Mentoring a collaborative culture13 Feb 20
How mentoring can help to develop a collaborative culture.
Chris Farrow, Farrow Walsh
It is no secret that the most successful construction projects involve a culture of collaborative working. However, those in the sector will know that developing values of transparency, openness, and honesty in a challenging environment is far from straightforward.
Chris Farrow, managing director of Farrow Walsh and member of the Get It Right Initiative, explains how developing a culture of ongoing support can help junior members of staff to understand how the industry works, develop leadership skills and nurture a collaborative atmosphere within a team.
At Farrow Walsh we are passionate about the importance of reducing error to improve the UK construction sector – something that should come as no surprise, given that we have recently joined the Get It Right Initiative. One area where we have found particular success in this respect is in our mentoring programme, which is central to the learning and development of our staff.
We are always looking to introduce policies that appeal to current and prospective members of staff, outside of the traditional salary and benefits packages. After establishing an understanding of personal development schemes at large organisations, we implemented our own employee-led programme which gives staff the freedom to take responsibility for their own development.
There is little doubt that mentoring has been overlooked across the construction sector; our own scheme has helped to attract a number of quality employees who had not received this support elsewhere.
An added benefit was the impact the scheme had on issues across the whole business. Within months of introducing the programme, we noticed a huge increase in quality standards as junior staff developed new skills and competencies learned from more established colleagues. It has been particularly pleasing to see members of staff progress after joining as school-leavers to become reliable designers capable of running their own projects in just four years.
Another massive advantage to the business has been the impact on team culture. A key recommendation in the Get It Right Initiative’s Design Guide is to develop a team culture that extends far beyond a post-work beer on a Friday; creating an environment of collaboration is crucial to ensure that projects run smoothly and errors are reduced.
A well-designed mentoring scheme that receives investment provides a superb environment for employees to thrive. Mentees can learn from the experience and perspective of their peers and are supported with career progression and advice on mental wellbeing.
In our business, a supportive framework helps staff grow and develop in line with expected outcomes. For the industry as a whole, as new technologies and regulations evolve, mentoring in particular is vital to ensure everyone has the right skills, knowledge and qualification to successfully deliver projects to high standards.
To find out more about Farrow Walsh, visit: www.farrowwalsh.com