Within the PCL family of companies, mentoring is defined as a “supported opportunity to share knowledge, information, and skills with others who aspire to learn.” Asking someone for help and support—across boundaries and lines of authority—is encouraged. This allows mentors and protégés to mutually benefit from the relationship. Many PCL employees have taken advantage of a mentoring connection during their construction careers. Joe Richard, manager of Estimating, Engineering, and Business Development for PCL's Transportation Infrastructure Group Tampa, joined PCL in 2008 and has close to 40 years of heavy civil construction experience. As a seasoned mentor, he has seen the positive impression mentoring relationships leave on both the mentor and the mentee.
Joe Richard discussing a project with two of PCL’s
Joe Richard, manager of Estimating,
Engineering, and Business
Development for TIG Tampa.
Richard believes that the qualities a successful mentor should possess include patience, dedication, and, the willingness to take time from his or her busy schedule. “Quality mentoring takes time,” said Richard. “As we all know, time is something we never seem to have enough of. Remember that you get out what you put in.” He understands that the rewards will come in due course. “You will not notice results overnight. Enjoy the process and experience—it’s really exciting to be a part of someone’s future.”
While the relationship might require an investment of time on the part of both parties, the benefits of mentoring go both ways. “As you mentor someone, that same person can mentor you if you are open to it. Everyone has something valuable to offer no matter their age, experience, or position,” said Richard. “Mentoring is a two-way street.” Richard’s favorite moment of the mentoring process comes “when you realize that the person you are mentoring is growing and maturing, and that person is now mentoring others.”
Mentoring can be a fluid process that integrates naturally into daily life, and for PCL employees like Richard, the construction company is the perfect place to impart his wisdom while learning a few new tricks along the way. “I try and mentor every day and will continue to do so as long as there is someone to mentor.”