Take care of your company mentors

New employees with no experience need leadership and training from one of the company’s most valuable assets – Mentors. Your company Mentors (supervisors, lead mechanics, and foremen) play a critical role in the development of the organization’s employees (especially those with little to no experience) from the ground up. With years of experience and know-how to pass on, mentors have the opportunity to ensure the future success of a company.

Managing new employees takes extra time, communication, and patience. Effective mentors teach employees the most efficient and correct way to complete each task while providing the proper “tools” to achieve it. This includes hands-on training, manuals, troubleshooting guides, and other instructional material. Additionally, while training in the field is ongoing, Mentors are asked to instruct new employees on the specific procedures and expectations of the company and how to avoid common mistakes. The different learning styles of each individual also require Mentors to be flexible and to recognize learning differences and capabilities on the fly. This is no mean feat when you’re standing on a roadside with traffic whizzing by at 75 miles an hour.

A company’s frontline Mentors provide a critical link between management and the workforce. These lead mechanics and supervisors oversee and manage productivity, quality, and safety while controlling work during field operations. They develop strong working relationships with field crews, which helps create a smooth transition of management directives as well as providing feedback from the job site to management, allowing better decisions on the direction which the company may need to move. New employees may also seek career development and additional training. A supervisor’s feedback to an organization’s management team may support and endorse the pursuit of an advanced degree, certification, or other credentials.

Mentors are generally given training on technical skills that help them keep current in the workplace, but often they are overlooked when it comes to continued training and development on the soft skills side. Take care of your Mentors. Training on a variety of “soft skill” topics can be a valuable asset for Mentors and hence the company. Examples of these training topics include communication, delegation, and conflict resolution. Training areas can cover listening skills and techniques for motivating employees through effective communication. Delegation is also a defining element of a supervisor’s role. Proper delegation reduces stress and overload. Ongoing training, including the “when,” “who,” and “how” of delegation, covers the steps to successful team delegation. Resolving workplace conflict is another area of training that benefits the Mentor and company alike. Conflict resolution training objectives can define key terminology related to areas such as interpersonal skills, interdependence, and emotional involvement while also providing tips for managing employee competition and avoiding taking sides.

Effective supervision from experienced and knowledgeable Mentors is key to the superior performance and success of the entire crew in the field, especially those starting to learn the trade. Managing and training new employees is about effective communication, empowerment, and support. Empowered, knowledgeable, and capable employees are vital to a company’s long-term success. Mentors are the key to unlocking that success.