Professional Services Mentoring pilot

Welcome to the Professional Services Mentoring pilot. The scheme has been launched by the Focus on People programme (FoP) to provide an opportunity for mentors and mentees to form mentoring partnerships within and across professional services. The scheme aims to support mentees in achieving personal and professional growth and mentors to enhance their own skills in addition to gaining satisfaction from helping others to develop.  

You can find lots of information about the scheme in the handbook including the scheme objectives, the benefits for mentors and mentees and practical information about how it operates. The scheme makes use of an online platform, MentorNet, to facilitate and coordinate mentoring.

mentornet

There is plenty of support and training available for those joining the scheme. Resources, support, training and a practical toolkit are signposted in the handbook to assist participants on their mentoring journey.

If you are interested in participating in the scheme or have any questions or feedback about the pilot get in touch via professionalservicesmentoring@admin.ox.ac.uk

 

Mentoring can be a powerful tool to assist staff in developing within their roles, professional life and careers. It can help mentees to develop their skills, knowledge and capability and to fulfil their potential. It is a voluntary arrangement through which, an experienced individual, outside the normal working relationship, holds regular meetings and discussions and takes a personal interest in guiding and supporting the development of a less experienced person in progressing within and beyond their immediate role.

A mentor may be a sounding board, someone to help work through a mentees ideas and throw light on their path. The value of mentoring is that it allows an individual to work on an objective, with an impartial “thinking partner” who will enable them to focus on the issues that are important to them and to arrive at self-generated solutions. It is a confidential non-judgmental and constructive partnership.

Mentoring is not a replacement for line management, supervision, one-to-ones, appraisal or PDR, performance management or support in cases of harassment or grievance. Neither is mentoring counselling or therapy - although the mentor may help the mentee to access more specialised support if it becomes apparent that this is needed. The mentor does not act on behalf of the mentee. It is the mentee’s responsibility to take action and, where relevant, the mentor’s to assist the mentee in reaching decisions about action and/or reflect upon the consequences of such action.

The Professional Services Mentoring scheme aims to match a person with relevant experience with an individual who wishes to benefit from this experience and to provide support for both mentees and mentors in maximising the benefits of their mentoring partnership. Matches may be made across professional functions and divisions where possible and appropriate. This may benefit mentees and mentors by providing exposure to other parts of the University, increasing networking and sharing best practice across the University.

A Mentor can be a useful resource at any point in your career whether it’s at the start, at the end, or at any point in between. Mentoring can give you the boost you need at different stages of your career – for example when new to the University; to extend influence or improve effectiveness in an existing role, to ease transition between roles; to progress a career or change direction; to help ‘hit the ground running’ when starting in a new role.

A common motivation for individuals volunteering to be mentors is a desire to ‘give something back’ especially where they believe their experiences can be of use to the progress of less experienced colleagues. Mentors often find satisfaction in helping others progress and succeed.

Mentoring also provides the opportunity for a mentor to develop their own skills in areas such as interpersonal communication, active listening, providing constructive feedback, coaching, problem solving, leadership and motivating of others. The skills required to be an effective mentor transfer well to a wide range of contexts and can also assist a mentor with their professional and career development.

If you wish to volunteer as a mentor or mentee please register your interest by emailing the mentoring coordinator at professionalservicesmentoring@admin.ox.ac.uk. You will then be sent a quick start guide to using MentorNet and a link to register on the platform.
The registration will require you to complete an online form.
The form asks prospective mentees what they hope to gain from being mentored, what sort of mentor they are looking for (e.g. a peer or a more senior person? A mentor with a particular skill or experience?). The form also asks for basic information such as job title and length of time in post etc.
The form asks prospective mentors what they can offer a mentee in terms of their experience and skills and about their mentoring preferences e.g. preference for career stage of mentee and time and frequency of meetings.
If you are unclear regarding your suitability for the scheme you are encouraged to email your query to the mentoring coordinator: professionalservicesmentoring@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Please be aware that there are a limited number of places available in this pilot scheme. If it is not possible to accommodate your request to join the scheme at this time the mentoring coordinator will contact you to consider the options and alternatives that may be available.

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Internal mentorship was really pivotal for me. It gave me the opportunity to expand my network within MSD and to discuss ideas for advancing my career.

Departmental HR Manager