Upgrading Mentorship When Downsizing Your Business

Brainstorming

“Many people think that a reorg or downsizing is the time to stop investing in their people. In fact, it’s the time to START investing in your people. If not, your high-performers and future leaders will be walking out the door if faced with uncertainty and a lack of investment in them as the future of the company.” — Nancy Wolk, Principal, eMentorConnect

If you’re in the business of talent management, leadership development, or training at your company, odds are high that you’re stressed out during a downsizing period.

But don’t panic: Strategize. How can you ensure that the remaining high potential employees stick around? When there’s a personnel shakeup, whether through reorganization or downsizing, employees are likely to start looking into other opportunities. And who can blame them? They’re probably wondering about the security of not only their current position, but also the vulnerability of high level opportunities within the company.

A conscientious and clever manager knows that an important step of reorganization is to make sure your remaining employees feel engaged, appreciated, and motivated. This is the time to remind them that there are still paths through which they can move up in the company and secure positions waiting for them at the end.

Be transparent with your staff and be aware of the apprehension and anxiety that could be permeating the office. For The Wall Street Journal, in the economic panic that occurred in 2009, Toddi Gutner offers questions that potential mentees can ask themselves when considering their potential within their own company. Pose these questions to your own staff and they’ll know that you’re invested in keeping them there and helping them grow:

“First, take a personal inventory of your mentoring goals. What would you like to gain? Do you want to learn more about project management? Are you interested in learning about the people side of the business? Do you want help navigating corporate politics? Make a prioritized list of your goals.”

eMentorConnect’s KNOX® cloud-based digital platform can use this information and more to connect mentees with mentors whose knowledge matches their interests.

Gutner also notes that employees in managerial roles may have diminished motivation to mentor during a reorganizational phase. By modeling a purposeful and strategic approach to beefing up your mentorship program, your mentors will feel more compelled to stay engaged and focus on moving forward. Reorganization and downsizing hurt, but by focusing on the team you still have, you’ll remind them of their value and potential within your business.

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Kate Mason
kate.mason@ementorconnect.com

Kate Mason is a writer, historian, and stand-up comic living in New Orleans, LA. She is the Programming Coordinator for the New Orleans Film Society and an avid enthusiast of pop culture. She approaches mentoring challenges with a witty, creative mind.

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