At HPM, we speak frequently about the ways in which we prioritize mentorship, as well as our reasons for doing so. Mentorship is an integral part of our DNA and culture, and it is rewarding to watch as mentor/mentee relationships produce positive results throughout the company. Today, we would like to introduce you to Jake Chapman, Preconstruction Manager and Ben Smith, Project Engineer, as they discuss the value of effective mentoring.
Why is professional mentorship valuable?
Jake (Mentor): Professional mentorship provides a great opportunity for experience and knowledge to be shared as well as best practices and lessons learned. I have learned a lot from my mentors along the way and they helped shape who I am as a professional in this industry. Having someone you feel comfortable around also makes it easier to ask questions about anything you may not understand or want to learn more about. Knowledge is meant to be shared and mentorship is a great avenue for that. Apart from that, mentorship has helped me grow as a person and a manager and I’m thankful to have a great relationship with my mentee, Ben.
Ben (Mentee): Mentorship is valuable because whether you’re a new employee, new to the workforce in general, or in any other phase of your career it is nice to have someone you can come to with questions or to seek advice. Whether it pertains more directly to personal development or professional development, it is important to have someone you can come to for guidance on situations or decisions that you might feel uncomfortable going to your boss about. Mentors can leverage lessons from their past to equip you to navigate your present and your future with wisdom.
What does mentorship look like within HPM?
Jake (Mentor): In my experience at HPM, mentorship has created healthy, productive and inspiring relationships among co-workers. Often working together, we experience the same highs and lows throughout a project and ultimately learn and grow through the process alongside one another. We share advice and guidance that we have learned along the way and I consider my mentors and mentees good friends.
Ben (Mentee): HPM’s culture of mentorship creates an environment of openness and honesty. It is great to have a professional in my corner that I get to work alongside daily.
What are the hallmark qualities of a great mentor?
Jake (Mentor): A great mentor should know how to set their mentees up for success. They should be able to teach foundations and best practices or provide direction on helpful resources and training classes. Feedback is also a great way to help them improve on what they are working on, as it is important for mentees to understand what they have done correctly and what they can improve on/how to improve on it. Great mentors welcome questions and concerns and help guide mentees as they navigate the professional world and their industry.
Ben (Mentee): My experience has shown me that great mentors are patient and tolerant, embracing opportunities to provide teaching and guidance. Mentors should be transparent, offering honest feedback about growth opportunities and the strengths and weaknesses they see in their mentee(s). The best mentors are those that see mentorship not as a burden, but as a chance to strengthen their industry, their company and their profession.
What have the two of you learned from one another in your mentor/mentee relationship?
Jake (Mentor): Being a mentor has taught me many things! I’ve learned how to better communicate and collaborate in a professional environment as well as provide effective feedback. I’ve learned how to become a better manager and leader. Spending time helping Ben learn anything preconstruction related has also helped me better understand everything that we are a part of. Having a healthy working relationship helps us both continue growing and learning along the way.
Ben (Mentee): I have learned that as your personal relationship grows, your work relationship will grow at the same time. Jake is a trustworthy mentor because he cares about my development both personally and professionally. He has shown me what mentorship looks like, and I hope to pass that on and serve as a mentor myself as I continue developing as a professional.