An innovative mentoring scheme has been launched by Seafield Logistics. The scheme has already been selected as a finalist in the Training Award category of the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) Awards 2008.
The mentoring programme has been introduced for new starters and newly promoted staff. Seafield's HR Manager, Rebekah Rayner, says, “We want new recruits to see working at Seafield Logistics as a career rather than a job and to achieve this aim they need to feel valued and part of a team as soon as possible”.
Seafield believes that the benefits of mentoring can be felt by all those who work for the company. For joiners the initial early day nerves of a new role are reduced which increases confidence and competence; for colleagues it can help the joiner become productive in the shortest possible time and increase safety for the benefit of the team; for the mentor it can improve knowledge and understanding of the company by providing basic information to others. It's an opportunity to try something different and learn new skills and it gives them developmental opportunities when vertical promotion may not be suitable or available and; for the company, it promotes the values and beliefs at an early stage and ensures they are understood and reinforced by all those involved.
Unusually the mentoring scheme is employee led. Rebekah explains the reasoning for this, “We want the concept to be owned by the employees” and adds, “We feel that as the mentors have had the training they are the experts of the scheme within the company”.
Members of staff from all aspects of the company have attended the mentoring training including warehouse supervisors, stock clerks, transport support, human resources, fleet services and secretaries. The training is in depth and the techniques learned can be of benefit for all employees.
Rebekah reports that the feedback from those who have attended the training so far has been very positive, “A number of colleagues stating that the training opened their eyes and made them rethink some of their views, beliefs and approaches. For some staff members the training has given them the opportunity to develop and raise their own profiles within the company.”
The next step will be for the mentors to put their training into action and design the mentoring programme for the employees going forward.
Seafield will find out whether they have won the UKWA's Training Award 2008 at a presentation ceremony to be hald at the Dorchester Hotel in London on 2 July 2008.