Mentoring of OHS personnel – George’s Safety Reflections
Guest article by George Robotham from www.ohschange.com.au
Everybody says mentoring is a good idea, so recently I volunteered to take on the role of mentor for 3 developing OHS personnel. I had a look at what my mate, Mr. Google, had to say about mentoring and spoke to a few contacts.
The first step was to meet with those I am mentoring and develop a mentoring plan.
The plan lasts for 12 months from 6/9/12, we will meet at George’s place monthly on Thursday, 10am, meetings will generally last about one hour with the exception of the initial one that may take longer. We will keep in contact via e-mail between meetings and if necessary by phone. The frequency of the meetings will be controlled by the mentee on an as needed basis.
Mentor objectives-The objectives are to assist the mentee in improving their level of OHS and OHS related competency in order to ensure they perform well in their current role and to prepare them for the next step forward in their career
Mentor goals- Mentees to receive a positive performance appraisal at work and, where applicable, progress to a more senior position
Mentor expectations-The mentor expects the mentee to take responsibility for their own learning, attempt homework where they see it of value and engage in a major project to cement their learning. It is suggested the mentee maintain a reflective journal
1 It is recommended the mentee maintain a reflective journal of their experiences in the mentoring process, the journal should reflect on what went well, what opportunities for improvement were identified and what they have learnt. Up to you put I find they help with learning. Also helps you prepare for performance appraisals with your boss, negotiations about a pay rise and revising your resume. Having a reflective journal was part of the requirements for my attaining Chartered Fellow membership of S.I.A. It also helps with writing uni. assignments and writing for professional journals.
2 You should give consideration to the development of a WOW project, a WOW project is one that is so effective everybody says WOW. Some major companies use these as a regular part of learning programs for managers. A well executed project will get you noticed where you work and look great on your resume.
So far we have discussed recommended reading on safety, I have given specific advice on their areas of interest, we are talking about developing a joint OHS paper, I am working on them having a meeting with my mentor, we will have a session where they will give a presentation for peer review and we are talking about them taking on a major safety project. From my perspective things are working out well, I hope this is also their perspective.
It will be an enjoyable challenge for me to consistently come up with material and approaches that help them learn. Other experienced OHS personnel are advised to give mentoring a try, the rewards are there if you work on it.