We currently have an influx of young/graduate/new engineers. Which is great! I love seeing people learn new skills and take pride in their qualifications and work. In the last year, I've had the opportunity to train a lot of staff and it's really enjoyable. Proud moments, and so on.
However, there are some times when new staff have so much to learn that it's hard to know where to start.
I share a portacabin office with Sarah*. We get a lot of deliveries and tradespeople stop in, because ours is often the only populated room. Our office is where the main printer/scanner is located, because Sarah* is in charge of maintaining our records. The door is to my right, so I can't see who's out there unless I turn my body.
Yesterday I was typing away at my computer, when from my right I hear a loud voice shout at me "Sarah! Sarah!". Not being called Sarah, I didn't turn around. The voice comes inside and says "Sarah!". Sarah* says "yes?"
Loud voice says "oh, can you please print me a complete set of drawings? I sit next door. Thanks!" and then vanishes back outside.
There are sooooo many things wrong with this:
- Who is this guy? He didn't bother to say hello or introduce himself to either of us.
- Who the heck yells somebody's name when they don't know who they're addressing?
- In fact, who stands in an office doorway and yells?
- It's not okay to demand that somebody does you a favour if you can't be bothered to be polite.
- It's not wise to be incredibly rude *before* you find out who you are answerable to (yes, he will have to report to me on a lot of his work).
So this year I'm going to challenge myself at work in a different way - I'm going to work with young engineers to make sure they have the NON-TECHNICAL skills they need to succeed. I know I'll have the support of my colleagues, if I can find a way to communicate what good professional skills look like. I already have a mandate to run training sessions this year.
My list starts with the following:
- Language/tone when speaking to people you aren't familiar with.
- How to introduce yourself politely.
- Professional dress when you have to work on a construction site.
- Work expectations, i.e. being on time, when to use the phone instead of email, etc.