With the economy in recession, it has been the mantra that investing in programs that retain employees or develop talent must take a back seat to "surviving." Interestingly enough, companies always seem to find money when they believe in an approach.
I recently had a conversation with a Director of Human Resources in health care. We have been discussing engaging in creating a mentoring program. In the meantime, he shared with me that senior management had just announced that they are bringing in an outside consulting group to develop leaders in the company. Despite announcing a recent layoff, the company recognizes the ongoing need for effective leaders in order to remain competitive. The company is going to invest $20 million over 4 years in an effort to link competencies to performance and to provide the tools and support needed for emerging leaders.
Most of us don't have budgets of $20 million to invest. However, that doesn't mean there's nothing we can do. Professional mentoring is a low-cost, high benefit program that is easy to implement and leads to higher retention rates, better prepared leaders and faster promotions. For the cost of replacing one to four employees, depending on which figure you use for turnover costs, you can implement a successful mentoring program.
So if you have precious few dollars to invest in talent development, why not talk to an expert on how powerful and cost effective a mentoring program can be for you and your company.