A coaching relationship is one in which constructive feedback is continuously sought and provided. Both you and your manager have an active role to play in this conversation and both you and your manager will document your performance progress throughout the year.
In order for your manager to provide meaningful feedback he or she must be made aware of your professional accomplishments and challenges. Seek out regular conversations to discuss your work and/or utilize the Continuous Improvement: Employee Feedback (DOC) form to keep your manager informed with regular written updates.
Managers and supervisors should provide continuous feedback throughout the year. In addition to conversations about your professional development, you can ask your manager to utilize the Continuous Improvement: Manager Feedback (DOC) form to provide a more structured type of feedback. You will also find these forms a helpful reference at the end of the year during your annual Employee Performance Review.
Managers and supervisors should address performance issues when they occur and provide constructive guidance on how to improve your skills and competencies. Ask your manager to help identify professional learning opportunities, engage knowledgeable peers who can help your develop your skills, and development goals that will contribute to your career advancement.
Mentoring is the partnering of an experienced person (Mentor) with a less-experienced colleague (Protege) to facilitate personal and professional development for the benefit of the Mentor, the Protege and an organization. A Mentor can enhance a Protege’s career by providing career advice and interpretation of performance feedback; by communicating and discussing organization initiatives and changes; by providing skill development opportunities; and by assisting with integration and expectation setting.
Mentors help Proteges establish themselves in an organization and prepare for advancement. Mentors also offers support by providing informal counseling and acting as advocates and role models. Mentors help Proteges develop confidence and competence.
Benefits for Mentors:
Benefits for Proteges:
A Mentor may perform many roles. These functions range from giving long-term career advice to managing expectations about short-term professional assignments.
In an organization as large as UIC, frequent and consistent communication is especially critical for success. Mentors should serve as two-way, confidential communication partners for the exchange of information.
Long-Term Career Advice
A Mentor can provide guidance and direction to help a Protege define and achieve long-term career goals. A Mentor can help a Protege identify skill gaps and ways to close those gaps. A Mentor can also help a Protege define career goals and the skills and experiences needed to achieve those goals. A Mentor should also help his/her Protege evaluate various alternatives for achieving long-term success and career satisfaction.
Short-Term Career Advice
A Mentor can provide constructive help and advice to a Protege on how to maximize the experience gained on various work related assignments. A Mentor provides a risk-free forum and an open ear for the Protege’s concerns about managing career difficulties and navigating the organization’s culture.
Mentors serve as role models, demonstrating successful professional behaviors. As a role model, a Mentor is conscious of how his or her actions set an example for a Protege, thereby influencing the Protege’s performance, behaviors and ambitions. Being a role model includes demonstrating leadership behaviors, embodying UIC’s Core Values, following university and college/unit policies, adhering to ethical standards, and demonstrating a commitment to the success of both UIC and the Protege.
Expectation and Goal Setting
An important aspect of professional development is being aware of what lies ahead on each step of the career journey. A Mentor is an excellent source for expectation setting because they have often experienced and overcome these challenges. It is important for Mentors to share insights and recollections of how experiences have affected them both professionally and personally.
It is also important for Mentors to realize that Organization policies and procedures have changed over time. Mentors should put themselves in the place of the Protege and set expectations according to the present environment.
New employees at UIC often need the help of more senior employees to understand the UIC culture. A Mentor can assist in this process by providing a Protege with information about UIC vocabulary, protocol, tools, processes, and structures. This information is particularly helpful in the first few months after an individual has joined UIC.
When a Protege receives performance feedback from a supervisor, a Mentor can try to help determine how to resolve performance issues or close performance gaps. A Mentor’s role in helping a Protege understand and act on performance feedback is not a substitute for a supervisor’s responsibility for delivering direct and candid performance feedback. Performance feedback is a critical dimension of the Career Development Model and should receive significant thought and attention from managers/supervisors. As a Mentor, one can help to interpret performance reviews and develop action plans based on feedback data.
To help a Protege develop a sense of belonging within the Organization, a Mentor may introduce a Protege to other people at UIC and other University of Illinois campuses. Mentors may also be able to advise Proteges about involvement in university sponsored initiatives or special programs. A Mentor can also be a good resource for identifying appropriate external organizations to further develop a Protege’s skills.
Be proactive. Here are some tips on how to get a mentoring relationship started:
Mentoring is a fundamental aspect of professional development. Supervisors and managers should proactively develop skill in advancing the professional development and careers of UIC colleagues. Here are some tips on how to initiate mentoring relationships:.
For more information about establishing and sustaining a successful mentoring relationship in the workplace, download and review the Mentoring Resource Guide.
To view information about the AP Mentoring Program click here.