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Posted by Tom Klemens on May 31, 2011 at 9:15 AM.
Do you mentor your new employees? Although widely accepted as a good approach to integrating young professionals into the workforce, a recent survey shows that mentoring programs in the architecture, engineering, planning and environmental industries are far from being the norm.
According to the online survey of industry human resources personnel for The Zweig Letter, 47% of respondents reported having a mentoring program. However, a significant number, 27%, reported that their firms don’t have such a program. Another 13% said that mentoring initiatives existed at one point. A number of firms, 7% of respondents, are discussing the idea, according to survey results.
Some difficulties in mentoring programs were also explained by one anonymous survey respondent. “We have a mentoring program but it is very informal. It needs improvement, but there never seems to be interest in helping it become a more useful tool for new employees. Time is the biggest issue. Non-chargeable time, in our industry, is not encouraged.”
A vast majority of respondents, 67%, said proteges are paired with people inside the firm. Another 33% offered other arrangements, but no one reported pairing proteges with people outside the firm.
More information and resources on the subject are available at http://www.zweigwhite.com/.
The value of mentoring also was addressed in the article “Changing of the Guard: How to Avoid a Leadership Shortfall,” by Joseph D. Rei and F. Leigh Branham, published in the June 2009 issue of MSC.