Case Study: Mentoring Program
This client is one of the largest design and construction companies in Japan, with ongoing projects in many regions around the world.
This client recruited a group of young, foreign construction engineers and project managers as part of their strategic plan to strengthen their position in foreign markets, and manage overseas projects more effectively. They recognized that the project management methods used in the local market and overseas had significant differences: these new recruits were to become a kind of bridge between the two sides.
It was decided to have the senior local staff train the new recruits in the ways of working employed at the head office so that when this group was mobilized overseas they could more easily interface with head office and eliminate confusion, mistakes and expensive rework.
Globalinx provided a team of training consultants who worked both on site and virtually on this one-year project. The project included the following work:
Needs Analysis: The project began with a needs analysis of the context in which the mentoring program would be implemented. This included the following areas:
- Training objectives and experience: The first step in the process was to identify, clarify and quantify the training objectives of the program in as much detail as possible. After that the mentees were evaluated to understand their current level of experience within the ranges. KPIs were selected (or created) wherever possible: speed, accuracy, technical difficulty, CPI, SPI, etc. In some cases it was necessary to use less quantitative, more subjective evaluation criteria.
- Culture and communication styles: The Globalinx team looked at the home cultures of the various players to see where potential communication issues could come from and plan work-arounds.
- Mentor selection and assessment: Mentors were selected based on experience, availability and willingness to devote their time. The Globalinx team designed a survey to assess the readiness of the mentor team and developed a pre-mentoring workshop to prepare them for the engagement.
- Mentee readiness assessment and preparation: The Globalinx team designed a companion survey to assess the readiness of the mentee cohort and followed this up by developing a workshop to address needs.
Train the participants: Globalinx designed pre-mentoring workshops to train both mentors and mentees and thereby prepare them for entering into a productive mentoring relationship.
Tracking tools: Globalinx supplied templates, worksheets, checklists, and guidelines to make progress easy to track and evaluate.
Monitor and control: Globalinx provided ongoing monitoring and support of the mentoring program by supplying a Mentor Program Manager (MPM) whose role was to facilitate ongoing progress review meetings of both the mentors and mentees, suggest course corrections as needed, and share lessons learned from current and previous mentoring programs.
Lessons learned: The program was evaluated against the original objectives and the lessons learned with regard to managing learning were documented and archived for future projects.
The participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the program and the new recruits are now performing well in their new roles.
A main reason for the success of the project was the inclusion of the consultants from the beginning. This level of involvement allowed the consultants to set up the program based on best practices and to establish clear standards of performance both for the mentors and the mentees. As a result, the mentees were able to understand their learning objectives and make rapid progress.