The HHS Mentoring Program is based on the OPM Leadership Competencies
(create hyperlink) and includes the HHS
Leadership and Core Competencies (create hyperlink).
Participants have the opportunity to develop leadership and technical competencies
through just-in-time coaching and guidance which will improve their overall performance
and success in the workplace.
To support development of these competencies, the HHS Mentoring Program offers two
mentoring platforms: (1) Senior-to-Junior, and (2) Peer-to-Peer (P2P). These allow
employees to experience mentoring relationships in order to fulfill a variety of
learning needs, manage their own growth and development, and build and strengthen
relationships throughout the organization. Participants can serve simultaneously
as a mentor and mentee within their home OPDIV or through a cross-OPDIV relationship.
Throughout their participation in the program, mentors and mentees are expected
to successfully complete the following program components:
Orientation – All employees must participate in the mentoring orientation
to prepare mentors/mentees for an effective mentoring relationship. For in-person
events, this will also allow pairs to participate in a “meet and greet.” Individuals
in distant mentoring relationships should arrange a meeting with their mentoring
partner following the online or instructor-led session.
Mentoring Agreement – This document is signed by both the mentee
and mentor to help clearly outline expectations and establish terms for the mentoring
relationship. When the pair completes the mentoring agreement, the mentee must log-in
to the mentoring website to indicate completion in the online system which will
alert the OPDIV Coordinator within one month of match confirmation date.
Individual Development Plan (IDP) – This document is developed
by the mentee with the assistance of the mentor. The mentoring pair should identify
strengths, developmental needs, activities, and track the mentees’ progress throughout
the mentoring relationship. Thereafter, the mentee will obtain input and/or share
the IDP with their supervisor/manager of record. When the pair creates the IDP,
the mentee must log-in to the mentoring website to indicate completion which will
alert the OPDIV Coordinator within one month of the match confirmation date.
At this stage of the relationship, the mentoring pair should review the IDP periodically
and continue to work through stated objectives, making changes as needed. To assist the pair, the program coordinator and HHS U staff will provide other informational
resources and quarterly training events targeting specific topics to enhance the
mentoring relationship and professional development.
6-Month Mentoring Progress Report - In order to ensure positive
mentor/mentee relationships, we monitor the progress of the mentoring pairs. The
goal is to ensure that the relationship is mutually beneficial and to detect potential
issues as early as possible. OPDIV coordinators may establish procedures for tracking
the progress of participants within their organization.
Mentoring participants will submit a 6-month progress report. In the event that
a mentoring relationship is not working as effectively as it should after 3 months,
either partner may terminate the relationship. The role of the OPDIV coordinator
is to provide guidance to the pairs prior to terminating the relationship.
1-Year Program Completion Survey - To evaluate the HHS Mentoring
Program’s overall effectiveness, participants should assess the program via a 1-year
completion survey in order to determine if the program objectives were met. Evaluation
is important in measuring the program’s success. Information sharing between the
OPDIV/STAFFDIVs and program administrators is essential to ensuring effective program
implementation and goal achievement within the Department. The HHS Program Manager
in coordination with the OPDIV is responsible for receiving the completed survey
to assess program effectiveness and the Department’s return on investment.
Historically, the origin of the word “mentor” can be traced back to Homer’s epic poem Odyssey thought to date back at least 3,000 years. The Odyssey tells the story of King Odysseus’ lengthy return from the Trojan War. During his absence, he had entrusted the care of his kingdom, Ithaca, and of his then infant son, Telemachus, to an old friend, named Mentor. The Greek mythology character “Mentor” is referred in contemporary literature as a wise and kindly elder, a surrogate parent, a trusted adviser, an educator and guide. His role is described variously as nurturing, supporting, protecting, role modeling, and possessing a visionary perception of his ward’s true potential (Journal of Education for Teaching, 28, 3, Pg.247-263).
Like the original Greek Mentor, anyone who serves another as a counselor, guide, tutor or coach is a modern-day mentor. Mentoring relationships are seen in various aspects of our society, i.e., learning institutions, organizations, and local state and/or religious programs. Specifically, the HHS Mentoring Program addresses the rapidly changing work environment and provides opportunities to develop employees, increase staff productivity, and improve employee retention.
Current trends and research regarding mentoring has shown how essential it is to an organization. In fact, 35 percent of employees who are not being mentored within 12 months of being hired are actively looking for a job. Only 16 percent with mentors jump ship. Thirty percent of women executives and 47 percent of women of color pointed to "lack of mentoring" as a barrier to their advancement.
Last revised: 12/8/2008