Mentorship & Manufacturing: How to Leverage Coaching in the Workplace

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

March 23 2022

The skills gap is the biggest challenge for the manufacturing industry in the 21st century, an issue that may leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028. Manufacturing employers require candidates who have specific talents and technical skills. These roles often go unfulfilled, as these employers struggle to entice STEM graduates by offering competitive advantages, improving outdated reputations, and disproving misconceptions made about the manufacturing industry. 

Luckily, mentorship is a viable option that the manufacturing industry is leveraging to establish a pipeline of candidates for the future . The benefits of mentorship are clear: 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it offered opportunities to learn and grow. 25% of employees enrolled in a mentoring program receive a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who are not. It’s a crucial role of HR in the manufacturing sector to attract qualified talent and implement a program that will teach new hires the technical skills needed to fill these essential positions. Coaching in the workplace could be the key solution for those in the manufacturing industry to fill the skills gap and set the younger generations up for success. This 5-step plan will help employers in the manufacturing industry, along with those in almost any other industry, to leverage coaching in the workplace to attract and maintain quality talent.


5 Things to Consider When Implementing a Mentorship Program

1. Clearly define and outline the program’s goals

Coaching in the workplace is most effective when your company proposes an organized and detailed plan. Take the time to think about what you want to accomplish with this program. Ask questions like:

  • How will I design the program to maximize performance?
  • How can I integrate the program with the onboarding process to give new hires a smooth start?
  • Who will determine mentor-mentee pairs?
  • How long will the program run?
  • How often will we collect feedback?
  • What are my company’s goals for this program?

Clearly defining your goals has a direct, positive impact on motivation in the workplace, so put time and effort into the planning stage. This could be the most crucial step in gaining the momentum needed to make your mentorship program flourish.


of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it offered opportunities to learn and grow

2. Select the right partner for your company

Partnering with a guild or school simplifies setting up a mentorship. A partnership with a college, trade school, or industry organization could put your mentorship program several steps ahead. Since candidates entering your workplace will come directly from an educational program that has prepared them, the process will be seamless. Mentors will have an easier time teaching concepts to their mentees.

Be aware of the US’s two primary types of apprenticeship programs: Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) and Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAP). A RAP is a state apprenticeship agency, and an IRAP is recognized as high quality by a Standards Recognition Entity. Regardless of which type you choose, the primary goal is to keep your company’s core values and goals in mind as you look for a partner. Return to your outlined goals and research thoroughly to find the program that aligns best.

3. Choose the best mentors and mentees for your program

The role of HR in the manufacturing sector is to find the most qualified individuals to fill challenging and specialized positions. Your mentorship program’s success depends on having knowledgeable mentors who can serve as role models. They should be good representations of your company and its core values. Continuous criminal monitoring, a tool that scans for criminal records in real-time, will ensure your mentors uphold these values. Read more about this service.

Recruiting mentees with the core attributes needed to fill the role and who will be good representations of your company’s values is equally important. Candidates should be eager to learn, qualified, and ready to engage with their mentors if you want them to get the most out of the program. Performing professional background checks is one way to ensure that you are choosing the best possible mentees.

4. Take diversity into account

Mentorship and diversity have a close relationship in the professional setting. Mentorship programs in the workplace have boosted promotion and retention rates for minorities and women from 15% to 38%. That’s why it is wise for HR in the manufacturing sector to consider their role in facilitating diversity as they set up these mentorship programs. It is essential that the program directors take identity into consideration to make the mentorship experience as comfortable and personalized as possible. Providing mentors who have experience navigating the industry as a woman or as a person of color, for example, could make mentees feel related to, safe, and encouraged to advance in their careers.

5. Raise awareness

The tedious and thorough effort put into implementing your mentorship program would be a waste if no one knew about it, so spread the news! 

  • Communicate the benefits and expectations of the program to mentors and mentees rather than making them feel like it’s just a task they need to perform. 
  • Get potential participants excited by having leaders in the business talk about the advantages of coaching in the workplace. 
  • Find key people in the company who are passionate about the program to spread positivity about it to their colleagues. 
  • Include details about the program on your website or job listings.

Make sure you’re getting the most out of your mentorship program by filling it with candidates and mentors that you can trust. Professional background checks led by industry experts can help. Read more about the InfoMart difference here.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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