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Getting Your Long Term Employees To Mentor Your New Ones

By April 26, 2013May 31st, 2022No Comments

Dear Kathleen:

We are  getting to the point where we have many long-term employees, as well as new employees coming up in the ranks. We would like to create a formal program across multiple departments to allow our long term employees to share their vast amount of knowledge with our newer employees. Do you have any suggestions on how we might begin?

Sam W.
Manufacturing Company – Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Sam:

Succession planning is a must for most companies these days, mainly because of the Baby Boomer retirement rate. As of 2013, the Baby Boomers will be 51-69 years old and starting to think about retirement. As those individuals leave the workforce, many businesses will experience  the loss of a great deal of important and intrinsic knowledge, especially with those that have a lengthy tenure. Knowledge management has become an important a crucial new task for HR professionals, as  well as upper management.

One of the best ways to start is to determine the age profile of your company, as well as do a skills inventory to see where you might be lacking in skills in the future. After evaluating that assessment, you can begin to address your void in a few different ways, but for now, let’s discuss  a formal Mentor-Mentee program.

A formal Mentor-Mentee program (MMP)  can be beneficial for a company of any size, proving you have the right “fit” of employees.  The benefit of an MMP is that it is a great and easy-to-facilitate a program that will help you get the results you desire.

Some of the merits of a Mentor-Mentee Program are:

  1. Successful Onboarding – The more support a new employee has when starting at a new job, the more likely the success rate. Considering the cost of a bad hire, it’s ever more important that the people that we do choose to work for us end up being successful.
  2. Developing Talent – A Mentor-Mentee Program gives the employees the ability to reach their full potential with the help of those with more experience. The Mentee’s ability to absorb knowledge should be challenged and limited only by his/her desire and capacity to learn.
  3.  Retention – Studies have shown that employees who are employed in a learning environment are more likely to stay in their current job and thereby reduce turnover.
  4.  Productivity – By creating a Mentor-Mentee relationship, the Mentee is more likely to stay focused on what is most important and, therefore, be more productive. This leads to a higher return on investment per employee.
  5.  Leadership Development – Not only does a Mentor-Mentee Program help your new employees, but it also helps develop the leadership skills of your long-term employees, as well as boost self-esteem.
  6. Identify High Potential Employees– When you have a long-term,  high-performance employee mentoring a new employee, they are very likely to  be able to ferret out those that stand out from the crowd. It is key for businesses to identify high-potential employees and assist in their professional development.
  7.  Sharing Knowledge – Hopefully, long-term employees have learned the most efficient way to do their job and that is why you have selected them for a Mentor-Mentee Program. This knowledge is a key part in (1) preventing the new employees from reinventing the wheel and (2) reducing the learning curve.
  8. Morale and Culture – In establishing a Mentor-Mentee Program, you facilitate an environment that promotes a healthy and positive corporate culture and increased morale of all employees.

Next month we will explore the key elements of a Mentor-Mentee Program and how you might be able to incorporate this into your onboarding process.

Thanks and good luck!


SWK’s HR Advisor services provide cost-effective human resource solutions to small businesses. If you want more information on how to change your current vacation and sick policy to a PTO policy – or you have an outdated employee handbook that needs to be revised – please contact Kathleen Weiss, SPHR, at 973-758-6122, e-mail or visit Kathleen’s HR blog can be found at

Our services include:

  • Employee Handbooks (English and Spanish)
  • HR Audits
  • HR Hotline
  • Performance Management and goal setting to increase productivity
  • Job Descriptions
  • Staffing
  • Employee Relations

Disclaimer: Information provided is not intended to be and should not be considered legal advice. As always, please consult your attorney regarding your company’s legal matters.


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