Many corporations are finding out that the money spent retaining and developing existing employees is much less than money spent recruiting new employees, thereby improving their bottom line. As a result, mentorship structures are becoming one of the new cost-saving measures in for-profit organizations in today's marketplace.
What about mentorship within a nonprofit organization like ASHI, where its individual members are for-profit entities? Isn't that like training the competition? It does not have to be, and it isn't if all parties involved derive benefits from the mentorship program. It is the benefits that have now transformed a competitor into a colleague — one of a group of people who work together. So, what's in it for me, as the mentor? What's in it for me the mentee, for lack of a better word? And what's in it for ASHI?
• The mentor benefits by having an opportunity to share; to give back; to help make this world, their profession, ASHI and their chapter a better place, a much stronger organization.
• The mentor, mentee and ASHI benefit by providing a one-on-one training ground for identifying and helping to develop future leaders.
• The mentor and ASHI benefit through membership retention by taking a much-less experienced inspector "under their wings," so to speak. The attraction for the mentee of being a part of the organization is that someone will be there to "show them the ropes."
• The mentor and mentee could develop bonds of friendship that may last a lifetime.
• An apprenticeship, required in some licensed states, may provide work opportunities for both the mentor and mentee to make money.
• Fostering business growth through referrals among: ASHI Inspectors, the ASHI chapters, The ASHI School and other entities as the mentee becomes more familiar with the mentor's expertise.
• A much smaller educational venue where both mentor and mentee will teach and learn through "ride along inspections," "parallel inspections" and "peer review," so to speak.
In the climate of today's global marketplace, why would you not choose to help develop a colleague over identifying a competitor?
And to whom do you refer your clients when you are in Jamaica on vacation? Surely not the competitor!
The time has come for ASHI to develop an official mentorship program as a new member benefit. Our members are asking for it, and we intend to give it to them. This will in no way discourage the many unofficial mentorship partnerships that are currently in place.
Thanks for "stepping up to ASHI" and stay tuned for more as your Council of Representatives working within your chapters, and alongside your board of directors and the ASHI staff, bring you: 'Mentorship – The ASHI Way."