Icomera: Mentoring the Workforce to Invigorate the Workplace


One of APTA Chair Michele Wong Krause’s priorities is to emphasize recruiting, retaining, and empowering the next generation of skilled, future-ready transit workers and to define transit jobs as attractive career paths.

January is National Mentoring Month, concluding Jan. 21 with an official #ThankYourMentor Day—the perfect opportunity to show appreciation to mentors who have provided guidance and support to those embarking on their career journey.

Neil Reid is second from left. Sam Elneel is second from right.

Here, Neil Reid, senior field engineer with integrated connectivity solutions provider Icomera, shares with Passenger Transport his approach to mentoring:

How do you ensure field engineers at Icomera are informed and engaged in field engineering?

Reid: It begins during the onboarding of new team members. I spend as much time as possible with new-starts in the office and on site so they can gain the necessary knowledge and be successful. Bringing in team members early on in a project’s installation so that they gain a greater understanding of how our systems operate really helps when they become more involved in the O&M phase.

What are some of the tactics you have used to empower the next generation of skilled, future-ready engineers?

Reid: Having worked at Icomera for many years, I have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience that I try to pass along as much as possible. We also use Professional Development Dialogues to work out the strengths and weaknesses of individuals so that we can utilize the strengths and focus on the right areas to improve.

How were you mentored in the past to get to the role you have today?

Reid: I have had the opportunity to work in several departments within Icomera on many different projects. It has allowed me to gain an in-depth understanding of what each department needs to perform and how I can help achieve these goals.  

What strategies do you use to check in with your employees and provide ongoing support and guidance to keep them engaged and focused?

Reid: I communicate on a daily basis with the team and use regular one-to-ones, team meetings, and toolbox talks to get critical information, training, and H+S guidelines across to the team.

What is one piece of advice you give your mentees so that they can succeed?

Reid: It’s not just technical knowledge that is required to be successful. Employees need to be onboard with the company’s ethos, and it is critical to consider the customers’ needs and expectations when carrying out work and making decisions.

“Neil’s dedication to scaling up our expertise has been invaluable in guiding and empowering our field service engineers. With a hands-on approach, Neil seamlessly transfers knowledge and travels across regions to support his engineers and clients. His commitment to sharing insights, transferring knowledge, and fostering a global exchange of skills has greatly strengthened the effectiveness of our North American field service engineering team.”—Sam Elneel, Service Delivery Manager

“He [Reid] has brilliant coordination with all FSEs [Field Service Engineer] and addresses questions in great detail. He is available 24/7 for all FSEs; whenever I need him, he responds, even if he’s on vacation! He also provides timely and constructive feedback to team members in helping us develop new skills and improve our performance.”—Naik Nazar Naik, Field Service Engineer