Mentoring and Succession Planning in the Workplace

Mentoring and Succession Planning in the Workplace

Linda is aspiring to attain her career goal as a Business Manager. To progress her career, she will need to focus her efforts and improve her work performance. She knows that the career journey will bring challenges and issues to confront. Linda is committed to the industry and her chosen career, and is keen to progress quickly.

Craig is planning his retirement next year. To ensure a seamless transition for his retirement and for the organisation succession, he will support Linda to pass on his valuable knowledge and insight. He is supported by the organisation to retain the organisational wisdom, engage and develop Linda’s talent and career.

Research by National Seniors on the ‘baby boomer’ generation, states that almost 5.6 million Australians born between 1946 and 1965, are now aged in their 50s and 60s – over 800 baby boomers are turning 50 each day. As they grow older, they are leaving the paid workforce to take up their next stage of life – retirement.

As experienced workers leave their jobs and take their valuable knowledge and skills that have been built up over extensive employment, a gap will occur in the workforce. This has a profound bearing on the workforce, with fewer working people with the necessary skills, and the continuity of organisational wisdom and competence being threatened.

As organisations address workforce challenges such as: enabling succession plans, increasing employee retention, career and leadership development, organisational mentoring and development programs enable senior staff to transfer their knowledge and skills to less experienced employees. Vital knowledge and organisational wisdom are retained and distributed to staff at all levels of the organisation.

Organisations are realising the benefits of aligning individual career goals with organisational goals to create a more productive organisation that continuously transforms itself to the needs of its staff and external events and challenges.

For individuals, mentoring offers support, knowledge and guidance during their career journey to enable them to develop their professional practice, and attain their career goals. The learning curve to learn the knowledge and practice is shortened.

The mentoring relationship is not a modern fad. Historically, individuals learnt through older members who passed their knowledge and insight whilst in the workplace. Patiently, the mentor provided the time and energy to serve as the teacher and overseer of the mentee.

Modern organisational mentorship programs take place in the environment of a learning organisation. With the transfer of business knowledge and skills, there is a spread of best practices throughout the organisation. Employees engage with each other and a pipeline of future leaders who understand the skills and attitudes required to succeed within the company are developed.

An organisational mentoring culture is a valuable human resource tool for workforce planning and development, for spreading knowledge and best practices throughout the organisation. The benefits of a mentoring culture can be seen with a Plus, Minus, and Equal model.

  • PLUS – Mentoring develops individuals by those who have already ‘been there and done that.’ A mentor offers their knowledge and experience, and offers advice to guide and support the individual during their professional career journey. As individuals develop, knowledge, skills and valuable organisational and industry wisdom are retained, rather than lost, as experienced staff leave.
  • EQUAL – As peers share their experiences and challenges, there is recognition that staff at all levels of the organisation have valuable knowledge and experience to share with others. The qualities of a learning organisation facilitates the engagement and learning of its staff. The accumulation of learning builds higher levels of business performance that enables the organisation to continuously transforms itself.
  • MINUS – We can gain fresh perspectives from younger individuals. Reverse mentoring occurs when a more experienced employee partners with a younger, less experienced individual. It distinguishes from traditional mentoring because the new employee becomes the mentor who provides senior members of the organisation with up-to-date information on the latest business technologies, technical skills and workplace trends. This makes sense as the so-called digital natives, the dot-com kids are the most technologically literate generation of children.

Increasingly, organisations are creating formal mentoring programs to ensure that it has the right people, with the right skills, at the right time – now and in the future.

Encouraging an organisational mentoring and development program will engage and inspire individuals at all levels of an organisation to attain higher level thinking and performance for their career development, and will recognise the Mentor’s expertise and leadership skills.

Linda and Craig are committed to their mentoring relationship. They have collaboratively established clear and realistic goals. They have developed an action plan to focus their efforts in a consistent direction. They are motivated and excited to their commitment to progress and develop. Craig is looking forward to the opportunity to ‘give back’ to his organisation to ensure that his organisational wisdom is retained, so that he can retire with an organisational succession plan in place.

Further information on the Mentoring and Development program can be obtained from the website or contact Career Coaching and Training here.


About Leah Shmerling

Leah Shmerling

Leah Shmerling is the Director and Principal Consultant of Career Coaching and Training, and has extensive experience in career development, life coaching, education and training.

Leah is the author of two books in careers and business communication, a former freelance writer for The Age and Herald Sun, and publisher of two accredited online short courses, Mentoring and Development and Foundations in Career Development Practice.

Leah is a professional member of the Career Development Association Australia (CDAA), a Certified Retirement Coach and is Board Certified as a Career Management Fellow with the Institute of Career Certification.

