Young staff are mentors for old

Only one in 70 employers surveyed uses younger staff as mentors to help older staff meet the challenges of e-business, says a study.

This policy of reverse mentoring gives companies tackling the e-commerce revolution the competitive edge in the new economy.

A study due to be published this month by Henley Management College also found that nearly a third of companies surveyed said they provide dedicated e-commerce training. And 10 per cent have restructured their organisation.

The report, E-Business Management in the New Economy, says little research has been carried out on how to manage and develop people in a business involved in e-business.

It urges HR professionals not to underestimate the challenges. “The parts of organisations that deal with e-commerce may have to move faster than the rest of the company creating problems such as reduced morale in other areas.”

Other preliminary findings in the report show that 54 per cent of organisations now look for e-commerce awareness in new recruits compared with 4 per cent in 1995.

Even more – 75 per cent – now look for IT skills, compared with 48 per cent five years ago.

The report concludes that to compete in the e-business arena, companies will have to ensure they can attract, develop and motivate, and retain “the best people at all levels”.

www.henleymc.ac.co.uk

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