It is a universal truth that an organization in possession of new talent will want to provide mentoring opportunities to teach and retain that talent. Or at least it should be that way, and in the past few years, many organizations are coming to that conclusion more readily. It’s a well-documented fact that a solid percentage of today’s workforce will be due to retire within the next few years, taking with them years of hard-earned experience that no organization can afford to lose. The question, therefore is no longer whether or not an organization should implement a mentoring program, but how to implement one, either from drawing upon resources within the organization, or by calling upon the services of another organization with experience in creating mentoring programs. So we ask the question, has your organization considered looking outside it’s borders for its mentoring services, and if not, why?
In-House or Outsource, That is the Question
Once the decision to move forward with a mentoring program has been reached, it would make sense to look to the company’s internal resources first: that is, after all, where all of the knowledge that the company hopes to preserve exists, but an outside source with the right experience can help discover places where knowledge can be found.
When a mentoring program is implemented, time away from daily tasks is expected for the employees, but when the program is run in-house, managers may find that more time than expected is needed to run the program properly. Human Resources, managers, and the organization heads will need to meet to determine how progress is measured, employees who will be mentors will need time to prepare their discussions and any needed training materials for their designated mentees, and the mentees will need extra time to implement what they have discussed with their mentors. Employees who become mentors for the program may also feel uncomfortable in their roles, having agreed to the position because their manager asked them to do it, and not out of any desire to mentor. Being a mentor is not for everyone, but the desire to be a team player may override an employee’s personal misgivings, which will not lead to the success of the program in the end.
The Value of an Outside Source
Using an outside source for a mentoring program can allow employees a greater sense of freedom and trust than internal resources can. In fact, one study found that when presented with a choice, many employees would choose a mentor from outside their place of business because they didn’t have to fear any sort or retaliation or disciplinary action should they not like or disagree with their mentor who would be a coworker and possible a supervisor or manager in an in-house mentoring program..
Another benefit of outsourcing your mentoring program is having an outside perspective while reducing competitive risk to your organization. When the only voices pitching ideas and making the decisions are internal to the organization, patterns can form that may lose their edge of originality. But with the help of an outside voice, employees who benefit from your organization’s mentoring program can help to keep the ideas original and competitive.
At Coley & Associates, understanding the importance of retaining an organization’s knowledge and experience while also allowing it to evolve into more productivity for you over time, is fundamental. We have tailored mentoring programs according to each organization’s needs based on the information gathered from our clients to ensure that each program will provide the most effective training possible. Companies outsourcing a mentoring solution benefit from having a program that is easily implemented by a workforce that is uniquely trained on mentoring. The support provided by mentoring specialists is beneficial for the company’s entire mentoring lifecycle. In our experience, an outsource solution has helped clients starting from design to implementation all while maximizing participation; which is an ongoing challenge of most mentoring programs.
Satisfying the Outside While Benefiting the Inside
Mentoring programs have been shown to increase employee satisfaction and loyalty, and reduce turnover, which in turn saves the organization a great deal of revenue. Trusting a company with experience in developing mentoring programs will save your organization from the pitfalls of trying to build a program from the ground up, therefore ensuring that it doesn’t lose its interest before it can begin.
Mentoring is a valuable resource and an increasingly necessary tool in any organization’s toolbox, but it requires employee cooperation to take hold. A company with mentoring experience will bring the perspective and understanding needed to get your organization’s employees interested in participating so that your organization can continue to grow and retain the experience and talent you’ve worked so hard to acquire.