How Extension mentoring relates to sailing vessels

On Wednesday, March 30, I got the chance to meet our new Michigan State University Extension staff members at New Staff Onboarding. It was an interesting experience for me welcoming them to the organization, as I am just as new as they are to MSU Extension. As I reflect on their introduction to MSU Extension and my own, I think about the importance in having an organization program that provides guidance and help throughout an employee’s transition. I think that the new MSU Extension mentoring program is going to be the key element in ensuring that our new colleagues have the relationships, tools and resources that they need to have a successful transition.

On the March 7, 2016 all staff webinar, we talked about the importance of mentoring in our organization and ways that you can participate. Overall, we want to make sure that our new staff have a supportive onboarding experience. There is a need to help new staff understand Extension and our role within the university as well as our internal organizational structures such as district teams, institutes and work teams, and stakeholder relationships and interactions. Mentors will help new staff build an effective network of relationships between coworkers and clientele while helping them realize their potential. We also want to provide mentors for those that have been in the organization and are transitioning to a new role.

There are so many benefits to being a mentor. This is a wonderful opportunity to give back and build relationships and trust with others within our organization. Through mentoring, you will also learn from others as well as keep your skills and knowledge up to date. Ultimately, you will share in the success of a new employee and the organization as a whole.

Are you interested in learning more about the new staff mentoring program? The MSU Extension Mentor Work Team is hosting two information and training webinars on April 15 and June 7. I have added the training information at the end of the post, and if you have any other questions about them, please contact Dionardo Pizaña.

In thinking about the metaphor we use for our new staff “onboarding,” I am reminded of John F. Kennedy’s words, “. . . a rising tide lifts all boats.” To tie together both seafaring metaphors: we can lift our entire organization through mentoring and strengthening our new colleagues as we bring them on board.

MSU Extension Mentor Information and Training Webinar

Friday, April 15, 2016

10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

https://msu.zoom.us/j/967402776

or

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

https://msu.zoom.us/j/893431729

 

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