Guide work­ers to you

Re­ten­tion can be as easy as giv­ing a worker some tips, Ben Pike re­ports

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HIGHLY tal­ented staff are a third less likely to leave an or­gan­i­sa­tion if they are in­volved in a men­tor­ing pro­gram than if they are not.

In­ter­na­tional HR ex­pert Pro­fes­sor David Clut­ter­buck, who has pub­lished 14 books on men­tor­ing, says or­gan­i­sa­tions need to recog­nise that they are not al­ways go­ing to be able to hang on to the most tal­ented em­ploy­ees.

But there are meth­ods of re­duc­ing the num­ber who do leave, he says.

Dur­ing a visit to Australia last month, he told Careerone that or­gan­i­sa­tions must recog­nise some of their tal­ent will leave them at some stage.

‘‘ While those peo­ple are with you, you must get the most out of them,’’ he says.

‘‘ If you pro­vide them with the kind of sup­port and men­tor­ing they need, then they are much more likely to look for their next job in­side the or­gan­i­sa­tion if they have a men­tor than if they don’t.

‘‘ Hav­ing a men­tor is an un­threat­en­ing way of find­ing out what’s go­ing on with the em­ployee. Hav­ing a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive, the men­tor can sug­gest dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties com­ing up in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

‘‘ Within prop­erly or­gan­ised men­tor­ing schemes, peo­ple who are men­tored are a third less likely to quit than peo­ple who aren’t.’’

Apart from the abil­ity to keep tal­ent in­house, Clut­ter­buck says men­tor­ing cre­ates a sit­u­a­tion where work­ers ap­proach their for­mer men­tors years later when they are look­ing for ad­vice and ca­reer di­rec­tion.

This cre­ates an op­por­tu­nity for that men­tor to lure the tal­ented per­son back to their orig­i­nal work­place.

‘‘ One firm in the UK mea- sured how much money it was sav­ing in terms of rere­cruit­ment and found they were sav­ing mil­lions in re­cruit­ment costs through this process,’’ Clut­ter­buck says.

He says men­tors work at four lev­els: those who try to graft a pre-ex­ist­ing model to ev­ery or­gan­i­sa­tion; pro­cessed­based coaches; dis­ci­pline or phi­los­o­phy-based ones; and what he de­scribes as sys­temic eclec­tics.

‘‘ These

eclec­tics are the world-class coaches who un­der­stand and are very fo­cused not just on the client but the sys­tem of which the client is a part,’’ he says.

‘‘ They see the whole is­sue in con­text.

‘‘ The ma­jor­ity of coaches – 70 to 80 per cent – are still stuck in mod­els or pro­cessed­based ap­proaches and if you are buy­ing these guys you shouldn’t be pay­ing the same amount as you do for the top guys.’’

Picture: Bob Barker

CON­TEXT: Pro­fes­sor David Clut­ter­buck lec­tures on ex­ec­u­tive coach­ing, hu­man re­sources and men­tor­ing in cor­po­rate or­gan­i­sa­tions.

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