A career in the Environmental Consulting industry is one of the most rewarding paths a person can take. The ability to work with talented people, for diverse clients in different geographic regions, and on unique projects makes work fun and stimulating. So, what sets one consulting company apart of another? Mentorship and culture!
Mentorship is a reciprocal relationship with open communication and learning. A mentor focuses on professional development and guidance, whereas a manager or supervisor generally focuses on operations and the work performance of an employee. A mentor helps develop a mentee’s skills and decision-making abilities, serves as a source of knowledge, offers encouragement, provides new perspectives, and extends support. A mentor is an ally who champions and advocates for their mentee by leveraging their experience to provide guidance as required. A mentor supports in the growth of a mentee’s role and transition throughout the various stages of their career.
At North Shore, mentorship is an integral pillar of our Culture. The progression of a Junior Consultant to a Project Manager happens over several years, with months of field time and mastering the art of report writing, managing projects and timelines, and building client and peer relationships. To foster this atmosphere of growth, North Shore encourages mentorship by actively engaging in employee development and creating positions where mentoring Junior staff are their key responsibilities. Today we would like to share two examples of mentorship within North Shore.
Accounting team – Daily Check-Ins are Important
Chad B., Accounting Coordinator, has been with North Shore for over 11 years; his calm demeanor and patience is evident when you meet him. Chad mentors a group of people within our accounting department. One of the staff he mentors is Shazmin, one of our accounting clerks. When we asked Shazmin about Chad as a mentor, she had a big smile. “Chad is approachable, great with questions, and makes sure to check-in with me daily. He has a lot of patience and never tires of my many questions.” Shazmin also indicated that he makes a conscious effort to inquire about her personal wellbeing, as he truly cares about the members of his team. In the month of September, Chad was presented with our employee recognition award from his peers, for his outstanding support and contributions to the North Shore Family.
Remediation and Reclamation Team – Practical Field Level Guidance
The Field Superintendent role is an excellent example of North Shore’s commitment to fostering mentorship within the company. Recognizing that mentorship in the field has its own particular set of challenges, North Shore created this position to make sure support and guidance are readily available to staff in the field. Logan B, one of our Field Superintendents, talked about the importance of communicating and teaching Junior staff and how his role facilitates this. “Being a Field Superintendent allows me to be accessible to Junior staff, help develop their skill sets, and grow their confidence in themselves.” Mentorship comes in many forms for the field, but for Logan it starts in the office by making sure a program’s objectives are clear and the expertise required to be performed are outlined. Logan remarked that “The ability to go to the field with the Junior staff is crucial. It allows us to go to a site and do a walkthrough of the planned events – actually being onsite is so much more impactful than answering questions over the phone.”
Michaela, one of the Junior staff working with Logan, talked about presence of the mentorship role, “Having Logan onsite, being available, and sharing his expertise is amazing. Logan encourages me to communicate and to express my concerns, no matter what.” She went on further to say, “Mentorship in the field is different because you are able to get guidance in the moment – it is different from office mentorship where you plan hypothetical scenarios.”
Mentorship in the field creates better outcomes, competency, and job satisfaction. When discussing his Field Superintendent role, Logan stated “I never sought out to be a mentor, but as the years passed by, I started looking to mentor staff more and more. Mentorship is needed and it is appreciated.” North Shore believes in creating space and opportunity for mentorship, and the position of the Field Superintendent position is a great example of this commitment.