Reverse Mentoring Helps Retain Senior Employees [Charlotte Observer] Sunday 09/03/06 3:37 PM |
Business Coach Sherry Sutton in the Charlotte Observer notes two innovative approaches to retaining baby boomers and facilitating the transfer of knowledge.
Reverse Mentoring Programs - Corporate mentoring programs typically pair a senior, experienced leader with a younger worker to help guide his or her development. In reverse mentoring, the younger employee acts as a mentor or resource to the senior employee providing information on new business trends and technology.
Corporate Wisdom Teams - These corporate teams made up of senior employees who have guided the company through a number of challenges throughout the years. These expert groups harness their knowledge to help prepare the next generation of company leaders.
Building A Mentoring Organization [About.com] Wednesday 06/28/06 1:16 PM |
Lois Sachary has eight hallmarks for creating and growing a mentoring culture in your organization.
- Accountability - Define roles and responsibilities for participants. Set goals and expectations and gather feedback.
- Alignment - Make sure the goals of your mentoring programs are in line with the goals of your organization.
- Communication - Make sure everyone is aware of your mentoring efforts, the participation, results, and successes of the program.
- Value & visibility - Share mentoring stories of participants across the organization. Leaders sharing their own success stories help motivate and highlight the benefits of mentoring for all employees.
- Demand - As your mentoring programs grow, more people will want to participate. The more people that participate the more successful the program and the organization will be.
- Multiple Mentoring Options - Encourage all avenues of mentoring, including group mentoring and one-on-one mentoring. They are not mutually exclusive, but actually build well upone each other.
- Continuing education - Mentoring is an integral part of the training and development of the organization.
- Safety Nets - Mentoring provdes a way to learn and take risks without the fear of failure. Having others in the organization to rely on when you get stuck helps everyone maintain high productivity.
Best Practices In Bank Employee Mentoring Programs [Community Banker] Monday 02/20/06 1:07 PM |
Banks are embracing mentoring programs as an effective way to help new employees acclimate, help reduce employee turnover, bring employees up to speed quickly and provide a source for moral and emotional support.
Some banks have formal mentoring programs in place and others encourage mentoring informally. Some of their best practices are shared in this article.
Cape Cod Cooperative Bank, Yarmouth Port, MA
Asset size: $420 Million
- Mentoring program for new tellers.
- New tellers matched with experienced tellers.
- Mentors paid $100 on a quarterly basis if their mentees achieve goals.
- Goal of program: help new tellers come up to speed more quickly and help with career development.
- Results: Has been a win-win for the new tellers who are less frustrated and for the bank in getting new hires proficient more quickly.
Liberty Bank, Middletown, CT
Asset size: $2.3 Billion
- Mentoring program for new staff.
- New employees assigned 1 or 2 mentors (buddies) who have similar job responsibilities or who know the job well.
- Goal: To help new employees learn the ropes, provide someone to help navigate through the bank, acclimate faster and better and ease frustration.
- Results: Says Paul R. McConnell, CEO and President, "Very definitely it works. The rate of turnover in that group is now below the rate of turnover in the bank as a whole. This mentoring process has helped not only in terms of skill development, but more importantly, it has provided emotional support that they wouldn't have had otherwise."
- Bank has additional mentoring program for minorities with high career potential.
- The objective of this program is to grow minority executives from within.
- Mentees meet with their mentors as needed. Program administrators meet with the mentee group 3-4 times per year to share experiences.
Ridgwood Savings Bank, Ridgewood New York
Asset size: $3.3 Billion
- Program focuses on high potential employees.
- First level supervisors are matched with more seasoned executives.
- Mentors and mentees meet every 3 weeks.
- Discussions focus on ways to prepare for career advancement through education and opportunities within the bank.
- Twice per year program administrators meet with the mentors and the mentees in separate groups to discuss the effectiveness of the program.
- Goal: Mentees learn what they have to do to advance within the bank.
- Results: It is a positive experience for both the mentees and the mentors.
South Shore Savings Bank, South Weymoth, MA
Asset size: $870 Million
- Program for management trainees.
- Mentees rotate throughout the bank for 4-months in each area.
- Mentees meet with assigned mentors at least once per month.
- Mentors assess mentee's progress, offer career guidance and support.
