Leadership is not everyone's thing. And talent certainly no guarantee of automatic success. Despite their abilities, junior staff need guidance and orientation to develop good leadership qualities. This requires a great deal of experience, knowledge and, most importantly of all, interpersonal skills, because the important thing is to coordinate corporate objectives with the personal targets and characters of employees and supervisors.
Nowadays, there are special training courses and seminars aimed at teaching people which soft skills are needed for managerial responsibility, and how to develop them - this is no secret. But what about the practical side of things? And more particularly, what can be done to compensate for young managers' lack of experience?
EDAG is therefore taking the advancement of ambitious junior staff one step further. Why not take the know-how from our own ranks and pass it on to young potential managers? The EDAG mentoring programme gives 30 participants the chance to experience for themselves what a manager's normal working day looks like. Every mentee has at his or her side an experienced mentor to provide an in-depth, on the job introduction to managerial tasks and solution strategies. The aim is to qualify for managerial positions in vehicle or production plant development.
What is special about the programme is the fact that the mentor is not the employee's direct superior, but the manager of a different department, an important factor in the relationship between the mentor and mentee. This helps to ensure honest and open communication. Quarterly meetings to examine the personal development of the mentee are a regular feature of the programme. Not until the end of the 24-month programme do the mentor, the mentee and his or her superior come together to discuss the development the mentee has made and to look at further steps in his or her career. A further advantage is that the programme offers an extensive training package that includes the fields of communication, assumption of responsibility and self-management.
Ornella Tremuoto (EDAG) explains why she thinks it is important to exchange ideas with other mentees: "I am looking forward to meeting the other people who are participating in the programme. Networking is the be-all and end-all, and pooling experience from a wide variety of different departments and branches will benefit us all. This is why the programme also includes regular fireside evenings where we can meet and report on our experiences." The 25-year-old CAD engineer already has a clear idea of what she expects from the programme: "What really interests me is finding out more about what a key account manager does. What abilities are necessary?" But Tremuoto is also interested in her own development: "I would like to learn more about time management and practice giving spontaneous presentations. That's something I hope to learn in the seminars."
In Cord-Henrik Henkel's opinion, too, development within the mentoring programme is an important point: "Later on, I would like to take on managerial responsibility. With the help of an experienced mentor, I will be prepared for this task step by step." 24-year-old Cord-Henrik explains why he is sure that in EDAG he has found the right partner to help him achieve his aim: "The exciting thing about EDAG is that it is also possible to work abroad and find out about a wide variety of different fields. As an engineering service provider, we serve not just one, but many customers around the world. This makes our work exciting and varied, and at the same time also offers us great opportunities for rapid career progress."
In addition to our excellent nationwide apprentice and trainee quota of over 8 percent and extensive range of training opportunities, the EDAG mentoring programme is another pillar of our junior staff development and advancement.