Search the Staffnet siteSearch StaffNet
Search type

Mentors

Previous mentors on the scheme have benefited in the following ways

  • developing coaching/management skills
  • enhancing CV
  • sharing experience and knowledge with another member of staff
  • gaining the satisfaction of helping others develop their potential
  • networking with staff

"Acting as a mentor on the Manchester Gold staff programme is personally and professionally rewarding. The process offers mentors an opportunity to learn about the challenges facing other areas of the University and the ability to use and develop their listening and coaching skills. I found the whole process very rewarding on a personal level and found a great deal of satisfaction in watching my mentee grow in confidence as I supported them through the scheme."

Mentor, Mike Shore-Nye, Director of Sport, Trading and Residential Services (STARS)

 

Mentor pack

Mentor frequently asked questions

What commitment is involved?

Manchester Gold Staff will take up approximately 20 hours over a nine month period. This includes attendance at all events, attendance at some workshops, preparing for meetings and the face-to-face meetings themselves.

Can I be a mentee and a mentor at the same time?

Yes, each year we have a few people who act as a mentor and a mentee simultaneously. This works very effectively and is common practice in many organisations.

What if I can't deliver what my mentee expects of me?

You will have been matched with your mentee based on their requirements corresponding with your experience and skills as detailed on your application form, so in most cases you will be able to help. The programme induction will equip you with some basic tools to help you carry out your role and will set your mentee's expectations - in other words, your mentee shouldn't expect you to guarantee them a promotion! You will find an optional agreement in your induction pack that can help form the basis of a discussion around expectations.

Your mentee should bring a clear set of objectives to the first meeting that you can review together. You may find that you cannot help them on every objective and you may want to concentrate on key areas. It may also be that you signpost your mentee to other contacts if you feel you are not the best person to help them in certain areas - one of the roles of a mentor is to help the mentee develop networks. Remember that mentoring is a subtle art - often it is the small things that count like offering an impartial ear, understanding a predicament and providing encouragement.

However, if the match was wrong and things really aren't working, be open with your mentee and let them know how you feel. If you decide it is best not to continue, please let the Manchester Gold team know.

Who will I be matched with?

You will be matched with a mentee on the basis of your application form. When you register you will be asked about the skills and experience you have to offer, and you also have the option of specifying the kind of person you are looking to mentor. When a mentee registers, they specify what areas they are seeking support in and what skills and experience they are looking for in a mentor. During the matching process a member of the Manchester Gold team will be in touch with you to talk through the match and confirm suitability. You will get to meet your match for the first time at the induction event.

Do I have enough experience to be a mentor?

Anyone with life experience can be a mentor. However, the level of experience needed really depends on what the mentee is looking for. Mentees register with very different needs such as:

  • help in adjusting to a new job and faculty
  • taking on more responsibility
  • managing staff
  • gaining an understanding of the University and how it works
  • knowledge of job hunting
  • improving confidence

or maybe something more specific.

You will be matched according to what the mentee is looking for.

Mentors have tended to come from across the University including project managers, lecturers, senior research fellows, technicians and supervisors. We welcome applications from all members of staff.

How do I bring closure to the mentoring relationship?

Manchester Gold Staff has a specific timeline and closes in November with an event. This is an ideal time to bring closure to the relationship, although many mentors and mentees do agree to stay in touch informally.

I've not heard from my mentee recently and I am concerned that the relationship is not progressing

The mentee should drive the relationship; we ask them to arrange the meetings and set objectives. At the first meeting you should discuss preferred methods of communication, work schedules and availability and even set up rough dates for the meetings, which should help to avoid problems of this kind. However, some mentees may need more support than others - they may be nervous about making contact, or may be struggling to prioritise time when they will concentrate on their personal development due to a heavy workload. You should try to make contact with them, and if you are still experiencing problems, contact a member of the Manchester Gold team.

What can I do if our meeting seem to be running out of steam?

Although the mentee should drive the relationship and set objectives, the mentor should spend time thinking about how to meet those objectives, and perhaps planning activities for the mentee. Signposting mentees to other contacts, externally and internally, is very useful and will help the mentee build contacts, as well as provide further points for discussion. Staff Learning and Development can also provide you with tools and advice - please contact Denise Fieldhouse at denise.c.fieldhouse@manchester.ac.uk for further information.

Where should the meetings take place?

Mutually convenient places which suit both parties are best. Some mentors have the meetings in their offices, others in cafes, training rooms etc. It is often best to meet somewhere impartial and to consider noise levels.

What if I decide I don't want to continue with the programme?

Please contact Manchester Gold team and your mentee ASAP.

Do you have any tips and advice about how to get the most from the programme?

  • Be organised and committed
  • Take notes
  • Prepare for meetings
  • Set and agree objectives
  • Be open and assertive
  • Be punctual and re-schedule with plenty of warning
  • Give the relationship time to gel
  • Attend the workshops and events

Other resources