Mentoring as a Workforce Development Strategy

Mentoring is a valuable workforce development strategy.  Even without a formal mentoring program in place, on the job coaching and mentoring will have a positive impact on company culture and employee growth opportunities.  Career Ready Lancaster! through a grant from the Workforce Development Board is sponsoring training for supervisors focused on using mentoring skills in daily interactions with employees. 

The workshop, Mentor Training for Front Line Supervisors is based on the apprenticeship model where mentoring is used to coach employees in developing new skills and advancing in their careers.  Traditionally, these mentors are known as journey workers.  The Career Ready Lancaster! workshop is based on a learning blueprint that has been effective for centuries in growing a trained workforce.

Three workshops were offered in 2022 and another three are being offered in 2023.  The June 2, 2023 is still open for registration.  There is no cost to attend.

Often supervisors are selected because of their technical skills and institutional knowledge.  Then, they are given no supervisor training to support their professional development as leaders. Supervisors admittedly spend their days focused on production, with little time left to coach and mentor employees.   Learning how to provide feedback using powerful yet simple coaching strategies is the key.   These skills make supervising much easier, rewarding, and efficient.           

Mentoring, coaching, and teaching, skills can be learned.  Many supervisors and leaders are naturally good teachers, but mentoring is something a little different.  Mentors are not only good at instructing but also understand how to demonstrate, observe, and advise employees with meaningful and effective feedback that supports the learning process and provides a model for employees to take ownership of their learning. 

Over the course of 4 workshops, supervisors have been asked how many people they supervise daily.  Collectively, the supervisors impact the lives of over 400 people.  When asked if they have ever had any supervisor training, 95% of them responded, “no.”  This training is intended to inspire supervisors to consciously use mentoring skills to develop their teams.  Doing so, will help to create a learning environment that supports their growth, the growth of those they lead, and the growth of the company, one positive interaction at a time.

A Model Career Day

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