Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Mentorship Program at TVH

Group Thermote & Vanhalst—TVH—is a global organization that spe­cializes in constructing and repairing forklift trucks. The organization's expansion presents Paul Sanders, HR director at TVH, with a tough problem: TVH doesn't have a system to capture, store, and leverage employees' knowledge. There is a massive inflow of young people who lack technical know-how, and specialized knowledge is lost when older employees leave the company. In order to deal with this problem, Paul Sanders introduced a mentorship program. This program helps older employees transmit their knowledge and know-how to younger employees.
Paul realizes that the transition to the mentoring system has not gone smoothly when he gets a letter from Freddy Jacobs, one of his most respected employees. Freddy challenges him with the following:

"Lately we are doing nothing but explaining work processes to the young guys. Our own work has to be put aside, and why? Moreover, the young guy at pre-packing has never seen a forklift truck in his life, but he started off in charge of three older people. We have worked together successfully for more than 30 years, and I hope that you will deal correctly with this situation." After Paul finished reading the let­ter, he frowned. Experienced workers were putting a lot of effort into teaching newcomers the tricks of the trade, but the older workers were now becoming upset because of the career opportunities given to the newcomers. Paul believes that an insufficient transfer of knowledge is at the heart of many issues at TVH. How can he optimize his system to manage knowledge efficiently?


8-29. If you were Paul Sanders, how would you deal with the issues raised in the letter?

8-30. What would make the mentoring program a success? How would you define success, and failure?

8-31. Under what circumstances would you choose these training processes?

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