A new opportunity for mid-career civilian employees to gain one-on-one mentorship from senior-level employees across Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support is now available.
The mentor program was developed in response to employee feedback from past culture climate surveys and will serve as a vehicle to address DLA Troop Support’s People and Culture line of effort.
“As part of our Campaign Plan, I have challenged all of our leaders to prepare our employees for career advancement through mentorship,” Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander, said. “Our employees are our most important asset. Our mentorship program will allow us to invest in and encourage employees to learn from those already serving in senior leader positions.”
The first year of the program will be a pilot program with participation limited to 25 mentors and 25 mentees. Those in the civilian grades of GS-14 and GS-15 will serve as mentors while employees in the grades of GS-12 and GS-13 will be the mentees.
The selection and notification of mentors and mentees will be handled within the supply chains. All program participants will be nominated by their supervisors and are scheduled to be notified before the end of February.
“Some formal mentoring programs emphasize one-way communication in which a more seasoned professional takes a less seasoned protégé under their wing,” Patricia Lynch, Command Support Office mentorship program manager, said. “There is nothing wrong with that but the aim of this program is to be loosely structured, allowing for the mentee and mentors to meet face-to-face for about an hour each month to establish a productive mentoring relationship that advances naturally.”
Prior to the meetings, the mentee is expected to be prepared to discuss particular topics including career planning, advancement opportunities within the organization and networking. While the mentor is expected to share their experiences and any institutional knowledge unknown to the mentee.
Half-way through the program Lynch plans to bring all the participants together to reenergize the program and share lessons learned and best practices.
Lynch wants to stress to the participants that the mentors are only responsible for providing guidance and that participants should not expect their mentors to pull strings that may directly lead to the mentees’ promotion or success.
“The program is not expected to lead to favoritism in any way,” Lynch said. “Having a great mentor does not guarantee a promotion, but following the guidance of a great mentor could certainly lead to one.”
Employees interested in becoming mentees or mentors should notify their supervisors as soon as possible. For more information about the mentorship program contact Tom McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.