TMC tackles technician mentoring

Task force day for the S.16 Service Provider study group at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting Monday in Nashville began with a lively discussion about technician mentoring.

Led by TA/Petro’s Homer Hogg, the S.16 Mentor Development task force is still in its infancy. The goal, Hogg says, is to build an RP that repair facilities throughout the trucking industry can install in their operations to educate and grow young technicians, keeping them in the industry and helping to withstand the tech shortage.

Mentorship programs are built for its mentees, but when building it the focus must be on the mentor, Hogg says. A mentor must have a special set of skills to educate its new coworkers while still remaining motivated and profitable on the job.

Mentoring is more than just addressing the best methods to turn a wrench, task force members note.

Some key points the task force believes the RP must include:

  • Tracking: A good mentorship program needs to have benchmarks, where the mentor and mentee are scored for their performance within the program.
  • Timeline: A mentorship program should be clearly defined from the outset, so both parties are aware of the time commitment and end-goal.
  • Clear communication: Mentors must be able to communicate visually and conversationally, both to their mentees and their superiors, so both sides are aware of their progress.
  • ROI tracking: A mentor still has requirements as a technician. Asking a current tech to additionally work as a mentor should only result in so must lost productivity.
  • Future opportunities: A business that implements a mentorship program is investing in the mentors and mentees, and wants them to succeed. That also should be clearly represented, the task force notes, so both parties are aware that their success in the program can lead to more incentives and career advancement down the road.
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