What Will I Gain from a Mentor?
1. Mentors provide free guidance on achieving VPP, may do mock audits for the sites they are mentoring, and will provide assistance in-person or through regular phone calls. A mentor has been through the audit process several times and will know what auditors are going to look for that may not be perceived by the organization. More importantly, a mentor will offer guidance on how to address any shortcomings and provide advice on sustainable, long-term solutions.
2. Mentees learn from someone who has successfully achieved VPP and understands the struggles that a site is facing. This is an opportunity to get hands-on training and guidance from a seasoned professional who has been in the exact same position that your site is in. A mentor understands the frustrations and setbacks as well as the milestones, triumphs, realities and success. Since the mentoring committee pairs mentors and mentees who are in the same or similar industries, mentors often understand challenges that are unique to a site’s specific situation, such as improving management commitment, employee engagement, recordkeeping, PPE or implementation.
3. Mentors not only teach the sites they are working with, they advocate for them. This could be in the form of sharing best practices and experiences or using a vast network of other safety and health leaders to find answers. VPPPA mentors have been in the safety and health industry for years and have built a network of trusted friends and colleagues who can help tackle unique problems.
4. Mentors also learn from the sites they are working with. Many VPPPA mentors have seen different approaches to problem-solving that they can bring back to their sites and share with their own employees. The mentoring process is a two-way street.