Building a foundation of respect - Part 12

Developing effective communication skills to create and sustain a respectful and inclusive workplace in construction

Mentorship programs, either formal or informal, are associated with these benefits.The challenges:

  • Developing programs that improve the retention rates and engagement of workers
  • Ensuring that all workers have opportunities to grow as people and professionals
  • Creating a workplace that values the contributions of every worker to company success

The solutions:

  • Develop a formal mentorship program, or support informal mentoring
  • Provide mentorship training for all workers

6 traits that will help you to be an "inclusive" mentor:

Incorporating principles of respect and inclusion into the mentorship relationship in a diverse workplace will help all workers to benefit from the relationship.

1. Be selfless

  • For example, some workers may experience social isolation as a result of language barriers or gender differences, and they can benefit from a mentor who is willing to put their needs ahead of his or her own.

2. Remain non-judgmental

  • For example, if you are mentoring someone who speaks English as a second language (ESL), he or she may not understand you immediately. Remain non-judgmental about their abilities and committed to effective communication. (See blog #9 and blog #10 for tips on effective communication.)

3. Be persistent

  • For example, an ESL speaker may need opportunities to repeat a lesson to ensure they have understood. Be persistent and remain committed to the success of the learner.

4. Be patient

  • For example, workers of a different gender, background, or circumstance may lack confidence, or experience social isolation on the job, and may need patient encouragement to succeed.

5. Value diversity

  • By mentoring a worker of a different gender, background, or circumstance you are supportinga respectful and inclusive workplace. This does not mean you are an expert in their values or experiences, but that you respect the differences and welcome the opportunity to learn.

Famous people on mentorship


OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: A respectful and inclusive workplace contributes to the bottom line.

Previous installment: Working effectively in teams in a respectful and inclusive workplace.




What do you think is the most important trait in a mentor?


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This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.