A mentor can motivate and empower the mentee to resolve difficult situations or understand a new industry; it’s not about expecting them to do it the way that they did.
Hidden in the industry are passionate, successful transport operators who have done the hard yards to develop and run their businesses. Developing and growing a successful trucking business is not a walk in the park; it takes years of hard work, long hours, and sacrifices. It can be an isolated business due to location and the fact that long hours mean there is not much time for social interaction. Low margins and being a highly regulated industry can make it challenging at times. The long licensing process makes it difficult to employ truck drivers when you want to scale up a business quickly, and the hours required for the job can make it difficult to retain truck drivers. People who run trucking businesses now or have done in the past have lots of knowledge that is rarely shared. Making mistakes is how they have learned. Mostly if you are lucky enough to connect with a business owner, they are generally happy to share knowledge and experiences.
Many industries have mentoring programmes, but transport has not until now. The New Zealand Trucking Association has launched a formal mentoring programme. The purpose is to tap into existing knowledge, skills and experience, and transfer that to other people in the industry. For a mentee, it can be a sounding board when they need to discuss a sensitive issue or want verification that they are doing the right thing. A mentor can motivate and empower the mentee to resolve difficult situations or understand a new industry; it’s not about expecting them to do it the way that they did. Mentoring is a source of guidance whereby one person shares their knowledge, skills, and experience to assist others to learn, develop and progress. Mentoring is more than ‘giving advice’.
Mentoring can be about meeting different needs for different positions, organisations, or individuals. It can range from motivating and empowering the other person to identify their own issues and goals, helping them to find ways of resolving difficult situations, or understanding a new industry. Most importantly, it is not about expecting a mentee to ‘do it the way I did it’, but by understanding and respecting different ways of working or looking at situations. Mentors can choose to be profiled on the association’s website or have a private profile that only the mentee is shown. It is all totally confidential for both parties unless they want to publish their experience. This new programme could be a game changer for the industry. This is just one service that the New Zealand Trucking Association offers to transport operators. The association is also getting ready to launch its transport operators business pack. After many years of work this is now coming together and will soon be available for members.
It will include everything from the things you need to do to start a trucking business to how to make the business profitable and sustainable, as well as ideas on how to improve the back office. It is all about offering modules that members can use to make things easier. It will include downloadable PDF templates and will include details of who to go to for information or help. The association cost models will be upgraded to include full working cash flows and budgets. It will be a one-stop shop. As things change it will be updated. Membership starts from $33 per month, which grants full use of all the assistance the association provides. The association recently rebranded and will soon be launching a new website, so watch out for that. To join, go to www.nztruckingassn.co.nz or email Rebecca Dinmore at email@example.com.