Is a Career Mentoring Program Right for Your Company?
Companies are increasingly taking a proactive approach to career mentoring. Rather than simply encouraging it, they are going out of their way to pair up older and younger professionals and create opportunities to foster their mentoring relationship. Is this strategy right for your company? Find out by asking these questions:
Do You Struggle to Promote?
If you regularly struggle to find professionals from inside your workforce who are qualified to move into management positions, it suggests that they are failing to develop into leaders. They may be great at their current job, but they can’t make the step to the next level.
When young employees are paired up with a career mentor, they can learn a lot about the difficult transition into management. And rather than repeat the mistakes that doom so many first-time managers, they can groom themselves and their team to be effective starting on day one. With the help of a mentor, even the greenest young tech professional can develop into management material.
Is Innovation Lacking?
When was the last time your company developed an innovative product, service, or operation? If you struggle to do things differently, the cause may be driven by ideas which aren’t combining and percolating into something bigger than themselves.
A mentoring program can encourage innovation by creating an opportunity for ideas to cross pollinate throughout generations and between departments. The expedience of older employees provides a powerful dose of reality to younger employees. Similarly, the ambition and cutting-edge skill set of younger employees can help older employees broaden their thinking and break out of a rut.
Has Expertise Been Lost?
IT is in the midst of the first big wave of baby boomer retirements, and the rate is only going to speed up. When older employees that have been with your company for years decide to stop working, much of their experience and expertise leaves with them, creating unexpected deficiencies within your office.
Starting a mentor program is one way to keep more of that expertise close at hand no matter how much turnover you experience. Over the course of a long and productive mentoring relationship, information gets passed between generations that doesn’t appear in any of your employee manuals or official documents. Younger employees learn valuable strategies/insights/techniques that they didn’t learn in school and couldn’t get through training alone.