Mentorship Guide for Mentees

Black man at computer, Black woman pointing something out on screen


Overview & Expectations

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a collaborative, at-will relationship in which an experienced person provides advice, support and encouragement to a less experienced person or a colleague looking to further develop new skills. The role of a mentor is that of an advisor, who leads through discussion, guidance, and example; the mentee is the person who is being mentored. Mentoring is helpful in any situation where you would benefit from neutral support and guidance to build a specific skill or assist in meeting a development goal. It can be helpful at any stage in your career.


How can mentoring be beneficial?

There are many benefits to a mentoring relationship for you as a mentee. Mentoring is another development option (like online learning, gigs, etc.) that is both easy to access and flexible to your unique needs. A few examples of how mentoring can be beneficial include:

• A way to practice applying a recently learned skill or interest
• Opportunity to explore ideas in a neutral environment
• Develop expertise, and a wider perspective
• Build new relationships and professional networks


What is expected of me as a mentee?

You are accountable for owning the mentoring relationship and taking the initiative to connect and continue meeting. Deciding to begin a mentoring relationship is an important and positive commitment to self-development, and in doing so you are showing valuable self-awareness. To have a successful mentoring experience, you will be expected to:

• Clearly define your goals for the mentorship
• Be ready to listen
• Discuss openly (this is a confidential relationship) and ask questions
• Respond positively to challenges and be ready to try new actions and behaviors
• Prepare for mentoring sessions and follow through on actions


What is the time commitment?

This mentoring program is focused on skill development. The initial commitment is approximately four hours, two meetings a month (typically an hour long) for two months or four meetings. You can choose to lengthen the commitment as you wish, it is up to you.

Every mentoring relationship is different. Work with your mentor to determine how often you will be meeting and for how long, based on availability and the focus of the conversations.



Getting Started

Where can I find a mentor?

Launching in May 2021, you will be able to use Workday to find a mentor. The Mentorships feature allows you to search for a mentor based on skills and mentorship types to meet your current needs. You can send a request directly to the mentor(s) for review. For step-by-step instructions, see the Workday Mentorships How-To Guide (coming shortly).


What are mentoring types?

Mentoring types refer to the skills/expertise that a mentor can offer. As a mentee, you select the mentoring type that best aligns with your current needs.


How do I select a mentor?

You should look for someone who has experience or skills in the area(s) that you seek development. When using Workday to find a mentor, available mentors will provide information about the types of mentorship they offer and skills they are suited to mentor on.

In addition to finding a match for the area of experience or skill that you need, ideally your mentors should not be in your department/team. Having a mentor with a position outside of your direct working situation allows you to get different perspectives.


Do I need to tell my manager that I have a mentor?

It is advised to share your development goals with your manager. However, you are not required to tell your manager that you have a mentor. Although you are not required to inform your manager, they may be in the best position to provide you with insight and guidance in terms of identifying key focus areas for your development.


What happens after I send the mentor a request?

You will receive a Workday notification that lets you if a mentor has reviewed your request. If the mentor approves your request, you will also receive a questionnaire to help you prepare for your first meeting.


Why would/did my mentorship request get denied?

If your mentorship request is declined, your requested mentor will provide a reason for doing so. It could be for a few reasons, such as: they already have a mentee, they may not feel their skills / experiences are a good match for your needs, or they have time constraints.


How do I prepare for the first meeting?

You are responsible for setting up the first meeting. Please use this document, Preparing for your First Mentorship Meeting, for additional guidance.


Where should we meet?

We recommend virtual meetings due to our current working environment. However, after your first meeting you can determine what works best for you both.



Other Notes

My mentor is not a good fit – what do I do?

Make sure you use the first couple of meetings with your mentor to build a rapport and establish trust. The best mentors can be those who challenge your thinking and bring experiences, ideas and perspectives that are unique; that may feel a little uncomfortable at first! Come with an open mind. Sometimes, things just need to ‘click’ – and it is okay if they do not.

Share feedback with your mentor about what is and is not working – that may be enough to reset the relationship. If it is not, be candid about your desire to conclude the relationship, thank them for the time and effort so far, and share what you’ve appreciated and learned from the experience.

Go back into Workday to review and select another mentor aligned with your development needs.


How can I get feedback from my mentor?

Feedback is most effective when it is part of an ongoing dialogue, and delivered in a timely, candid, and actionable way. You can ask for feedback about what you are doing well, and what opportunities exist to be more effective. Getting feedback from your mentor is an expected and important part of the mentoring relationship.


How can I give feedback to my mentor?

Providing feedback to your mentor about what they are doing well, and how they can be more effective is also important. You can provide feedback for your mentor in an informal way as part of your discussions. You will also be provided with a questionnaire at the end of the mentorship about your experience, this will be shared with your mentor.