https://pds.blog.parliament.uk/2017/09/11/get-involved-in-mentoring/

Get involved in mentoring

Colleagues at PDS chatting at their desks

In my last blog post I talked about the work I’m doing on capability. One of the strands of this work is 'retention'. As part of that strand I’m setting up a mentoring framework for our staff.

We want to give everyone the opportunity to have access to a mentor. This can be either through our internal House of Commons mentor scheme or externally from people working in similar disciplines. We also want to encourage our staff to mentor others, both inside and outside of Parliament.

Why we’re doing this

We have a lot of people who work at PDS and some of our staff told us they would value guidance from others that have experienced similar things.

So we’ve started reaching out to people in similar disciplines so that we can build communities of practice and extend this work. We want to learn from others, understand how they approach similar projects/tasks and share our ideas with them too.

Staff development is important to us and the Digital Service wants to provide its people with opportunities to keep learning. We also get the opportunity to improve our skills in mentoring others.

What we’ve done about it

I’ve sent out a call to arms on Twitter and LinkedIn asking people to register their interest. We’ll ask again via our newly launched PDS Twitter and PDS LinkedIn channels.

This post is also intended to encourage people to get in touch. A lot of our staff have great contacts and so far 26 people have signed up to the mentoring scheme. If you’re interested, please contact me using the details below.

We’re also talking to the House of Commons HR team about their mentoring scheme and how staff can access those opportunities.

Up next

With more people interested in mentoring, our next steps will be:

  1. pulling all this information together and making it understandable for staff
  2. promoting these opportunities with our staff through the appraisal process, learning and development programmes and promoting it via our various communication channels
  3. communicating with all the mentors about the process
  4. pairing people up, introducing them to each other and getting them to set up that first meeting

What we’re asking of mentors/mentees

We’re asking mentors to give up an hour of their time every month. They can meet up, Skype, have a phone call or whatever works best for them and the person they're mentoring.

We want the mentoring to be useful for both parties so if the pairing doesn’t feel right, either party can say it isn’t working for them.

We’ll be asking both parties to give feedback regularly so we can measure how useful this process is for everyone involved.

I’ll write an update soon about our progress.

If you’d like to be a mentor, or would like the advice of mentor yourself, please email Julie Byrne or contact her on Twitter.

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