In March 2011, GovLoop―a vibrant online community connecting more than 50,000 public sector professionals―set out to explore the creation of a government-wide mentoring program. GovLoop approached The Training Connection (TTC), a small, woman-owned business that runs more than 50 simultaneous mentor programs in federal agencies, to help. The vision for the program was to connect experienced and retired civil servants with professionals who are relatively new to the public sector or are seeking to move their career to the next level.
The timeline for the program from design through launch and execution included:
- April 2011: Engaged in strategic planning and program design activities
- May 2011: Customized The Mentoring Connection, a competency-based matching software
- June 2011: Initiated the program with mentors
- July 2011: Launched the program to mentees at the Next Generation of Government event
- August 2011: Conducted a live, web-based kickoff session with 50 pairings (100 participants total)
- September-October 2011: Posted blogs on GovLoop with tips for hosting a successful mentoring relationship, which were shared by email with mentors and mentees every two weeks
- November 2011: Administered a program evaluation survey and hosted a live, web-based closeout session.
For the pilot program, GovLoop accepted the first 50 mentees who took the initiative to establish a match to engage in the pilot. In addition, mentors were asked to approve only one mentee pairing. The program did not dictate the structure or content of their six meetings, but encouraged them to connect via a myriad formats such as in person, on the phone, or via video chat.”
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