Generation Gap: Mentors and Proteges Essay

When baby boomers reach retirement age; they start mentoring their replacements called generation Xers. Some boomers face difficulties in this process. William Slater; a computer engineer; faced problems while he was participating in his company’s formal mentoring program. One of his students tried to take his place in the organization by reporting negatively about him. Generation Xers even face issues in mentoring programs. Joel Bershok’s mentor dissolved relationship within 3 weeks of mentoring as his mentor did not trust him.

This is because new replacements charge less and companies are ready to replace old people with new ones as this helps the company in decreasing cost. This happened with Janet Wheelar as she was replaced by two younger workers. There are beneficial effects of mentoring for the organizations. Mentoring increases employee productivity and job satisfaction. The issue is that many mentoring programs end up in failure due to mismatching of mentors and proteges.

On the other hands organizations have benefited from such programs and they have continued using such programs. Mentors should take pride in helping new employees in making their careers. Women are the ones who have gained a lot from mentoring programs and they have reached top level management due to these programs. Knowledge should be passed on. A mentor teaches proteges and then a proteges becomes a mentor and teaches new employees.

According to OB literature on Knowledge Management; the experience and the knowledge of the Baby Boomers should be captured and stored so new employees can benefit from that information. This means that Baby Boomers should provide education to new employees so training cost of the organization decreases and performance increases. According to OB literature; performance increases when employees know what they have to do on the job. When employees are able to do their tasks correctly; they gain job satisfaction.

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