After the one-time orientation, registration and approval, mentees/mentors can begin participating in the program. The graphic below gives an overview of the mentee/mentor process. After approval into the program, mentors are listed in the Mentor Finder, and the next step for mentees is to submit a mentoring request.
Overview of the Mentoring Partnership.
Mentors are expected to keep their profiles updated with current information and availability status.
ASFPM developed the Mentor Finder as the method for mentees to search for and locate the best mentor for each topic area, issue or mentoring type. The Mentor Finder is a directory of approved subject matter experts who have completed the orientation and registration process. Mentees can access additional mentor profile information by clicking the mentor’s name or picture in the Mentor Finder.
Mentees narrow the search for an appropriate mentor by filtering mentors by areas of expertise, state, FEMA region and available mentoring format(s). Mentees use this method when selecting a preferred mentor for a mentoring request or when using Ask a Mentor.
Mentees use filters to find a subject matter expert, then click on the “Ask a Question” button displayed on participating mentor profiles. Mentees must be logged into the website for the button to be visible.
This type of mentoring does not require a mentoring agreement, action plan or partnership log as does a formal mentoring partnership.
Two important notes about Ask a Mentor:
- Mentees are asked use the Ask a Mentor functionality built into the Mentor Finder instead of contacting mentors directly, unless there is a previous relationship.
- Mentees should only send Ask a Mentor questions to one mentor at a time. Should the mentee receive no response within three business days, then another request may be sent. If the response is time sensitive, the program manager may assist to find another active mentor.
Mentors are asked to reply-all to Ask a Mentor exchanges so that the program manager can compile a list of Common “Ask a Mentor” Questions.
When a mentee submits an Ask the Mentor question, an email is sent to the mentor with instructions to either answer the question or alert the mentee that they will need to ask a different mentor due to a knowledge gap or time constraints.
Feedback is collected in an online survey. The program manager will provide the mentee/mentor with a link to access the feedback survey two weeks after submission of the Ask a Mentor question.
Mentees/mentors are asked to complete the feedback survey
within 1-3 days.
The short survey captures each participant’s satisfaction with the experience and provides an opportunity for comment. The survey asks participants to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with five statements regarding their Ask a Mentor experience.
The program manager will monitor the satisfaction of Ask a Mentor participants and make program improvements to ensure that mentoring exchanges are positive and worthwhile to those involved.
Find the Ask a Mentor Feedback form in the appendices.
Mentees begin a formal mentoring process by submitting the Request Mentoring form found on the My Profile page.
After choosing one of the Mentoring Approaches, the relevant questions for the format chosen appear on the page. The questions for each mentoring type contain on-page instructions to help guide mentees through the submission process. Mentees are directed to the Mentor Finder for Ask a Mentor questions.
Remember: If you require immediate or time-sensitive assistance, please select Situational Mentoring for your mentoring request or contact the program manager.
Every mentoring request will be unique to each mentee’s situation. Since mentees can formulate requests on such a wide variety of topics and issues, requests should be fairly specific. Mentees can consult Activities and Learning Opportunities, Learning Areas, Knowledge Areas or contact the program manager for more ideas.
Find the questions for each mentoring request in the appendices.
For one-on-one, group and situational mentoring, mentees can indicate if they do not have a preferred mentor and allow the program manager to assign the best mentor available. Whenever possible, partners will be from within the same FEMA region.
The program manager will contact mentors before assigning them a mentoring request. Mentors have the option to refuse a partnership proposal.
Alternatively, mentees can select a preferred mentor by using the Mentor Finder filters and entering the mentor’s name into the request mentoring submission. Although every attempt will be made to respect a preferred mentor designation, the program manager may choose to assign another mentor. The program manager may assign a particular mentor if a mentee needs significant assistance in identifying their development needs, has been referred (e.g., new state NFIP coordinator), has a time-sensitive need or mentor expertise is critical to partnership success.
The program manager may interject or be consulted at any point during the matching process to ensure success and support the partners. Partners are encouraged to work through difficulties on their own and develop mentoring agreements to guide their experience.