What About Mentorship?
We discovered a specific generational workforce challenge beyond that of not being able to find skilled workers — once the next generation enters the workforce, the two generations are struggling to get through to the other or understand each other’s perspective. Both seasoned and new moldmaking professionals voiced this dilemma during our Amerimold 2019 30 Under 30 Happy Hour. And we believe that mentorship can help to get the conversation started.
Let’s step back and take a broader look at the value of the proposition of mentorship. In a nutshell, we are suggesting that all generations take the opportunity to mentor each other because there is something to be said for the experiential learning that can come from developing a relationship between a mentee and a mentor.
This personal relationship between two humans through which they feel comfortable enough to engage over a problem, challenge or issue is vital to easing the current workforce generational shift. Mentorship allows participants to share different perspectives and learn from each other … perhaps something that they didn’t know before.
“Cross-generational mentoring starts with an understanding that generations differ from each other in their strengths, preferences, working styles and ways of thinking, and it serves to make those differences an advantage rather than detriment in the workplace, in part by creating an opportunity for members of those different generations to share their knowledge with each other.” Marion Wells, HAM
The mold manufacturing industry has a lot of young people who are full of energy and ideas, but they do not have an incubator to grow those ideas. We also have plenty of older people (or seasoned, as I like to refer to them) with a great deal of knowledge and ideas, and they also do not have an incubator to grow those ideas. We are on a mission to create that incubator to harness ideas and allow the conversations to continue under the auspices of the MMT’s Pilot Mentorship Program with the expert council of MMT’s newest EAB member and talent development consultant, Marion Wells of Human Asset Management.
MMT has identified the pilot group and initiated this informal cross-generational mentoring program last month. We will follow and document their journeys through print and digital coverage, as well as a special panel discussion at Amerimold 2020, June 10-11 in Novi, Michigan. I invite you to take this journey with us, if for nothing more than to witness how mentorship can help bridge the great generational divide, and work with us to broaden the program’s reach.
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