C-Suite Advisory

Corporate Grandparenting: The best retention tool you’ve never heard of

Employee Survey & Staff Engagement Feedback

Many mentoring programs focus on coaching employees on their hard skills to excel in their roles specifically. Corporate grandparenting focuses on developing proven performers into future leaders as part of a succession plan. In this, corporate grandparents address bigger company concepts like corporate values, company culture and provide perspective, guidance and reinforcement of how the employee is contributing to the big picture. Why does that matter? It shows that the leadership team is envisioning them with the company long-term.

[su_box title=”Corporate Grandparenting:” box_color=”#2daae1″ title_color=”#333333″]Definition: Managing someone two levels below.
Antonym: Mentoring program [/su_box]

Here are four reasons to care about corporate grandparenting:

  1. It increases employee retention. When senior managers, VPs, directors, or the C-suite are taking the time to meet with someone two layers below, the employees feel more invested in and develop a sense of trust. They will be more willing to go above and beyond. It also helps develop company champions…those who are going to live and breathe the organization and work harder to help it grow.
  1. It passes on corporate values. Corporate grandparents pass on values that go far beyond what is listed on a website. They have the years of experiences and stories that they can share that help put things into perspective….just as a grandparent would. Sometimes a direct manager is focused on how, and how much an employee is producing, and thinking about ways to help them improve. That’s not a bad thing; however, corporate grandparenting can help develop both professional and personal growth.
    Human Resource Management
  1. It builds internal networks. Connecting experienced managers with newer employees forms a strong internal network both parties can benefit from. When a VP is meeting their direct reports’ direct report, nothing is falling through the cracks and there is a stronger sense of accountability. It also opens up the line of communication between junior staff and senior leadership, and it’s far more than just having an open-door policy. It’s setting up time on a consistent basis for the two to meet and discuss items that aren’t focused on the employee’s position directly. It’s easy for leadership to lose touch with new hires and their emerging culture.
  1. It develops a talent pipeline. When senior management meets with a newer employee, they are immediately passing down the values and ideas that the founder originally built the company on. While a mentoring program helps build someone into a producer for their current role, corporate grandparenting helps round out the employee to be a future leader for the company.

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Krisi Rossi O’Donnell
LaSalle Network, a staffing and professional services firm headquartered in Chicago. O’Donnell has over nine years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry, and has placed professionals in technology, accounting, finance and executive leadership positions. As Vice President of Staffing and Recruiting, O’Donnell manages 37 people across four business units. She is responsible for managing the internal process for identifying, qualifying and placing candidates.
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