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A total of 158 employees have already participated in the programme since 2015.
Wishing to become a multi-skilled construction industry professional, developing one’s managerial skills and the desire to gain an in-depth understanding of YIT’s strategy are the most typical reasons for people to become actors (i.e. students) in YIT’s mentoring programme.
The motives for YIT’s employees to become mentors include the desire to share their knowledge and expertise, wanting to be inspired to have new ideas and the good reputation of the programme itself.
These motives are evident in the actor applications for YIT’s mentoring programme, which has been running since 2015 as well as feedback from the actors and mentors who have participated in it.
Mentoring is a learning model that has been found to be effective at YIT. It offers the opportunity to learn from colleagues and achieve fast renewal. A total of 79 pairs have participated in the programme to date, i.e. 158 YIT employees representing various business functions. All of the participants have been white-collar employees from YIT’s offices and construction sites.
“The participants’ feedback about the programme is almost always positive. They are particularly pleased with the good discussions they get to have in the programme as well as the ideas generated in those discussions and subsequently shared in both directions. They also value the opportunity to network with new people,” says HRD Specialist Elina Turpeinen from YIT.
The most recent round of the mentoring programme ended last December and the next one was scheduled to start in mid-April before it was postponed to next autumn due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
The mentoring programme includes start-up, midterm and wrap up events attended by all the participants.
The mentor and actor meet once a month to discuss a topic chosen by the actor. The programme takes about eight months from start to finish.
Support for YIT’s mentoring programme is provided by the consulting company MPS through supporting the mentor-actor pairs, conducting all of the necessary analyses and organising the shared events with YIT’s support.
“The participants say the programme has given them support particularly in dealing with major changes, finding new motivation, taking on new duties and managing large projects. The mentors, for their part, have been energised in their jobs by seeing the actors achieve their objectives,” says Minna Hirsmäki from MPS.
Mentoring can accelerate the development of new competencies and encourage employees to take on new challenges. For the programme to be successful, both the actor and the mentor must trust each other, be genuinely invested in the programme and be committed to regular meetings. So far, this has been this case.
Project Development Specialist Pia-Sofia Lehtoniemi participated in the mentoring programme as an actor last autumn and says she was left with a very good feeling about the programme.
“I developed a unique relationship with my mentor. The trust between us is still there, even though the mentoring programme has ended for our part. The programme gave me a great opportunity to learn from an experienced professional. I like the fact that the actor gets to decide the topics and steer the discussions, so the mentoring programme consisted of topics that are important to me,” Lehtoniemi explains.
Lehtoniemi, who was mentored by Juha Virtanen, Director of Project Development, Urban Development, describes the mentoring programme as a learning path.
“Mentoring and my mentor helped me grow my professional skills and encouraged me to have confidence in my vision as well as my professional skills and people skills. Working with my mentor also gave me the chance to get to know new YIT colleagues who have been useful contacts in my day-to-day work.”
Lehtoniemi recommends the programme to everyone because it provides the opportunity to pause and have confidential discussions. The mentor’s reading recommendations and practical examples from his career have also been helpful.
Pia-Sofia’s supervisor Mikko Lempinen praises his team member for her active approach to developing her professional skills.
“Mentoring is a great way to build networks in a large organisation. In the long run, the programme benefits all of the team members,” Lempinen says.