Cross-Mentoring: The New Knowledge Exchange

Cross-Mentoring: The New Knowledge Exchange

It takes about twenty minutes to walk from one end of Embraer’s Faria Lima manufacturing complex in São José dos Campos to the other. The hangars, machine shops and administration buildings are home to some 10,000 employees on any given day.

Every time I dash around the facilities, I’m reminded of how something as intricate as an aircraft is produced by so many talented individuals with such diverse functions, all coming together to deliver a single thing. It’s extraordinary, really. And the true definition of teamwork.

I’m also reminded that our people need to continually expand their knowledge and broaden their experience in order for us to keep our innovative edge. It’s why we started a unique mentoring program last April called CROME (Cross-Mentoring).

Instead of the traditional one-way mentoring voice, our program is one of cross-communication where mentors and mentees share their experience and converse as equals. We’ve broken down barriers to make the conversations easier and more enlightening. Millennials can be mentors of experienced executives. Other pairs converse across departmental boundaries.

The initial feedback is really encouraging. There is engagement on a variety of subjects, both technical and personal. While some are exchanging ideas about how to improve the flow of work-related information, there are discussions ranging from career advice to how to better understand today’s younger generation.

It’s knowledge-sharing in its purest form. I passionately believe that investing in our people, sharing experiences, broadening the way we think, and opening the lines of communication will bring tremendous benefits in the future. The investment will reflect in our service, our products, and in our interactions with each other.

Walking around the Faria Lima complex always gives me an appreciation for the meaning of teamwork. No one person can build an airplane – everyone’s contribution is important.

We follow six corporate values on which Embraer’s business is founded. They’re printed on the back of every employee ID badge. Our cross-mentoring initiative is a good example of one of them – Our People are What Make Us Fly.

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