We originally published this newsletter in January 2009. Although we wish we weren't still talking about a down economy, the fact of the matter is that we are, and we may be for some time to come. Investing time and money in your employees now may seem like a place where you can cut back, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, conducted a study of 322 middle managers in the U.S. in September 2008. According to the study, nearly two-thirds of the middle managers surveyed say that the economy is having a negative impact on their work environments. Sixty-one percent claim their employees are concerned about job loss and morale is down. Fifty-three percent are either dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with their jobs. While dissatisfaction is high, only 13% of those surveyed are looking for jobs and nearly half (46%) believe that switching jobs in a down economy is risky.
So what can a company do? While it might not seem like the right time to make an investment in mentoring, here are six reasons why companies should reconsider this stance.
- Talent is always in demand. The economy may be in bad shape, but the only way to stay afloat is to have the talent to ride out the storm. Investing in your talent now is one more step you can take to avoid watching your company sink later.
- It's critical to engage your employees fully when your company is dealing with reduced resources. Mentoring can provide employees with a place to share the challenge of increased output with fewer resources.
- Share the wealth--NOW! Mentoring allows your current company experts to pass along their expertise so that it remains within the company once they've left (e.g. Baby Boomers who are retiring). Not only that, but putting a mentoring program in place now may limit the disruption that a general layoff or termination will create in the future.
- Mentoring's low-cost factor (it usually costs more to replace an employee than it does to implement a mentoring program) makes it a smart option, even in a down economy. And consider this: a mentoring program affects at least 40 or more people at one time.
- In down times, we have to cut back on luxuries, but are your employees a luxury or the core of your business? Your employees will be more than willing to work harder and smarter if they feel you are willing to invest in them and their careers through a mentoring program.
- When in troubled waters, don't throw the crew overboard. Yes, you need be mindful of your budget and you need to create a long-term plan to keep the company healthy and viable, but it's your employees who will be executing the plan. Mentoring can help bring your employees together so that they feel more connected as a team working on the single goal of getting the ship to right its course for the future.
Let's talk about making an investment in your employees. Call Management Mentors today at 617-789-4622 or contact us.