Personalized talent development in a scaleup: Employee mentoring at Mews

Written by
Femme Palette
Published on
August 21, 2023

Establishing a company mentoring program is a wonderful way to give your employees an opportunity to grow in alignment with your business goals, while at the same time using a highly personalized approach to talent development. The finance team at Mews approached us when they wanted to offer their team members an opportunity to learn from external resources through mentoring to keep up with the company's high growth and new challenges.

We talked more about how it all went and how mentoring has benefitted Mews with the company’s CFO, Pavla Munzarova.

To begin, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Mews.

I am CFO at Mews, a hospitality tech SaaS scaleup. We help hoteliers around the world to provide remarkable experiences to their guests by providing transformational tech solutions. I joined Mews 7 years ago as their 15th employee and the first finance person. Today, as a CFO I am leading our ~80 people team consisting of finance, business operations, corporate development, and legal teams, and helping them be as successful as they can be. Prior to Mews I spent 6 years in hospitality companies and 3 years in FMCG and insurance industries.

What led you to pursue a career in finance? Were there any key defining moments on your career path?

Finance was natural to me – I was good at math and enjoyed a good Excel table since my elementary school years 😊. When I finished my bachelor’s degree in business administration, I started looking for a new opportunity and my former hospitality company offered an analyst position in the HQ where I met the Finance Director who has been a big inspiration to me and a mentor for many years. Later on, he offered me a Financial Controller job for three Prague based hotels, which was my first full blown finance opportunity that made me fall in love with finance. The next defining moment was when I transitioned to working in bigger corporations and realized that I need more freedom and a dynamic environment to thrive, which made me open to jump into the Mews opportunity when the time came.

What made you want to join our mentoring program for companies? Have you had any experience with mentoring before?

This was in 2020 when I started noticing mentoring platforms. Our Mews Tech team started using these for their own mentoring, and I was curious how many finance people are open to sharing knowledge (spoiler: not many compared to tech!). So, I thought, why not find at least a few and help change it myself. Back in 2016 when we insourced finance and started building our internal infrastructure at Mews using modern tech solutions, there wasn’t any Czech based startup with ambitious plans we could share insights and ideas, and I felt our Mews experience could help others, and that was the moment I decided to become a mentor myself. And while looking for platforms was when I realized Femme Palette is a good fit, and that it could be also great for the team to get a chance to meet with a mentor from a different company to gain a different perspective.

On the whole, what goals or challenges did Mews want to address by providing employee mentoring? 

I was looking for ways to help the teams address their own goals without only relying on their direct managers. We developed our competency frameworks three years ago that we linked to pay and career progressions and wanted to be able to offer help beyond our internal perception, to help the team to speak to someone with a specific experience who’d look at the problems via a non-Mews lens.

How has mentoring helped Mews employees? What results are you seeing?

Most of the mentees are hitting the goals that they set at the start of their mentoring. I can proudly say we have the teams regularly progressing in their competency scores and that most of our team lead and manager roles are coming from internal resources.

We see people increasing their confidence, self-awareness, communications skills, and growing their professional network. We’re happy we can promote continuous learning of our team members and help them feel empowered to take their careers to the next level.

What would you say to other employers who are thinking about investing in a mentoring program, but aren’t sure if it’s the right decision?

Just go for it and try it - there’s nothing to lose! The related cost is minimal compared to the upsides described above, all mentorships are documented, and FP sends out regular updates with mentee/mentor satisfaction surveys to make it a transparent process. Our team members are actively asking for new mentoring rounds, and some of them are even joining multiple times.

Has the mentoring experience at Mews inspired you to bring mentoring to your company? Check out Femme Palette’s Mentoring program for companies to learn more about our offer and solutions. We’ll be happy to talk to you about your company’s needs to build the best possible experience for you!

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