Guide workers to you
Retention can be as easy as giving a worker some tips, Ben Pike reports
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.
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.’’
CONTEXT: Professor David Clutterbuck lectures on executive coaching, human resources and mentoring in corporate organisations.