Mentors are Key to Success and Retention
- The opportunity to practise and develop their own managerial skills
- Increased job satisfaction and enrichment
- The chance to build wider professional networks
- Increased corporate and industry visibility
- Increased self-confidence
- Faster, more effective transitions into senior positions
- Retention of quality staff – young and mature
- Enhanced transfer of knowledge and skills
- Gains in productivity and the performance of individuals
- Increased on-the-job learning that reduces off-job training costs
- Better communication, commitment and motivation
- A cost-effective method to enhance staff development and knowledge transfer
- A stabilizing factor in times of change.
So how does an organization begin an effective mentorship program? There are three initial steps:
- Identify corporate vulnerabilities. Create an age profile of your workforce by work unit or by function. This clearly shows what areas are most at risk of losing the most employees. How old are members of the leadership team?
- Identify types of knowledge at risk. Where should you focus knowledge retention efforts? Who can you not do without? Whose retirement would have a serious effect on the organization? Where are the individuals?
- Establish a mentorship program that teams an older senior employee with valued skills with a younger worker identified as a possible successor.
Barbara Jaworski is the founder and CEO of the Workplace Institute, North America’s leading think tank on baby boomers in the workplace, and author two books on mature workers: KAA-Boom: How to Engage the 50-Plus Worker and Beat the Workforce Crisis; and Rebel Retirement: A KAA-Boomer’s Guide to Living and Creating an Explosive Second Act. Barbara founded the Best Employers Award for 50-Plus Canadians and is recognized as the nation’s leading expert on baby boomers in the workplace. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org