The Coach's Corner

Archive for February, 2015

Building Your Own Dream Team, Part 4: Mentor (Make available buddy/mentoring programs)

February 16th, 2015 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Over the years, I have observed that team members do better if they have a “sponsor.” By that, I mean someone senior to the team member who takes a special interest in the younger (or newer) person and their career.

So, why not adopt that as a standard practice? Assign someone senior to each new hire, to mentor and look out for them. Check out our October 13, 2014, post.

A buddy or mentor is someone safe; someone a new hire can go to and comfortably ask sensitive or even embarrassing questions. Senior team members can give their mentees tips, and talk about their own career. Our experience is that most buddies/mentors like the role.

If you decide to start a mentoring program, make sure you provide training to the mentors. Some people are naturals, but don’t assume everyone will know what to do.

p.s. My longtime mentor, Ken Kunkel, is still advising me.

Building Your Own Dream Team, Part 3: The Benefits of Co-ops (Offer internships, co-ops and apprenticeships to attract great talent.)

February 2nd, 2015 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

I believe a best practice includes offering internships, co-ops, apprenticeships or other enticements. This provides you and the prospective team member with a chance to kick the tires. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, 40 percent of respondents’ new hires came from internships or co-op programs. I would encourage you to follow a structured approach — students today have lots of options, and you want to ensure that their time with you is a quality experience. Often, they can become your best recruiters when they return to the classroom.

Sometimes companies complain that they spend all kinds of time and money training someone, and then that person goes to work for a competitor. I have a colorful answer to this concern, but my polite answer is: “They’re yours to lose. If you take care of them and give them a good experience, they won’t leave.” In my next post, I’ll recommend a system that will almost guarantee the students you want to work for you will stay.

I’m aware of a $400 million professional service firm that had two managing partners who began working at the firm as summer interns, where they were proofreaders. Fortunately, their supervisor was wise enough to observe their potential and made a special point of introducing them to the right partners. As they say, the rest is history.

As many of you know, apprenticeships for shop floor team members, which were very common years ago, are rare — so you can really distinguish your company in this way and attract the best students.

Do you have a pipeline for new hires, such as internships, co-ops or apprenticeships? I believe there is no downside to these practices!

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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