Why Do We Need a Mentoring Program?
The Statement of Principles found in Unifor’s Constitution recognizes that in order to build the union, we must commit to supporting an ongoing process of renewal. Nurturing and encouraging the next generation of activists, and staying open to new ideas and ways of doing things are essential to this process of renewal. Several locals also reinforced this commitment during the Local Union Task Force meetings. In fact, the Task Force put forward the recommendation to establish a formalized mentoring program.
There is a well-recognized need for more effective ways of connecting Unifor members, across generations to enhance sharing of knowledge, skills, insight, and experience from one generation of activists to the next emerged as a prominent theme.
What does the program offer?
A mentoring program can assist the mentee by enhancing their knowledge of the union and its history, increasing commitment to the union, assisting personal growth, and supporting them in avoiding political pitfalls.
On the other hand, mentors gain a sense of personal satisfaction from empowering future leaders, reflecting on their personal obstacles and successes, and giving back to their union. Unions also benefit from the transfer of knowledge and history from one generation to the next. The program’s feedback mechanism can also help identify barriers for members of equity seeking groups, and can support our broader equity agenda detailed in the Equity Audit report.
Where does the local fit in?
Local unions are central to the process of renewal and have an important role to play in building the next generation of Unifor activists and leaders. Not all Unifor local unions look alike. Single unit local unions can be small or large, and amalgamated locals can vary in size and geography. One thing is clear; there will always be a need to mentor new activists and leadership in every single local union.
Take the first step
The Unifor Education Department is here to help get you started! Creating a new program can be a challenge but the union has a ton of resources available at your fingertips to assist.
These include template style documents to help you recruit members wishing to participate in your Local’s mentoring program, a planning worksheet to help mentors and mentees get off to a good start, a meeting template to help keep the mentorship focused and on track, and a feedback form to evaluate the mentorship and help identify next steps for the mentee.
The Education Department has also created a poster and a PowerPoint presentation with speaking notes to help promote your local’s mentorship program.
If you have a question or need additional resources, all you need to do is ask.
Contact the Education Department and let us know what you are looking for; email firstname.lastname@example.org , or reach out to the National Servicing Representative assigned to your local.
This presentation gives an overview of the mentoring program and can be used when pitching or promoting the program.
Here you will find posters for promoting the program to mentors and mentees. Versions are available for print and for web, in letter and tabloid size.
This is a guide to establishing a mentoring program in your local union.
Mentees can use this application form to sign up for their local Mentoring Program.
This worksheet can be completed together at the first meeting and it helps to document decisions made jointly about the work ahead. It is an important tool to keep mentors and mentees on track throughout the mentorship period.
This meeting plan will help mentors and mentees structure meetings, document activity between meetings, guide discussion about progress toward meeting specific tasks and broader goals, and establish a work plan for moving forward.
This evaluation form should be completed during a mentor and mentee’s final formal meeting together. It provides an opportunity to discuss what worked well during the mentoring and what could be changed in the future.