UW Tacoma started out small, with a close-knit group of staff and faculty. The rapid and continued growth of the campus is a rewarding and exciting process, but it does have one drawback: Not everyone knows each other anymore. New employees get to know the people they work with, but have fewer opportunities to meet other people. In an effort to reach out to the new employees and welcome them to our entire community, the UWTSA has developed a staff mentoring program. We are just too large now for that type of community building to just happen on its own.
How does it work?
The mentoring committee chair assigns two mentors from different units on campus to each new employee (the "mentee"). One of the mentors will have a similar job classification as the new employee and the other mentor will not. In this way, we hope to strengthen the UW Tacoma community as our campus grows, with all new mentees (and mentors!) meeting and getting to know people they would not normally work with. You could say this is about job satisfaction and effectiveness, retention, and many other “concepts,” but basically we want to encourage cross-campus ties and familiarity.
- Meet the new employee and give them a small gift as well as information about the UWT Staff Association
- Take the mentee out for coffee and give a tour of campus, introducing the mentee to other members of the campus community. Note: Mentors/Mentees may request release time in advance for the initial coffee meeting (subject to supervisors approval), but should plan further interactions during breaks, lunch or at campus events.
- Invite the mentee to staff gatherings and other events.
- Keep in contact with the mentee as necessary to answer questions, offer advice and generally make the mentee feel welcome.
What is a mentor?
In this situation, the mentor’s role is to:
- Introduce the mentee to others in the community
- Provide the beginning of a campus network for the mentee
- Serve as an objective, experienced guide for the mentee
- Help the mentee find the appropriate resources to solve problems as they arise
The mentor is meant to be a positive role model for the mentee. A mentor is not a counselor or mediator in conflicts. In most instances, communication will be considered confidential, but there may be situations where information shared cannot be kept confidential, such as reports of sexual harassment, workplace violence, etc.
For more information on the mentoring program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org