RSI Bank, Rahway, NJ
Asset Size: $409 Million
- CEO meets daily with Senior Officers asking for their input
- CEO has open door policy to help employees meet career goals
First Federal Bank of California, Santa Monica, CA
Asset Size: $10 Billion
- Makes bank welcoming and inviting for new employees
- Asks employees to buddy up voluntarily
- Lead branch managers act as resource for other branch managers
NewAlliance, New Haven, CT
Asset Size: $6.5 Billion
- Plans to offer new program
- Program will include how to find a mentor, what to look for and how to interact with your mentor
The US Has An Urgent Need To Preserve Organizational Knowledge [Public-CIO] Monday 02/20/06 12:51 PM |
According to Forrester Research, 46% of US government employees and 45% of US public employees are fast approaching retirement age. When these employees retire, their knowledge and expertise will retire with them unless organizations act now to preserve it. One way an organization can preserve this knowledge is by implementing an effective knowledge management mentoring program.
Knowledge management can be defined as the process of preserving, connecting and sharing the knowledge of an organization freely within the organization. When reliable knowledge is freely available throughout the organization, employees are more efficient, make fewer mistakes, avoid redundancy, communicate more effectively with their peers and can draw upon the skills and expertise of the entire organization.
An effective knowledge management procedure can preserve and maximize hard-won knowledge, lessons learned and best practices. It can also facilitate the connecting of mentors with mentees.
10 Steps To An Effective Knowledge Management Program:
- Identify High Risk Processes - These are areas that will be negatively impacted when the current expertise is gone.
- Take A User Centric Approach - The program should be available and accessible to the employees doing the jobs as opposed to just trainers or managers that would then filter it down to the employees that need it.
- Business Case Analysis proves the effectiveness of Knowledge Management - According to a 2005 IDC report, an average worker wastes 3.5 hours each week searching for information to do his/her job wasting an average of $5000 per year per employee.
- Build Consensus and Ownership - To get and maintain buy in from all the stake holders, get their input and feedback before, during and on a recurring basis.
- Find Out From The Employees On The Floor - The employees doing the job know what knowledge is needed to do the job. Get the knowledge from the source to avoid chasing slogans from management that sound good but are not followed in practice.
- Identify the experts and what their expertise is. Capture their expertise prior to their retirement using Exit Interviews, Mentoring Programs, and Job Shadowing.
- Connect People AND Collect Expertise. Preserving organizational knowledge requires the creation of groups of experts or Communities of Practice as well as capturing the process and procedure the experts employ.
- Help employees find the knowledge they need. One way this can be achieved is by organizing the knowledge in an easily accessible way to all employees. Storing knowledge in a tag based wiki like the wikipedia would allow employees to access and search the knowledge from many angles.
- Use Technology Judiciously - Technology is a very powerful tool to connect people with each other and with institutional knowledge. Implemented carefully it can enhance and improve your employee productivity. One way to find the proper tool for your organization is to connect with other organizations. Round table discussions between and across multiple organizations can ferret out best practices and best tools for mentoring and knowledge management.
- Develop metrics and usage statistics to measure your success.
APTA Mentoring Program Tips [APTA] Monday 02/20/06 12:49 PM |
Sandy Ridout, from APTA, The American Physical Therapy Association, has a very good writeup on the mentoring process. The article describes the mentoring process, tips for getting the most out of the relationship, what makes a good mentor and protege and much more.
Tips to get the most out of your mentoring relationship:
- Set expectations
- Share information about yourself
- Be responsive and communicate clearly
- Be open and honest
A good mentor:
- is responsive.
- is a good listener.
- is open and honest.
- is non-judgmental and ethical.
- is approachable and available.
- is a good problem-solver.
- is a good observer.
- is patient.
- sets expectations.
- has genuine interest in helping the protege.
- has the time and expertise.
A good protege:
- possesses a learning attitude.
- has an interest in a mentor's help to advance his/her career.
- has the potential and time to be proactive.
- is non-judgmental, trustworthy, ethical.
- is a good listener.
- takes the initiative.
- asks for feedback.
- acknowledges mentor's expertise and its value.
- provides feedback to mentor on outcomes.
- recognizes mentor's possible time constraints.
Read the rest of the very comprehensive article at the APTA website. Sandy Ridout is the director of APTA women's Initiatives.
