Mentoring at ESL Federal Credit UnionManageSmarter.com has posted a write-up of the mentoring program for new-hires at ESL Federal Credit Union in Rochester NY, a program that has an appealing air of practicality.
The write-up takes the form of an interview with Kelli Loveless, a senior training/performance specialist at ESL. Loveless explains that the mentoring program was instigated by the unnerving frequency with which new-hires were bailing out after just a few weeks of exposure to their jobs.
Anonymous exit interviews clarified that the issue wasn't jobs whose responsibilities were not as advertised. Rather, the departing employees were dismayed by the difficulty they experienced in carrying out those responsibilities without adequate assistance while they were still learning how to cope with such realities as ornery customers and sometimes impatient supervisors.
Loveless offers straightforward advice for how other organizations can emulate ESL's mentoring approach to addressing the problem of easing people into their work and preparing them to advance on a career path. In brief, the advice is:
- Choose mentors who are temperamentally and technically fitted to the role.
- Reward and recognize the mentors' contribution. This includes reducing other responsibilities so that mentors are not overworked, and providing a visible award. (ESL gives mentors a special business card holder to display on their desks.)
- Monitor results closely. Discuss any issues promptly, and be similarly prompt in handing out well-earned compliments.