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 mentee's 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.