DOINews: ONRR: Mentoring Taps the Power of Teams

Last edited 09/05/2019

Program analysts Jim Witkop (right) and Chris Mentasti sitting at a table and reviewing documents.
Program analyst Jim Witkop (right) mentors fellow analyst Chris Mentasti about ONRR's budget in the Washington, D.C., Office. Photo by Matt Williams, ONRR.

In John C. Maxwell's book, "Team-work Makes the Dream Work," the author posits the simple yet impactful message that only by working together can people achieve their goals.

Armed with this knowledge, organizations large and small draw upon the power of teams to implement their most important initiatives. In this respect, ONRR is no different. In fact, we are leading the pack.

By supporting mentoring initiatives, ONRR is leading the way in using teamwork to help develop its most important resource — its employees. Indeed, by rolling out its most recent human-capital initiative, ONRR's Formal Mentoring Program, the agency is leveraging the power of teams to develop and cultivate its already talented workforce. With that said, let us explore how the agency's newest mentoring endeavor works, the benefits of the initiative, as well as the program's implementation schedule.

Innovative technology

ONRR's Formal Mentoring Program works by combining innovative technology with proven processes. The mentoring program is built upon a web-based platform known as The Mentoring Connection, which helps manage the logistics of the program.

The TMC tool assists program participants in a variety of ways. For example, it allows participants to apply for the mentoring program online, it tracks upcoming mentoring activities, and it suggests potential mentor-protege pairings.

More than just a technical solution, however, ONRR's Formal Mentoring Program also incorporates sound mentoring practices. Participants, for instance, will receive training on how to determine their goals, how to better understand their their personality, as well as how to get the most of their mentoring. Combining the tools with proven mentoring practices will help ensure the success of ONRR's Formal Mentoring Program

Success = Benefits

Success brings benefits, so as ONRR's mentoring program succeeds, the agency's employees will benefit. In launching the program, the agency is helping its employees to establish unique, intimate and collaborative mentoring-protege partnerships.

Partnerships facilitate knowledge transfer between the pair, an obvious benefit. Another benefit of these collaborative mentor-protege partnerships is that they provide participants with personal and professional growth opportunities. Enhanced technical expertise, improved interpersonal skills, and increased organizational awareness are just a few examples of the developmental opportunities available to mentors and proteges alike.

Maximize potential

By supporting this mentoring initiative, ONRR is helping its employees realize their maximum potential, which is a benefit to everyone involved.

With the benefits of ONRR's Formal Mentoring Program established, a brief overview of how the agency will implement the program may be helpful. Officially launched on Jan. 6 of this year, the mentoring program will have participants engage in a nine-month mentor-protege relationship.

Before creating the mentoring relationships, however, participants receive important training. Specifically, program participants in February attended orientation training designed to provide an overview of mentoring in general and teach applicants how to use the TMC tool.

Getting the most

On March 19-20, participants attended mentor training, which helped proteges and mentors alike understand how to get the most from their mentoring relationships.

Following these initial training events, participants are encouraged to attend various mentoring forums and energizer sessions planned for April and June, which will help ensure interest in the program remains high.

All mentoring activities will culminate in celebration and a close-out

event planned for November.

In sum, we have explored how ONRR's Formal Mentoring Program works, we have learned how it benefits the agency and its employees, and we have learned how the agency will implement the program.

Working as a team, the agency's employees can help each other grow and develop. Through supporting this initiative, ONRR will again prove that anything is possible when the whole team is involved.

By: Joe Coleman, ONRR

May 1, 2014

This story originally appeared in latest edition of DOI's Office of Resources Revenue's newsletter, the ONRR Voice.

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