Why Not? Mentoring with Mojitos
By Steve Ressler and Corey McCarren
week, we looked into a new potential retirement option for federal workers:
mentoring into retirement. The program, currently under consideration by
Congress, would allow participants nearing retirement to draw upon partial
annuity while mentoring up to 20% of their work schedule. When crowdsourcing
opinions on the program, we found that GovLoop.com users had some concerns of
their own, including who should participate, whether the amount of time
allotted to mentoring was sufficient or too much, and whether the mentors would
succeed in easing turnover.
A FedSmith poll
conducted last week showed interest in phase retirement and the
mentoring program. Over 75% of respondents said they were at least
partially interested in a phased retirement program. When specifically
asked about participating in mentoring as part of a phased retirement,
70% said they’d be glad to share experiences in a mentoring program as
part of a phased retirement.
Regarding mentoring specifically, Fedsmith readers had three main concerns with the
- Favoritism – or
starters, there was concern of
favoritism, noting that often federal retiree ‘favorites’ come back as
contractors who may be of little benefit to the organization. The same could
happen with a mentors program, where the best mentors aren’t the ones being
- Bad Practices – Another
concern is that the feds chosen for mentoring may pass on bad practices and work habits. The workplace is quickly
evolving due largely to new Internet platforms, and it may not be worth the
time and effort to have employees learn the old way of doing things.
- Is it Coaching or Mentoring? – It
was also noted that some agencies
already have coaches whose goal is to train new employees. It’s hard to
determine what the line would be between coaching and mentoring. And, unlike
coaches, mentors don’t plan on staying with the organization, so they have
little incentive to be productive in their mentoring.
Despite the concerns, there is apparently strong
interest in a mentoring program if done correctly. The statistics show
that while there is skepticism of the program, it is likely still worth a
trial because of the myriad potential benefits for soon-to-be retirees
and new hires alike.
Maybe a little mentoring with that mojito isn’t such a bad idea.
Do you think that the high statistical interest in a
mentorship program shows that it may be worth pursuing, despite some on-going reservations?
What type of oversight mechanisms should be enacted to make sure that mentors
aren’t passing on bad practices? Please feel free to share your ideas in the
comments section below.
If you’re interested in participating in a mentors program, be sure to check out the government-wide GovLoop Mentors program.
Corey McCarren is a fellow at GovLoop.com.
by FedSmith.com |