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Staff 'Mentor Me' Program Launches July 1

UC’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Human Resources Department are partnering to launch a staff mentoring program in order to encourage career development, support diversity and promote a culture of learning and engagement.

Date: 6/30/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   Based on equity and inclusion survey feedback, the University of Cincinnati will launch a new “Mentor Me” program for staff with the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

The goals of the new program, resulting from a partnership between Human Resources’ Acquisition and Retention Team and the Office of Equity and Inclusion, is to foster career development; support diversity, equity and inclusion; and promote a culture of learning and engagement.

To participate in the new program, potential mentees must have been employed at UC for at least one  year (and have manager approval for participation). Potential mentors must have been employed at UC for at least two years (and have manager approval for participation).
  • Go online to fill out an interest form and more information.Those seeking a mentor may either select someone to serve as a mentor or will be paired with a mentor by HR.
According to Shelly Sherman, executive director of Human Resources’ Business Partners Team, “Mentoring is about learning. The value and purpose of mentoring for new employees is an increase in retention, job satisfaction and job performance. Mentoring is a valuable tool, which can be used to build an effective and diverse organization as it assists to ensure that all employees are equally provided opportunities to be successful.”

The goals of new-employee mentoring are
  • Accelerate an employee’s perspective/understanding of the unit and its role in the larger context of the university.
  • Increase employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Safeguard the unit’s new-hire investment.
  • Serve as a welcome to employees and help them to potentially advance in a career path.
Mentors should possess the following characteristics:
  • Leadership qualities.
  • Successful in the unit and institution.
  • Knowledgeable about the unit’s mission, values, vision and strategic priorities.
  • Committed to staff development and willingness to assist others to be successful.
The new UC program is an informal vs. a formal mentorship effort. Informal programs are less rigidly structured than formal programs, and research shows that informal programs tend to be more successful and enjoy greater longevity than more-structured programs.

In other words, according to Sherman, once a mentor and mentee are partnered, it will be up to them to determine how often they will meet, how long the mentorship will last, potential events to attend, etc.

Mentoring meetings and activities must be integrated into normal working hours, and an employee’s supervisor should not serve as his or her mentor as part of the “Mentor Me” program.