Mentoring is designed to support and progress employees during their career and life development.
Employee Mentoring Program
Mentoring is a partnership between two people which provides support, help and advice along an individual’s career path.
- An ongoing relationship that can last for a short or long period of time – it depends on the individual
- Flexible and at times can be informal. Meetings can occur as needed, such as when advice, guidance or support is required. Other relationships can be more structured where there are set times for meetings.
- Focused on developing the employee for the purpose of growing their career
An employee may seek a mentor for a variety of reasons, including:
- Expanding skills and knowledge
- Creating meaningful connections
- Developing leadership skills
- Helping with career progression.
The Benefits of Mentoring
One of the reasons why mentoring is valued so highly as a development opportunity is that all parties involved will get a positive out of the experience. The benefits include:
- The development of skills or knowledge
- Increased professional knowledge
- Development of networks
- Exposure to different areas of the business
- Career advice and the access to experience and expertise
Mentoring or Coaching
Coaching is used to enhance or improve the performance of an individual through reflection on how to apply a specific skill and/or knowledge. Coaching helps individuals to reflect on their performance in a specific area. If you would like to explore coaching in further detail.
Mentoring is used as a means of supporting an individual during their career and life development. A mentor is someone who is able to provide advice on suitable career path, introductions and generally is a role model for the individual.
Finding a mentor
Mentoring is a rich and rewarding development opportunity. To work out who you'd like to have as a mentor, consider these questions:
- What are you expecting to achieve from being mentored
- What skills and knowledge are you looking for from a mentor
- Are there any preferences you are looking for (ie business area, experience)
- What are the skills, experience knowledge you are seeking from a mentor
- What are your career goals for the next 1-3 years
- What are your key strengths and experiences and how could these benefit the person mentoring you
Once you've identified your goals, it will be easier to find a mentor. Think about people you've interacted with and who you would like to consider as a mentor. Take advantage of networking activities and let people know you are seeking a mentor. If you aren’t sure who you would like to have as a mentor, have a discussion with your manager on potential matches.
Approaching a potential mentor
You can contact a potential mentor either by phone or email. Your initial communication could say something like:
‘I'm interested in being mentored and I was wondering if we could meet to discuss further. I would like to share with you what I'm looking for so we could learn more from each other and determine if a mentoring relationship is the right step.’
It is important not to commit to starting a mentoring relationship straight away. Wait to discuss your objectives and learn more from the potential mentor at the first meeting.
The first meeting
Meet with your potential mentor in an informal environment. The objective of this conversation is for you to meet each other, get to know more about each other and share your aspirations for the mentoring relationship. It is useful to assess your comfort levels when discussing with your potential mentor.
After the meeting, take some time to reflect and make the decision about whether this is the right match for you. If it’s not the right match, it’s ok to opt out early. It’s better to make this decision now rather than later down the track when you make feel like you are not achieving your goals and objectives.
If you consider it to be a good match, consider beginning a new mentoring relationship. You can refer to the Mentoring Agreement to establish your mentoring approach and relationship. The agreement clarifies expectations, establishes roles and ensures you communicate clearly about the purpose, process and procedures associated with mentoring.
For more information, refer to the Mentoring @ CSU Handbook.