Mentoring Program Guide Book

Mentoring Program Guide Book

Purpose

The objective of the ESIA Mentoring Program is to offer mentees professional development and the chance to benefit from the experience and industry knowledge of a mentor, providing a fantastic opportunity to acquire an insight into the world of work and to get their career off to the best possible start. The program will also assist solar professionals and mid-level managers who seek to further their careers within the renewable energy sector.

The benefits of a mentoring program are numerous:

• Attracts, develops and retains talented members
• One-on-One Mentoring
• Mentor/Mentee Partnership
• Evaluation
• Builds expertise and improved performance and quality
• Builds leadership and positions future leaders at the leading edge of the organization
• Ensures that wisdom and experience are passed down from generation to generation
• Increases enthusiasm, creativity, and productivity
• Strengthens the organization’s values and tradition

The One-on-One Mentoring Program is a one-year commitment intended to provide the opportunity for mentors and mentees to bond. The evaluation component of the program will end after the one-year period, but it is the aim of the program that the mentor to mentee relationship last as long as it is productive and beneficial to participants.

Overview

One-on-One Mentoring Program is an informal relationship between the mentor and mentee for the purpose of developing the talent of the mentee. The mentee is a developing junior professional or student, and is paired with a mentor from which to learn and receive guidance. A mentor is a senior professional who has experience in the area that the mentee is interested in developing and is willing to steward the growth of the mentee. One-on-One Mentoring is a partnership of two equals, both sharing full responsibility for communication, growth, feedback, and providing follow-through.

The purpose of mentoring is for the mentee to develop his or her professional talent through an informal partnership with a mentor. These one-on-one mentoring relationships exist primarily to support the professional and career development of the junior person. Mentoring relationships enable both individuals to build new skills, prepare for advancement and other growth opportunities, build self-esteem and self confidence; and in so doing, contribute to the fulfillment of personal professional development and goals.

The One-on-One Mentoring Program has three primary elements:
• Partnership between mentee and mentors
• Mentoring skills training workshop for mentee and mentors
• Evaluation

The number of mentees permitted to participate in the program may be limited by the availability of mentor candidates. From previous years, it is expected that the time commitment involved to participate in the
mentoring program is about 2 to 3 hours per month for conversation/mentoring and preparation
time.

First Year of Program

The mentoring relationship between a mentor and mentee is a partnership of two equals. Both are fully responsible for honest communication and feedback, integrity and respect, follow through, commitment, and accountability.

While the program is designed to provide feedback after one year, it is an informal effort. The partnership is driven by a proactive mentee who decides how often to meet. Mentees are encouraged to develop an outline of objectives and a specific plan for the next steps. The one year duration of the feedback/assessment is intended to provide an opportunity for the Program Coordinator and ESIA Board to evaluate the Mentoring Program’s effectiveness and refine it as necessary. Relationships between mentors and mentees may continue for as long as those relationships are valuable to both participants.

Selection Process

The selection of mentors and mentees is achieved through the process described below. The informal One-on-One Mentoring Program is open to all students and solar professionals but requirements demand a strong commitment to the program by both the mentee and mentor.

Stage 1: Applications

1. Review and sort mentee and mentor applications based on qualifications, interests, and goals
2. Note the needs and interests of the mentee pool to identify potential mentors.

Stage 2: Selection

1. Make a tentative match between mentor and mentee candidates, based on the mentee’s preference and/or needs
2. Arrange for the matched pairs to interview each other. Potentially have some mentees interview more than one mentor
3. Mentee submit name(s) of mentor(s) with whom they would like to partner in the program
4. Make final match

Evaluation of the Mentoring Program

The success of the program depends on regular, open, and honest feedback, especially early in the program. Ongoing feedback helps each participant make sound objective decisions for modifying or expanding the program. Below is an outline of the evaluation strategy. Evaluation forms are shown in the appendix.

• Mentor and mentee continuously share verbal feedback during each mentoring session
• Mentor and mentee complete a six-month written evaluation to be delivered to the Program Coordinator
• Mentor and mentee complete a final written evaluation at the end of the first year of the Mentoring Program.
• The mentor, mentee, and Program Coordinators discuss what worked and what didn’t work, and to make recommendations for change.

Roles

Leadership of, and participation in, the Mentoring Program requires individuals in three key roles: the mentee, mentor, and program coordinators. These roles are described below.


Mentee

Mentee are developing professionals and students with a sincere attitude toward learning. They have identified a talent or area of their life they want to develop, and have chosen a more experienced person to help them. The mentee is connected to a mentor based on the mentor’s wisdom, integrity, experience and
similar career tracks. As a result of this trust and respect, a mentee feels safer to take risks and grow beyond his or her preconceived ideas. The mentee forge a meaningful and heartfelt relationship with their mentor that often lasts beyond the initial mentee/mentor partnership.

Mentors

Mentors have a strong expertise and reputation as wise leaders. They are people who are highly respected and role model authenticity. Mentors are open, enthusiastic, and generous teachers who share their wisdom and experience. They respect the mentee and are fully committed to the mentee’s growth and development. The mentor’s role includes the following:

• Coaching
• Role Modeling
• Affirmation
• Friendship
• Training
• Sponsorship
• Exposure
• Professional Development

Program

The Mentoring Program Coordinator has the commitment, ability and authority to oversee the Mentoring Program. Their role is to steward the successful growth of the Mentoring Program. The coordinator(s) guarantee organizational commitment to the program. It is essential that every role in the Mentoring
Program be acknowledged for the time and energy it takes to participate in the program. The coordinators are responsible for communicating what has been accomplished and what is pending to the ESIA Board.