Australian Mentoring Program Provides Motivation [NSW Small Business] Monday 02/20/06 12:35 PM |
In Sydney Australia, the State Government's Women in Business program serves to mentor small business professionals.
Each member is assigned a mentor whose role it is to help the mentee stay motivated and focused on her goals. The group meets every other week.
The women in this group all agree that having to be accountable to their mentor has help to keep them motivated.
The program has proven successful with a total of 273 women mentored last year.
More information on the program is available at http://www.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au.
Mentoring CEOs and Top Executives [Grant Thornton] Monday 02/20/06 12:22 PM |
Mentoring plays a vital role in training CEO's for many companies. According to a recent survey of 300 business executives, 69% say they have mentors and 66% say they are themselves a mentor.
Some of the forms mentoring can take include peers sharing their experiences and learning from each other's past successes and failures. A crucial distinction between mentoring and other forms of training is that mentoring transfers knowledge based on experience, from someone that has practiced the desired knowledge or skill.
Mike Apperson, President and CEO of American Fibers and Yarns describes mentoring as "the only approach where business professionals can learn from the mistakes and successes of others. Throughout your business life, you will meet others who have walked down a road you havent yet traveled. By learning from their experience, your journey will have fewer potholes."
How do executives find people to be their mentors? Often the top executives create a network of people with varied experience to advise and act as a sounding board.
An obvious benefit to the mentee is learning a valuable skill from a seasoned expert. A less obvious benefit is the less formal environment of a mentoring relationship along with the one on one aspect tend to instill more confidence than other methods of knowledge transfer.
An often overlooked benefit to the mentor is the amount of re-learning and honing of your own skills as you prepare for and proceed to mentor your protege.
Mentoring Tips from SCORE [Yahoo] Tuesday 06/07/05 10:16 AM |
SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) offers these mentoring tips for small business owners to get the most out of their mentors:
- What's your problem - figure out what problems you are trying to solve. Prioritize and order them based on highest impact to your business success. The top 3-5 are the ones to focus on.
- Make the time - Business owners are busy people, but you need to make time to meet with mentors in order to solve your problems.
- Find someone that has solved your problem - The best mentor is someone that has experience with the problem you are facing or a similar situation.
- Use multiple mentors - Don't limit yourself to just one mentor. Build a team of advisors to help you with your challenges.
Dolphins Use Mentoring For Knowledge Management [myway] Tuesday 06/07/05 9:39 AM photo|
Dolphins living off the west coast of Australia use sea sponges to protect their snouts. The dolphins cover their snouts with conical shaped sponges they uproot from the sea bed to avoid being stung by stonefish and other creatures hiding in the ocean bottom while they forage for food.
Researchers discovered that this protective technique is passed on along family lines. That is, only offspring that have mothers that practice this technique learn the technique. Researchers believe the offspring learn the technique during the close supervision of the mother during the 4 year weaning period.
The practicing dolphin families insure the preservation of their competitive expertise by mentoring their young in the technique.
Mentoring to Improve Boardroom Diversity [Human Resources] Friday 06/03/05 10:28 AM |
In the UK, women are a minority in the boardrooms of the largest companies. According to a recent report, there are only 110 female board members in the companies that make up the FTSE 100 index.
A new program aimed at helping top executives cross the hurdle from corporate executive to the boardroom is a cross-company mentoring program. How it works: 20 chairmen from FTSE 100 companies will mentor senior executives from other companies.
The motivation for the program came from a recent meeting of 20 FTSE chairmen. They found that board members all knew each other well because they belonged to the same clubs and networking groups. This makes it hard for outsiders to break into the network. Another finding was that they all wanted more female representation in their boards but had trouble identifying candidates with the right experience.
The external mentoring program will help the top executive mentees by providing an independent view of her professional career choices. It will also provide insight into the role of a director. According to one mentee, she is confident on her ability to handle internal corporate issues, but she has no experience dealing with shareholders and Annual General Meetings (or AGM, annual shareholder meeting), so learning firsthand how these work provides a valuable opportunity.
The chairmen mentors also benefit. Issues faced by their mentees alert them to potential problems in their own organization. It also provides insight into the workings of other organizations.
An internal mentor has the benefit of inside knowledge of the workings of the organization. An external program may provide more independence and impartiality which may lead to a more open mentoring relationship.