Our mentoring programme

Here at Kaufland e-commerce, we place great value on supporting our employees in developing their full potential over the long term. For our aspiring managers, mentoring is a good opportunity to optimise their practical knowledge and leadership skills; after all, who can teach you more about team leadership than an experienced leader? In this article, we will show you what characterises the mentoring programme at Kaufland e-commerce and how participants experienced the exchange.  

The current state of things: The mentoring programme at KEC  

The third round of our mentoring programme was completed at the beginning of this year. Thanks to the programme, more than 20 of our employees have been able to advance their professional development through a one-to-one exchange with a mentor. Mentoring not only serves as support for day-to-day tasks, but is also intended to promote reflection on one’s own goals and personal development.  

What does mentoring mean?  

Mentoring focuses on the transfer of knowledge between an experienced employee (mentor) and a colleague who is new to a management role (mentee). In contrast to a coach, however, a mentor is not specifically trained for professional development, but passes on content from the personal experience gained during their professional career. 

In just two years, our pool of mentors has grown from four to 15 experienced leaders who dedicate their time, enthusiasm and commitment to our junior staff. Only managers who have proven across a variety of situations that their knowledge and experience make them suitable as mentors are selected for the programme. Nomination as a mentor therefore also serves as an award for outstanding performance.  


The matching is carried out by HR managers. The participants do not necessarily work in the same department; this mix of different perspectives and backgrounds results in great added value, says Sebastian, who is involved in the programme as a mentor: 

For me, mentoring is an exchange on an equal level, in which mentor and mentee contribute unique perspectives and experiences. Kaufland e-commerce’s mentoring programme promotes a culture of continuous learning and personal development. The interdisciplinary exchange gives you new perspectives on current challenges and allows you to grow together. 

Sebastian, Director International 

The setup of the programme  

Each mentoring round takes place over a period of six months, during which the mentor and mentee meet regularly. The frequency and structure of the meetings is entirely up to the participants. Each pair can tailor the mentoring experience to their own needs and wishes in order to generate the best possible added value for all parties. This makes every mentoring story unique. Alexander, who participated in the programme as a mentee, also sees the flexibility in the organisation as a bonus: 

The mentoring programme was an excellent opportunity for me to grow as a manager. I had the opportunity to discuss new tasks and challenges with an experienced contact person at any time. I never had the feeling of being „left alone“ with new topics, as there was always someone there to listen. The frequency of our meetings was very flexible and adapted to our needs. 

Alexander, Teamlead Marketplace Controlling 

Although the number of mentors has already grown considerably, the number of mentee places is still limited. Our HR therefore uses a dual approach when selecting participants: on the one hand, employees in management roles who show a particular interest in personal and professional growth – over and above the regular training courses – are favored. On the other hand, recommendations are requested from the „Head of“ of the respective department. The offer to take part in the mentoring program should also serve as recognition for great commitment and encourage participants to work on their professional development. However, this is just one of the many benefits of the program.


A large range of benefits  

The mentoring programme is an excellent opportunity to take a look beyond your own team. Participants often discover that managers face similar challenges, regardless of the area in which they work. The exchange between mentor and mentee therefore offers both sides the opportunity to reflect on stages in their own careers as well as their personal and professional development and to acquire new knowledge.  After all, the programme should also be seen as an opportunity to broaden one’s own perspective and as a chance to network. 

It’s not only the mentor and mentee who benefit from a successful mentoring experience, but also Kaufland e-commerce as a company, as Joyce, who manages the programme on the HR side, emphasises: 

The mentoring programme offers several benefits to mentors, mentees, and the company. Mentors continuously learn about themselves by sharing their experiences and knowledge. Mentees benefit from personal development, gaining new perspectives on leadership, and building relationships with mentors. For the company, the programme contributes to employee development, fosters networking, and strengthens employee engagement in their personal growth. Here, once again, a big thank you to our mentors who, through their participation in the programme, contribute a significant and impactful part to our leadership development! 

Joyce, Specialist Learning and Development 

Only by continuously learning and improving will we remain competitive. We wish all mentors and mentees an enjoyable and beneficial mentoring experience in the future.