Leah Shmerling can be contacted here

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Training Testimonials

Gregory Barwell
Gregory Barwell

Health, Wellness and Fitness Professional (Student, School of Counselling, Australian College of Applied Psychology)

Just wanted to say thanks for all your efforts in creating a great class!

I enjoyed the topic and appreciated all your efforts – especially the workshop and essay feedback!

Sharon Mitts
Sharon Mitts

Life Coaching student

Thank you so much for teaching us.  It has been an excellent experience for me and has increased my understanding ten-fold.  You are an amazing teacher and I’ve always enjoyed your enthusiasm.

Jodee Clover
Jodee Clover

Student

Thank you for the most amazingly wonderful introduction into the Bachelor of counselling. I enjoyed every class and reflected so in your units feedback.

As I mentioned to you in class, I was in awe of your knowledge.

Kellie King
Kellie King

INTG Health & Wellness, Professional Resilience, Career Counsellor, Psych/ Life Coach

I want to express my appreciation for your brilliant training. I am thrilled with the experience you provided and the level of practical work and theory. Thank you so much, you brought theories to life…All the training that you do has been deeply rewarding.  I’ve grown in unexpected ways not just personally but professionally in each. Your enthusiasm is infectious and highly appreciated.

Rosina Mihajlovi
Rosina Mihajlovi

Class Teacher at Cape Byron Steiner School

Dear Leah, Firstly, thank you for this course which I found excellent and which exceeded all my visions of what it would be like.

Laura Hewson
Laura Hewson

Team Leader, Melbourne Real Estate Pty Ltd

Thank you so much for coming and training us in Conflict Resolution. The team got so much out of it, and still talk about tools they use.

Gina Liu
Gina Liu

Senior Pathway Advisor

Thanks Leah for having provided fantastic training. I did enjoy the course and learnt a lot.

I am interested in continuing my study in this direction so I will think about taking up further study in Graduate Diploma.

James Alexander
James Alexander

Account Manager

Thanks again for your patience and support throughout the duration of the course. I couldn’t have completed without your support and assistance.

Judith Ayre
Judith Ayre

Senior Lecturer & School of Counselling Academic Head

Leah, this is awesome, something to be really proud of. I am so glad you are here but more than that, that you are offering yourself and your expertise to the world. The world is clearly a better place for your presence. Thanks again for everything.

Janette Brien
Janette Brien

Rehabilitation Consultant

I would like to thank you for supporting me through your extensive supply of resources and experience in successfully completing the Foundations in Career Development Practice, CHCSS00005 Career Development Skills Set.

The facilitated delivery included a blend of monthly webinars, on-line resources and relevant workplace assignment tasks that have built my confidence to coach my clients toward achieving their desired goals.

Your feedback of my work was invaluable as it taught me to work smarter, more efficiently, providing me with more effective results and happier clients.

So, thank you very much for all your input over last 7 months!

Jack L. Harris
Jack L. Harris

Prof Emeritus

With Leah’s enthusiastic approach I was motivated to examine much more than the basic requirements of the course. Her depth of knowledge in this arena not only surprised me but empowered me to pursue all aspects of it to ensure I had a really good understanding of what it entailed. Leah had presented the course in a professional yet warm and personal way and which allowed her students to become closely acquainted with the subject. Her passion for helping others is highly evident and via this avenue she is able to encourage others to be the change they want to see in themselves and in the world around them.

Richard Fowler
Richard Fowler

Student, Foundations in Career Development Practice

I have been able to demonstrate many of the elements of the course immediately, and see the results in provoking the right conversations, as well as providing areas of focus that aid in alleviating tensions, and pointing toward solutions. Leah has pitched the course to comprehensively cover pertinent topics with her own flair, in a manner befitting high quality professional development. I would recommend it wherever applicable.

Timothy
Timothy

Hospitality and Retail

‘The courses are good. I enjoy studying online in my home. It is easier and preferable to going to university. Staff are supportive, assisting me to succeed.’

Adrian
Adrian

Student

‘Leah is a wealth of information and useful in terms of teaching content. It has been vital to how we learn and apply the skills.’

Nikki McCartney
Nikki McCartney

Management Consultant

“I’m blown away! This is fabulous! The Foundations unit I looked at has so many great educational principles built in and all using that digital world so well.”

Counselling Testimonials

SUSAN
SUSAN

Teacher

‘Leah, you have assisted me to broaden my career options beyond what I was considering.’

JOHN
JOHN

Teacher

‘A real insight, I can see how far behind I was – beautiful!’

FRANCES
FRANCES

Teacher

‘Leah, you have been absolutely invaluable today. Worth more than your weight in gold.’