Corporate Mentoring Solutions for 2009

The economy is bleak, unemployment is on the rise, and employee morale is low. Mentoring today's workforce (as well as tomorrow's) is more important now than ever. If you don't believe it, just consider the following stats and figures:

A 2008 study by Deloitte and Touche found that one in three new hires leave a company within the first year of employment. The first-year turnover rate grew to 31.7 percent in 2007.

The US Department of Labor estimates the cost of replacing an employee as 30% of that individual's annual salary. For professional positions, estimates are as high as 150-200%. This includes the cost of recruiting as well as costs associated with training.

The question you may be wondering is this: can mentoring really make a difference? The answer is YES. A 2006 case study called "Workforce Analytics at Sun" by James Holincheck of Gartner, a Connecticut-based research firm, revealed the following benefits of mentoring:

  • 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change, while only 5% of workers who did not participate in a mentoring program had a change
  • Mentors were promoted 6 times more often than those not in a mentoring program
  • Mentorees were promoted 5 times more often than those not in a mentoring program
  • Retention rates also were higher for both mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than for employees who did not participate in a mentoring program

Of course, it's important to find the right mentoring solution for your organization. For some companies, a formal one-on-one mentoring program might make the most sense. For others, group mentoring or self-directed mentoring might work best.

As you head into 2009, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my company doing everything it can to recruit and retain top talent?
  • Is my current mentoring program (if one exists) working as hard as it could be?
  • When's the last time the mentoring program has received a "check-up" or been evaluated?
  • What feedback have we been receiving from mentors, mentorees, and program managers? Are we even tracking feedback?
  • If I could change one thing about my organization's current mentoring initiatives, it would be this.
    What mentoring solution would make the most sense for my organization? If it's different from the solution that's currently in use, how hard would it be to make a switch.

Once you've answered these questions, talk to a mentoring consultant who can guide you in making the best decision for your organization's specific needs.

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