by Alison Neumann

Mentorship at Its Finest


Starting a new job often elicits feelings of fear or discomfort in navigating the unknown in new responsibilities, new surroundings, and new people.  VAST does something special to increase the comfort level of our newest hires.  The VAST Mentorship Program pairs the new hire with an experienced employee who has worked for VAST for a substantial amount of time to be a loyal guide and mentor for their first year.

Official and structured mentorship programs give new hires the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a knowledgeable employee to help motivate and engage them in their new place of work.  Mentorship programs that function well include strategic planning, connection, community networking, and goal setting.  The program will include an administrator who will match the mentor and mentee, help guide the success of the program, and answer any question that may arise.  Ultimately, the program will benefit the mentor, mentee, and the business.  It will increase the business’s employee retention and satisfaction rates, and the program will build the business’s loyalty and brand.

VAST’s mentorship program flows around a 90 day agenda.  VAST pairs the mentor and mentee after evaluating employee questionnaires.  The mentor is not necessarily a manager or supervisor of the mentee, but often a team member or peer of the new hire.  The mentors and mentees can work in completely different departments at VAST.  Pairing people from different departments functions as a valuable learning tool for both parties.

VAST has a structured mentorship program that focuses on three main meetings, one of which involves participating in a specific leadership community activity, such as Business After Hours, Marquette Economic Club, or other community club or organization the mentor is involved in.  The two participants enter into the program with the specific agenda in mind, so both parties know what to expect.

Building and sustaining a successful mentorship program that grows the business takes commitment, planning, and regular upkeep.  Participating in VAST’s mentorship program is highly rewarding and effective for both mentor and mentee.  It allows the employees to connect on a personal level and build strong, trusting relationships while motivating and planning for the future.  It enables the new hires to view other aspects of VAST that they are not yet a part of, and it encourages the growth of leadership for both parties involved.  Both mentor and mentee walk away with new ideas and perspectives from the program, which not only increases the new hire’s comfort level but also builds upon the culture at VAST.

References:

https://chronus.com/how-to-start-a-mentoring-program

https://www.togetherplatform.com/blog/what-is-the-purpose-of-mentoring

Husk, Mary. “The Undeniable Need for Effective Mentors.” Resources, Summer 2016, pp. 34-36

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