Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a mentor? A mentor is a trusted and experienced individual who provides guidance, advice, support, and encouragement to another person, known as the mentee. The mentor’s role and goal are to help the mentee develop both professionally and personally.
Key aspects of a mentor include:
- Knowledge Sharing: A mentor shares their knowledge, expertise, and insights with the mentee. This can include practical advice, industry-specific information, and life lessons.
- Career Development: Mentors often assist mentees in setting and achieving career goals. They may provide guidance on career paths, skill development, and professional networking.
- Personal Growth: Beyond professional development, mentors may also support the personal growth of their mentees. This can include helping them navigate challenges, build confidence, and make informed decisions.
- Networking: Mentors often introduce mentees to valuable contacts within their professional network, helping them expand their connections and opportunities.
At Mission Health, the mentors are identified as all of the above, but also a friend and supporter to someone who needs it the most: new employees. The remarkable Mentorship Program was originally created by Jacque Vance, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation. Glenda Crellin, Director of Education and all the members of the Kansas education team, led by Jessica Tinsley, and Ambeur Hill, are proud and excited for every opportunity to expand on the growth and success of the program Jacque created. The mission to welcome new employees with open arms as they start their new positions within an organization is a vital one. Staff should always be highly valued for their positive contributions. However, new hires are most vulnerable entering into a new work environment with little or no knowledge of the day to day. To combat that, the Mission education team seeks to train qualified employees to become mentors and get paired with new employees to help guide them through the transitioning process and their entire career with Mission.
The Kansas mentors from the East, Central, and West regions recently met to learn the importance of mentorship and how they can help create a positive culture within their communities, grow as leaders and communicators, become team builders, and make a lasting impact on mentees and colleagues. Workshops were held in multiple sessions, bringing 40 mentors together. The purpose of the workshop allowed mentors an opportunity to explore the role beyond what most may understand. The overall goal: to empower participants with knowledge about the organization, its values, and how these critical building blocks play a part in the mentor role as teacher, coach, co-worker, and leader within their communities and beyond. The attendees also networked with their fellow mentors to openly discuss ideas and models they could take back and put into practice.
The Mission Experience starts and finishes with the CARES values—Character, Attitude, Respect, Excellence, and Service. These values serve as clear expectations for all front-line staff, administrators, and home office. CARES serves as a benchmark for measuring what we do and how we do it – no matter the job position. Mission mentors must embody each value. In fact, in the application process, mentors must give personal examples of how they live out each CARES value and are selected based on their ability to role-model the CARES values and bring added meaning to the Mission Experience. The workshop encouraged mentors to expand on learned knowledge and provide ideas on how to incorporate their new learnings with their mentees.
Team building exercises were also part of the fun. Mentors learned how to lead and delegate responsibilities within a team. Hands on activities allowed mentors to work within small teams to build a staff appreciation cart. This included building a cart from scratch, decorating it, and filling it with snacks and other tasty items – all within a set timeframe. This hands-on team-building activity promoted effective communication and delegation to ensure tasks were done correctly, in a timely manner, and met the goal of having fun. Mentors gleaned a better understanding of the importance of process, and how teamwork can ultimately impact resident care. All mentors who participated in the activity were put into a drawing. Several communities walked away with a fully stocked cart custom built by mentors from all over the organization!
And the Award Goes to…
There were also some big award winners that were recognized during the workshops. Congratulations to Crystal Bergmann from Downs Health & Rehab for earning Kansas West Mentor of the Year, Stephanie Chewing from Rolling Hills Health & Rehab for earning Kansa Central Mentor of the Year, & Samantha Kennett & Daryean Collins from Lansing Health & Rehab for winning Kansas East Mentors of the Year. A runner-up award was also earned by Krissy Raida at Neodesha Health & Rehab. All mentors in attendance were gifted with a workshop T-shirt with this year’s theme: Mission
Mentoring, apprenticeships, and other similar programs are considered best practice strategies for employers who wish to have a highly skilled and proficient workforce with high retention/low turnover rates. Mission is continuously looking for new mentors to include in each community. “Each of our mentors play an important role in the Mission Experience. You serve as a first impression to new employees and one of the main reasons for their retention. You set the tone for your community’s culture and hold a high standard for all new mentees and employees. Thank you for your dedication to your team, community, and Mission Health.” –Stuart Lindeman, President and CEO.