Mentorship and Learning Agility

There are many reasons to build a mentorship culture. First, this can provide a recruiting and retention advantage for your organization. Employees of all ages, and in particular Generation Y (born in 1991 or later), seek out companies that provide mentors for employees as soon as they’re hired. Often, these organizations will assign a “learning buddy” on day one to provide some guidance for new hires on how to succeed within the company and the industry. My research for a previous book, Bridging the Generation Gap, (Gravett and Throckmorton, 2007) found that employees in their 20’s will stay longer with companies that provide mentoring and special assignments to help them develop core competencies the company needs.

Mentoring supports succession planning, which is essential for any organization to survive and thrive over the long term. High potential employees are typically the most learning agile and are often flight risks because competition for their talent is so keen. If these employees have mentors to nurture their development, growth, and contributions to the company, it’s a win for individuals AND the company. In fact, these high potentials are prime candidates to become mentors!

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