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It is critical to the success of a department to develop mentoring programs to accelerate new instructors’ professional growth while increasing the longevity of their tenure. A first step is to start by creating mentoring guidelines to ensure new instructors have the resources and teaching tools to be successful and that expectations are met and guidelines are followed. Ongoing mentoring is crucial for the success of the agency and department. A quality mentoring program will enhance instructor learning and retention while improving community programming and member experience.

To begin, create mentorship guidelines to help each employee navigate the process. Mentorship guidelines will provide a layout for building a mentorship program and create department standards that can be documented, measured and monitored. One mentoring guideline would require new instructors to be supervised by a qualified, credentialed mentor who is experienced in the subject matter. Another guideline would have new instructors complete a certain number of meetings with their mentor while participating in ongoing education seminars.

Mentorship programs should also include a personalized coaching plan for every new employee to enhance learning through strategic planning. Developing a plan of action will guide new employees on their personal and professional journey and provide a road map for the mentor. A successful personalized coaching plan will help the employees reach measurable goals in a reasonable time frame and enhance their professional and personal development.

Overall, quality mentoring programs will consist of goal setting, modeling, observations, measuring tools and ongoing feedback while also giving new employee opportunities to practice skills. A positive mentoring experience will be created by developing a personalized coaching plan, building professional relationships, providing consistent performance feedback, and offering ongoing learning and support.

It is critical for an agency and department to invest in developing a mentoring program to accelerate new employee professional growth, thereby increasing employee retention and enhancing member experience.

Holly Metzger-Brown

Holly Metzger-Brown, M.Ed., CSA, GC-ABA, BCBA, LBS is the Learn & Play Director at the York Jewish Community Center. She graduated from Lycoming College, where she played varsity tennis and basketball. She has a master’s degree in teacher leadership and education. Holly is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, certified POINTE PROGRAM consultant, and certified tennis instructor. She has been published in several books, journals and magazines, including Onsite Fitness, Netplay, Wacky Ways to Succeed with ADHD, Strategies, TennisPro, Yorkids and Community Rec. She has been locally and nationally recognized for her youth fitness and sports programs.

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