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How to Develop an Effective Mentorship Program

Structured mentoring helps with recruitment and retention, as well as facilitates knowledge transfer.

Two business men using a tablet

Mentoring is a well-established corporate practice. The Association for Talent and Development finds 71 percent of all Fortune 500 companies offer formal mentorship programs, while many others support informal initiatives.

But until recently, mentorship programs eluded facility management.

“Formal mentorship programs are few and far between,” says Mayra Portalatin, vice president of Facilities Services at NVE Inc., a Reston, Va., firm that provides integrated facility management.

She qualifies her statement by saying existing mentorship programs are more organic, rather than formal. Technical staff like electricians, HVAC mechanics, and plumbers take part in formal education- or union-based apprenticeship programs employers support by giving employees time off for class and reimbursing them for class fees. But technicians in other roles lack similar mentorship opportunities.

As the average age of facility engineers hovers at 50-plus and more professionals ready for retirement, facility managers must take a closer look at formal mentorship programs. Increasingly managers eye mentorship programs to recruit and retain new workers and help with knowledge transfer as professionals retire.

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