ergonomicsCompanies that support a robust mentor program for new safety employees are more apt to reduce the learning curve they face and retain their services longer, an important feat considering competition to keep them will rise with an estimated 25,000 safety practitioners retiring by 2016.

The cost of high turnover

That is the conclusion authors Wanda Minnick, Steve Wilhide, Rich Diantoniis, Tom Goodheart, Simeon Logan and Ross Moreau reach in their article, “Onboarding OSH Professionals” in the December issue of Professional Safety, the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) monthly journal. High turnover is costly to any organization, not only in lost talent, but also in recruiting, socializing and training replacement employees, the authors write.

A positive impact

The authors asked employed ASSE safety professionals working in manufacturing, oil and gas and construction to complete an online survey. When asked what level of impact having a mentor made on their first six months on the job on their intent to stay within the company long term (more than five years), 92 percent said mentors had a positive impact. Only 57 percent of non-mentored participants said they had the same positive impact when asked the same question.

“Interestingly, the study indicates that retention intent, and mentoring may be associated events, thus showing value in a structured mentored program,” the authors write. “In addition, incorporating activities that are valued by safety professionals into the mentoring program may help reduce the learning curve.”   

Read this article at: