PHOENIX – Sallie McGuire, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Arizona Regulatory Branch chief, hosted a meeting at the District’s Arizona/Nevada Area Office Mar. 27 to discuss the District’s mentoring program.
“In some areas, it’s referred to as a mentor-mentee relationship,” McGuire said. “In our District, we have a mentor-associate relationship. We try to focus on it being a meeting of equals. The program focuses a lot of professional development”
Among the many other goals of the program are allowing employees the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what is needed to succeed and advance in the Corps and enhancing both the mentor’s and associate’s leadership and interpersonal skills.
“I have three people I’m mentoring at different levels,” said John Keever, the District’s Construction Division chief. “This program is an excellent part of our organization’s focus.”
McGuire said there are also opportunities for employees at senior levels to engage junior employees in “reverse mentoring.” In this relationship, the junior employee can teach the senior one skills he or she hasn’t mastered or would like a refresher on – like social networking or another online medium that might have come along during the course of the senior employee’s career.
Keever said the mentoring program is meant to be flexible. Employees are not “mentored for life” and associates can seek multiple mentors since he said no one has all the answers. Keever feels the program is valuable for junior employees because it will help them become the leaders the Corps will need in the future.
“Thos of us closer to retirement age would really like to know that those you who are not there yet are ready to take over,” he said. “It gives us, who have put in a lifetime of effort, comfort to know this organization will be well cared for when we leave it.”
Employees interested in finding a mentor can either look on the District’s SharePoint site for additional information or ask another employee who is senior to them if they would like to be a mentor.