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Journal of Management Research ISSN 1941-899X 2009, Vol. 1, No. 2: E1

Mentoring Needs and Expectations of Generation-Y Human Resources Practitioners: Preparing the Next Wave of Strategic Business Partners Carolin Rekar Munro Faculty of Management, Royal Roads University 2005 Sooke Road, Victoria, B.C. V9B 2Y5, Canada Tel: 1-250-391-2600 Abstract As organizations prepare for the arrival of Generation-Y HR practitioners as the next generation of strategic business partners in our 21st century workplaces, questions ignite about Generation-Y’s values and aspirations, and how we can engage them in our workplaces. At the forefront of organizational initiatives is mentorship which has resurged as a leading employee development tool. The purpose of this paper is to: examine the benefits of mentorship and the challenges and opportunities of Generation-Y engagement in the workplace; present results from a study on mentoring needs and expectations of Generation-Y HR practitioners; and; present a mentorship model built on collaboration and an action research framework. Surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with 452 participants generated robust data on the needs and expectations of Generation-Y in the formative years of their careers. Results are presented in the following thematic areas: competency profile of effective mentors, framework for mentor-protégé working relationships, anticipated outcomes of mentoring, approaches to learning and development, e-mentoring, and protégés’ contributions to mentoring relationships. Findings reveal that mentoring is vital to development of the competencies for senior HR accountabilities and for understanding how HR fulfils strategic mandate. To achieve this mandate a five-phase mentoring model is proposed with an emphasis on sparking synergy between Generation-Y’s personal values and organizational objectives. The need for mentorship programs with a strategic orientation is timely as HR continues to assert its leadership presence at the boardroom table and prepares the next generation of HR practitioners under whose leadership global communities will thrive. Keywords: Mentoring, Generation-y, Leadership Succession planning, Employee engagement development, Human resources, E-mail: carolin.rekarmunro@royalroads.ca

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Journal of Management Research ISSN 1941-899X 2009, Vol. 1, No. 2: E1

1. Introduction Entering the workforce by storm is a new wave of Human Resources practitioners, Generation Y (Gen Y), who bring distinct values, assumptions, and behaviours; and foster widespread organizational concern regarding how to engage them in the workplace. With the arrival of Gen Y, organizations are re-strategizing how to attract and retain star HR performers as their competitive advantage in a steadily dwindling labour market. At the forefront is mentoring which has resurged as a leading employee development tool, especially for leadership (Noe et al., 2002). Regenerated interest in mentoring stems from awareness that competitive advantage is achieved through employee development (Kanter, 1999) at a time when mass retirement of Baby Boomers is contributing to depletion of organizational knowledge (Stanek, 2001). As provisions for employee development are made, questions are ignited about mentoring needs and expectations of Gen-Y HR practitioners; and how they can be incorporated into formalized mentorship programs. Rationale for doing so originates from a study on the experiences of Gen-Y HR practitioners as they transition from academia to the workplace. Mentoring was identified by 85% of new recruits as the cornerstone of successful workplace transitioning, yet only 32% were satisfied with mentoring received; 38% would have preferred better support systems; and 21% received no mentoring (Rekar Munro, 2007). Mentorship not only launches HR careers, but carries strategic implications for the profession. Carving out a credible and enduring role as strategic...
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