1. UDOT
  2. UDOT University
  3. Employee Development
  4. Mentoring

Mentoring

Overview

The goal of UDOT’s mentoring program is to connect people with continuous learning opportunities.

The major function of the Mentoring Program is to promote the mentee’s career and personal development, facilitating continuous improvement. It also serves as a culture-building tool aimed at sharing best practices, transferring institutional knowledge, and creating a network of interpersonal relationships across the organization.

Any UDOT employee may participate in the mentoring program as a mentor or mentee. The program is open to all employees including regions, admin, TOC, Motor Carrier and other divisions.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a voluntary partnership between two people committed to defining common goals and expectations, along with building a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Both the mentor and the mentee give and grow in the mentoring process. The mentee can learn valuable knowledge from the mentor’s expertise and experience. Mentors can find value in seeing the organization from a different point of view, passing along knowledge and experiences that help others, and expanding their professional network to include new people.

What do Mentors and Mentees do?

Mentors and mentees will meet or talk on a regular basis, defined in a mentoring plan based on goals and objectives tailored to the interests and needs of the pair. The mentoring relationship may be utilized as a sounding board for ideas and questions or exploring a topic together through online training, books, or articles. The mentoring relationship could be focused on external networking and watching industry trends through professional associations or more focused on the inner workings of UDOT and gaining a better understanding of UDOT processes or procedures.

How long does the mentoring relationship last?

Learning and Development staff will facilitate pairing mentors and mentees based on expressed interests and developing a mentorship plan. The individualized plan will outline agreed-upon expectations for frequency of meetings, methods of communication, topics of interest, and confidentiality. Depending on the goals and objectives identified in the plan, the formal mentoring relationship may last a few weeks to a few years. Learning and Development staff will do a mid-point check-in with the pair and document completion of the formal mentoring relationship based on fulfillment of the mentoring plan.

How do you get started in the Mentoring Program?

Participation in UDOT’s mentoring program is voluntary. Supervisors might recommend a mentor to support goals and objectives in a performance plan, but the program is not intended to be required and supervisors will not be assigned as mentors to direct reports. Here are a basic steps to get started:

  1. Fill out an application form online. In addition to your contact information, it will ask you to indicate your interest in being a mentee or mentor and what you hope to accomplish by being part of the program.
  2. A member of the Learning and Development team will contact you to follow-up with a personal interview.
  3. The Learning and Development team will pair you based on interests expressed in the application and interview.
  4. Your first mentoring meeting will be facilitated by a member of the Learning and Development team to make introductions and form the mentoring plan. This meeting may occur over the phone or online with screen sharing if geographic distance prevents an in-person meeting. The plan template includes:
    • Goals and objectives
    • Planned activities to achieve goals and objectives
    • Frequency of meetings/conversations
    • Target timeline for completion/duration of mentoring relationship
    • Confidentiality considerations
  5. Ongoing meetings and activities are the responsibility of the mentor and mentee.
  6. A member of the Learning and Development team will check-in with both individuals at the mid-point of the mentoring plan based on the targeted timeline. This individual is available to answer questions or provide support at any point during the formal mentoring program participation.
  7. You may contact the Learning and Development team member at completion of the plan goals or they will reach out at the target completion date of the mentoring plan.
  8. The Learning and Development team member will document completion of the mentoring plan.

Roles and Responsibilities

Mentors:

  • Meet with your mentee and/or engage in mentoring activities in-person (or on the telephone as a backup)
  • Willingly share your experience and professional success in the organization
  • Explain how the organization is structured
  • Support the organization’s mission, vision, and goals
  • Look for experiences that will stretch the mentee (i.e., shadowing during meetings, suggested readings, etc.)
  • Stay accessible, committed, and engaged during the length of the program
  • Listen well
  • Provide open and candid feedback
  • Offer encouragement through genuine positive reinforcement
  • Be a positive role model
  • Share “lessons learned” from their own experiences
  • Be a resource and a sounding board
  • Keep your conversations confidential
  • Let the Mentoring Program Manager know as soon as possible if you are having a problem connecting with your mentee

Mentee:

  • Meet with your mentor each month and/or engage in mentoring activities in person (or on the telephone as a backup)
  • Be proactive about contacting your mentor and scheduling meetings
  • Commit to self- development
  • Assume responsibility for acquiring or improving skills and knowledge
  • Discuss individual development planning with the mentor
  • Be open and honest on goals, expectations, challenges, and concerns so others can help you
  • Prepare for meetings and come with an agenda
  • Actively listen and ask questions
  • Seek advice, opinion, feedback, and direction from the mentor
  • Be receptive to constructive criticism/feedback and ask for it
  • Keep your conversations confidential
  • Respect the mentor’s time and resources
  • Stay accessible, committed, and engaged during the length of the program
  • Comfortably give feedback to the mentor on what is working or not working in the mentoring relationship
  • Let the Mentoring Program Manager know as soon as possible if you are having a problem connecting with your mentor

Resources

The Department offers all employees access to online training classes, webinars, videos, eBooks, and other developmental tools through the UDOT Online Learning Portal. Mentoring program participants may use these as discussion topics during monthly meetings. Mentoring courses that reside in UDOT Learning Portal can be used to prepare the mentor and mentee for learning, engaging and managing their mentoring relationship.

UDOT Learning Portal Courses:

Forms