a more user-friendly mentor-mentee matching experience and the ability to customize learning paths for their employees using video and native content.
Jenna Murphy, previous AVP of Talent Management at PennyMac said, “Mentoring, particularly through COVID, has helped stitch relationships across employees and embed the PennyMac culture while we’re all remote and don’t otherwise have an easy way to connect with people.”
Building the mentoring program helped Murphy, and Megan Morreale, VP, Talent Management, identify high-potential employees to develop into future leaders.
Torch provides a customizable mentorship platform
Customizable learning paths for mentees allowed PennyMac to create more bespoke development experiences for participants.
Now launching their second session of mentoring participants, they created four learning paths: leadership development, networking and personal branding, custom, and ongoing. The custom path allows mentees to pick their learning objectives, but within a more structured environment. The ongoing path is for mentees from session one, who chose to continue working with their mentors.
Overall, most mentees fall into the leadership development path, since that is the primary purpose of the program. “When we’re matching on the administrative side, we liked that Torch provided mentor recommendations and that we, as administrators, could finalize the match,” said Morreale.
PennyMac is now looking towards expanding the mentorship program to specific departments. For example, a mentorship program focused on helping women in sales develop sales-specific competencies. They’re also piloting a program for analysts, often recent college graduates with less business experience, who will be mentored by another tier of leaders outside of the executive team.
Tailored development opportunities for future leaders
When it comes to measuring the results of their mentorship program, PennyMac focuses on “competence and confidence.” This means not only gauging satisfaction, but analyzing retention rates and eliminating turnover by creating more skilled and engaged employees.
Mentees take a progress survey in month three, and again at the end of month five. PennyMac is looking at the number of participants who respond positively to sentiments of feeling more competent in leadership skills that will help with their job.
PennyMac also focuses on the importance of being a mentor, in addition to the benefit to the mentee. Mentoring is an investment of senior leaders’ time into the future leadership bench of Pennymac. “Mentors help better prepare mentees down the road for promotions, to be better people managers themselves, and for those high level executive roles as well in the future,” added Murphy.
She added, “We’ve had to stay very agile with what we’re creating for various departments. The great thing is, as we pivot, the software pivots with us. The platform has been so user-friendly and we get to customize and curate the content. It feels like the options will be unlimited for the future because we can always customize content as needed and build out a program to fit those specifications, which I think is phenomenal.”