The USDA Mentoring Program is designed to facilitate the learning process and offer experiences that will assist protégés in understanding and fulfilling their career potential. It is a voluntary program that benefits both employees and USDA by fostering career relationships and the exchange of career information between mentors and protégés. Mentors can provide numerous benefits to protégés, including but not limited to:
- Helping employees develop as professionals by improving their skills in translating values and strategies into productive actions;
- Developing new and/or different perspectives;
- Obtaining assistance for new and innovative ideas,
- Demonstrating their strengths and exploring potential, and
- Increasing career networks and receiving greater exposure within the Agency/USDA.
Some training and development programs require a formal mentoring component by federal regulation (e.g., Presidential Management Fellows Program, Senior Executive Candidate Development Program). USDA includes mentoring as one of many leadership development activities along with individual development plan (IDP), details and rotational assignments, and formal study and/or training and developmental assignments.
Flash Mentoring at USDA
The USDA Mentoring Program works with the USDA Disability Employment Program and the USDA Office of Operations TARGET Center to support mentoring opportunities to aid in the retention and advancement of employees with disabilities. The collaborative model helps to increase awareness of mentoring program options, including through Flash Mentoring activities that offer time-controlled engagements which often lead to more formal mentoring program participation by both protégés and mentors.
The samples and templates provided below are available for creating your own Flash Mentoring event.