MENTOR EXPECTATIONS & GUIDELINES
We have a few ground rules in place and tips to help you have a positive experience in the program. As a mentor,we ask you to:
1. Keep your Contact Information and Profile Current
Seems basic, but your email address must be current for a protégé to be able to invite you into a relationship or contact you once paired. And Mentor staff need to be able to contact you, too! Also, your profile information is used by the system’s matching software to offer suggested mentors to protégés. You are more likely to get contacted by proteges with similar background and appropriate rank/job level if your profile is up-to-date. As a rule of thumb, please review your profile at least once every six months.
2. Respond in a Timely Way to an Invitation
If a protégé extends an invitation to you, please respond within THREE WORKING DAYS. He/she is anxiously awaiting your response, trust us. When a protégé does not receive a response to an invitation it can feel like a personal rejection, so please don’t delay.
3. Communicate Frequently/Consistently:
Once paired with a protégé, the expectation is that you will exchange emails regularly (2-4 times monthly on average) and respond to a protégé’s email within THREE WORKING DAYS. And most important is that you first agree with your protégé on how and how often you will communicate (phone/skype/email/chat) and then follow through on the plan. We cannot overemphasize the importance of regular communication to creating trust, a bond and getting results.
4. Use Our Mentor Handbook
We have compiled an excellent handbook for mentors that is full of useful tips and best practices to make the most of your online mentoring relationship. Each subject is handled very succinctly so that you can get the information you need in minutes. You can access the Mentor Handbook online in the “Quick Links” on the right sidebar on your home page once you are logged in.
5. Stay in Touch with Us:
This is a very “high touch” program and our eMentor staff are here to serve you! If you have a problem or question, you can always contact us directly and we will respond promptly. Particularly, if you are having problems connecting with a protégé or have problems after you have been paired, please let us know. We are standing by to personally assist you!
1. One-to-One Mentoring:
It is important to understand that you will not be assigned a protégé. Our program allows protégés to search for and select their own mentor. However, you may also search for a protégé and send him/her an email proposing a mentoring relationship. Simply select the “protégés” tab (at the top of the screen) and use the filters on the right side of your screen to locate a suitable protégé. Then select the “send message” link in his/her profile. If you don't feel you have time to mentor a protege (requires a minimum of 30 minutes per month) you can select "0" in the "Protege Limit" field (under Settings) in your profile and then simply enter the site to interact with program protégés at your convenience. You can interact via the Q&A feature, Discussion Forums and Articles. See these options described below.
2. Other Options: Join a Discussion, Answer a Question or Lead a Group
In addition to one-to-one relationships, you have four other options to actively assist protégés:
• Q&A: Use the Q&A feature to answer posted questions.
• Discussion Forums: Anyone can join a discussion forum to ask questions or comment on the discussion forum’s topic. Some discussion forums are based on a topic (i.e., deployments) and others on a demographic (i.e., all mentors or all Navy E9s). Take a moment to add a comment to a discussion.
• Articles: Posting an “article” simply means uploading content that you feel will be useful to the program’s participants. This can be a document, video, or a link to a website or online article.
• Groups or Public Connections: Mentoring Groups are created by the program administrator (by request) around a particular topic or issue. A mentor leads the group and any eligible participant may join (some groups restrict membership to a particular rank/job level range or career area) and engage in a small group discussion on the posted topic. If you would like to a lead a group contact your program manager/admin by clicking on the “Contact Admin” link in the upper right corner of the screen.
3. Have the Courage to Communicate Honestly:
It is extremely discouraging for protégés when a mentor ceases to communicate with them. If you feel your relationship is either not going well or that the relationship is complete (goals have been met), or you feel you no longer have time to work with a protégé, make sure to thank your protégé for having invited you into the relationship and let him/her know you would like to end the relationship at this time, doing your best to explain your reason. If you are unwilling or unable to take this step you are welcome to contact your program manager/admin (“Contact Admin” link) and he/she will contact the protégé for you. Please do not simply stop responding to the protégé and let the relationship lapse. Research shows that unresponsive mentoring is more detrimental to the protégé than no mentoring at all.
4. Let us Know if You Need Help:
We are always ready to help you if you have problems or questions about the program. We will help you find a protégé, set up mentoring groups, initiate new discussion forums, and assist you with anything else you may encounter while participating in the program including difficulties encountered in a relationship. Please also let us know if you are having any connectivity issues with your paired protégé. We understand that sometimes when you are deployed you may not have access to the eMentor Portal; if you find yourself in this situation please let us know and we will help you to connect with your mentoring partner outside the system. We are committed to your to have a great experience with this program!