Many companies today have high interest and investment in the mentorship of young talent. They put policies in place in order to track progress and development. They strive towards mentorship philosophy and culture, however the implementation tells another story.

It’s one thing to have bursary programs and educational assistance policies in place for academic growth, but what is needed is physical, interactive mentorship. There is a skills gap from academics to workplace and mentorship is the very strong bridge that should marry the two.

In my experience as an internal and external recruitment consultant and career coach, I have observed the transition from interview to placement (both from the management and candidate perspective) and what I’ve found is that mentorship is one of the key elements which are first to be dropped by the way side, with detrimental results.

If only the employee would recognize the opportunity to arise out of fear and complacency “seek the counsel of the wise”, skills and expertise would be transferred smoothly and in turn any employee movement (through promotion, resignation or retirement) would not adversely affect the organization.

In the same way Managers and senior employees should be forthcoming with expertise and skills, empowering their employees and colleagues to fulfill their roles and to achieve their goals and in turn arrive closer to the vision of the company. The positive attributes of mentorship are endless for any organization; it aids in staff retention as well as strengthening client ties and can even increase profit margins.

Collaboration and teamwork are imperative in sustaining an organizations strategic role within its sector.  We need to arise out of prehistoric misconceptions and idealistic norms and move with the times.  What will it take to change the mindset of our society? Can we truly embrace change and a different way of thinking? Can we really stand up for good, voicing our opinions in respect for one another and our organizations, in order to allow a new breed of employee to birth forth?

I say we can, if you are a leader in a place of power, I challenge you to continue to provide opportunities for growth and development regardless of the previous failed attempts. If you are an employee I urge you to question listen and shadow your mentors, to see an opportunity when it knocks and to grab it with both hands leaving fear powerless to the new you.

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