ERMCO Celebrates
National Mentoring Month
ERMCO Mentors Blake Ellis, Antonio Pickens, Travis Davis and Carla Gaylor have been mentoring new employees since March 2022.

"Our Pole Plant mentors guide new employees through the tough times and struggles that they face in their new jobs and environments.

I truly feel we can grown the ERMCO Mentor Program even more and reach a larger crowd. I want our program to be so successful that other companies call us for advice on implementing similar programs at their facilities.

I encourage everyone to sit down and talk to these mentors. Trust me, you will leave the conversation feeling inspired and motivated by the positive feedback they receive from new and old employees about the program."

Pole Plant Manufacturing Manager John Taylor
Pole Plant Manufacturing Manager John Taylor
Pole Plant Mentors Provide Support for New Employees
Describe the most important mentor in your life.

Blake Ellis: "My parents were my mentors. They taught me that you must work for what you want, which I try to do every day when I come to work. I try to coach new employees like I would want to be coached. I want them to know they are wanted here and help them do the best job they can."

Antonio Pickens: "My mother was my mentor because she showed me a good work ethic and how to care for and respect others. I want new employees to feel comfortable around me so that they will talk to me. I tell them they can ask me anything. There are no stupid questions."

What did you want to participate in the mentoring program?

Travis Davis: "I want to work with people who are just as proud of doing a good job as I am, and if I can project that feeling of pride onto someone else, that's what I'm in it for."

Antonio Pickens: "Because I had a terrible experience when I started at ERMCO. I felt things would've been better if I'd had someone there to help me, so I want to be that person for new employees."

What are your priorities as a mentor?

Carla Gaylor: "Training, communication, safety, and comfort are my main priorities. I want new employees to feel comfortable doing their jobs and ensure they are properly trained to do their jobs. I want them to feel comfortable coming to me about anything, and I want them to be committed to coming to work on time every day. I try to teach them the rules that have made me successful at ERMCO so they can be successful too."

Antonio Pickens: "My priorities are to make sure that the new employees are properly trained and understand the chain of command. They need to know who to go for what and not be afraid to do so. I also like to find out what their goals are for the future. Do they want to branch out to another department? Are they interested in becoming a lead?"

How do you initially build a relationship with the new employees?

Carla Gaylor: "I smile and introduce myself, and they just open up. I can tell they feel comfortable and that I have their back."

Blake Ellis: "I introduce myself and try to establish common ground. I ask about their previous job and how ERMCO compares. I ask if they felt they had proper training and if they are comfortable doing the job. We go from there."

Travis Davis: "I try to find out what their insecurities are at ERMCO. What are they afraid to do? Are they scared to talk to someone? Is someone being unsympathetic or pushing them to do things the wrong way or do things they have not been trained to do?"

Antonio Pickens: "I introduce myself and try to learn a little about them, including their past work history. I try to establish a rapport with them, so they trust me."

Have you witnessed changes in the work environment and team member attitudes since you started mentoring program began?

Travis Davis: "Attitudes have improved, and people feel a little more welcome here. I feel boosted up because other employees notice what we are doing. Instead of them thinking, 'It's a new person that I've got to train,' they see us working with them, and it takes a little stress off them. We bridge the gap between the long-term employees and the new hires. We try to make them comfortable with each other.”

Blake Ellis: "All of my mentees are still working at ERMCO. I like the fact that even with the very first person I trained, if we walk past each other we speak. It is good to have that relationship with your coworkers, and that wouldn't happen without this program."

Jessie Ashley
Pole Plant Final Assembly Supervisor
& Mentor Program leader

"I'm proud of these mentors and I'm proud to be part of the this program.

Our priorities for the program are to teach new employees practical knowledge, shrewdness, and the importance of our values - ownership, team work, quality, service and innovation.

But the mentors end up doing much more than this. They help the new employees process information, gain confidence on the job and in their work relationships, stick it out through challenges and manage stress and determine the best strategies to improve their performance."