For mentoring to work, everyone at the company must get into the act. Here are several tips for setting up the mentors. (View Mentoring Part 1).
View mentoring as an investment. When members of your crew are mentoring other employees, production will slow down a little. Owners may be worried this will cost the company money or that trained carpenters will leave. But look at the bigger picture, and view well-trained carpenters as assets to the industry.
Evaluate people carefully. Review everyone's strengths and weaknesses and keep track of each employee's progress.
Team people up. It's common sense to team up strength with weakness for a good fit, but it's also a good idea to rotate employees to different mentors to help capture the best your company has to offer.
Train the trainer. It is very important that carpenters be trained to be able to teach — not just demonstrate — skills. They will also need guidance in grading and motivating their student.
Hold out the carrot. Tying compensation to learning new skills spurs growth. Each step toward mastering skills needs positive reinforcement —including monetary rewards and other perks. —Tim Faller, Field Training Services, www.leadcarpenter.com.