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A Better Workplace Group Initiative

The Department’s mentoring scheme aims to aid the career development of all interested staff. We believe this scheme will contribute to ensuring the department remains a dynamic, fulfilling place to work.

The aims of the mentoring scheme are:

  1. To establish a culture of mentorship in the department
  2. To collate a list of staff interested in becoming mentors and to make this list available to all staff within the department.
  3. To provide mentoring training for all interested staff.

Here can find a comprehensive guide to mentoring, including the mentoring relationship and the running of the scheme.

We also provide a list of currently available mentors. If you would like to be mentored under the departmental scheme please read the guidance material which will advise you on how to choose and approach a mentor.  We ask that you inform us if you form a mentoring relationship with someone on the list, so that we can update the list of available mentors accordingly.

If you have any questions or queries about mentoring, including the mentoring scheme, please contact us: mentoring@phc.ox.ac.uk

The Mentoring Better Workplace Group consists of Anne-Marie Boylan, Katherine Tucker, Nikki Newhouse, Veronika Williams, Susannah Fleming and Sarah Lay-Flurrie.

What do we mean by mentoring?

We are aiming to implement two styles of mentoring. The first is the traditional top-down approach, in which a more junior member of staff (the mentee) is guided in their career development by a more senior member (the mentor). The second is known as peer mentoring and can take two forms:

  1. A one-way mentor-mentee relationship between two people at a similar stage in their career or
  2. A reciprocal mentor-mentee relationship between staff at a similar stage in their career in which they mentor each other (co-mentoring).

Whatever form of mentoring you choose to enter into to you are encouraged to employ a communication framework such as TGROW.. This helps the mentees to explore the resources already available to them (personal and departmental), which they can utilise in order to progress their careers.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is:

  • A partnership between two people.
  • Focused on career and personal development opportunities
  • Useful in helping the mentee understand how the organisation works.
  • Based on trust and respect.
  • Confidential.
  • The promotion of self-reliance.
  • Supportive yet challenging.

The Mentoring Process

The mentoring process is about helping people develop and progress in their careers. A mentoring relationship does not stand still and may go through the following stages:

  • Building rapport

Getting to know each other and agreeing the basis for working together.

  • Setting direction

What are the issues to be tackled? What are the priorities?

  • Making progress

Taking action, maintaining regular contact and engaging in activity.

  • Moving on

Concluding the relationship in a satisfactory way when the purpose of the partnership has been achieved.

Roles and responsibilities

Mentor Mentee
Assist the mentees to identify their professional development needs. Take the active role in their career and professional development.
Help build confidence and motivation. Understand that the role of the mentor is to challenge and encourage but not to necessarily provide answers.
Provide a safe and confidential mentoring space. Come to meeting with topic(s) to discuss.
Aid the development of the mentees self-awareness Be prepared to be open and honest.
Help the mentee develop a career strategy. Implement agreed action points.
Help the mentee respond proactively to mistakes and setbacks. Understand the session may contain constructive challenge.
Signpost resources. Be open to using resources other than those suggested by the mentor.

Getting Started for Mentors

  1. Register your interest with the mentoring group by email (mentoring@phc.ox.ac.uk). We will add your name to the list available on the department intranet and mentees will contact you directly.
  2. Attend training - although not compulsory, we advise all mentors to attend the departmental training sessions.
  3. Let us know if all your mentee spaces are full or if you no longer wish to be a mentor (does not seem to be a “getting started” point...).

Getting Started for Mentees

  1. Take a look at the information about mentors on the departmental website.
  2. Think about what it is you want from a mentoring relationship. Try to identify specific needs and take the time to think about your expectations. Think also about how you work best and what kind of working relationship brings out the best in you.
  3. Contact a potential mentor.

If you choose to enter into a co-mentoring relationship it is strongly advised that you take advantage of the relevant resources available on the right-hand side of this page.

Setting up your relationship

When you have identified your mentor using the information on the departmental website, get in contact and arrange a meeting to discuss the mentoring process. If you both decide this is the right partnership for you, we recommend that you discuss the next steps. We suggest you use this opportunity to get to know each other and talk about:

  • Where and when to meet.
  • What you both expect from the mentoring partnership.
  • Clarifying expectations and responsibilities.
  • Acknowledging the need for complete confidentiality.
  • Setting up the first mentoring meeting.

Concluding your relationship

When you set up your mentoring relationship, you may decide on a pre-specified number of meetings or you may agree to continue the relationship until a certain objective has been achieved. The duration and structure of the relationship are unique to you. Mentoring relationships usually come to a natural conclusion, but the mentor or mentee may wish to conclude the partnership at any time for various reasons. There is no expectation for the mentor-mentee relationship to be a long-term partnership.                                                                               

To discuss concluding your mentoring relationship, or indeed any other aspect of mentoring, please feel free to contact any member of the Mentoring Implementation Committee (mentoring@phc.ox.ac.uk).

Department mentors: