Mentoring Skills.

Author:Carr, Rey
Position:Product/service evaluation

Mentoring Skills, Video, 2006, Qi Concepts, $1500.

Support: trainer's guide.

While mentoring has been in practice for more than a thousand years, formal mentoring has only recently taken hold in the business world. Literally hundreds of guides, academic resources, training manuals, and research studies are now available.

The reasons for this surge in interest are not hard to identify. First, thousands of highly successful business people attribute a significant portion of their success to someone in their past who gave them a hand up, shared wisdom for them early in their career, or provided the kind of guidance that helped them connect with their own passion and purpose.

Businesses have also begun to recognize the importance of career development within the ranks and especially the retention of employees. Losing talent not only reduces productivity within an organization, but it also has startling negative financial implications. The low cost of operating a volunteer mentoring program or service, however, yields a significant return on investment.

Another factor, particularly evident in North America, is the aging workforce. As unprecedented numbers of employees prepare to enter retirement, their replacement by younger or newer workers is not only limited by fewer available younger workers, but also by a significant generation gap of habits and attitudes toward work as well as knowledge and experience.

The generation gap has become a significant mentoring void, often leaving new workers adrift without adequate role models or workplace guidance. A recent study, for example, revealed that nearly one in five managers ranked getting a promotion as their most challenging life event.

Given these financial, career, and organizational factors, many businesses are eager to implement mentoring programs, especially programs for new employees typically called "induction" programs. And while a considerable number of guides exist as to what to include in such a program and experts mostly agree on the key elements of effective induction mentoring pro grams, visually explicit examples of what actually goes on in a mentoring relationship are rare--until now.

Qi Concepts, a UK-based company that specializes in talent development, has created a 60-minute instructional DVD filled with real life examples of mentor-mentee scenarios. Unlike scripted actors and their polished modeling, this mentor and partner (our term for "mentee") both work for an actual...

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