Bill Valdez, president of the Senior Executives Association, Emily Jarvis, senior online & events editor at GovLoop and Jovanka Balac, president of Young Government Leaders discuss the adoption of mentorship programs in the federal government.
Recruiting and maintaining talent is a priority for chief human capital officers across the government. To assist in workforce development, some agencies have adopted mission-specific mentorship programs. The Pentagon, NASA and the Small Business Administration are pairing young professionals with federal employees to provide guidance and career development. Government Matters asked three experts on the programs their thoughts. Bill Valdez, president of the Senior Executives Association – “I think the government has failed in many ways to develop a system to promote across government mentor-protege programs. It is a real shame because the President’s Management Agenda in many respects, does highlight that workforce is the key to implementing the [agenda] and [based on] my experience in government and I think everybody will agree, mentorship is a key element to developing that workforce.” Emily Jarvis, senior online & events editor at GovLoop – “I think it couldn’t be more critical…they don’t have to be formal mentorship programs. We have had a lot of our users at GovLoop have these informal programs and even take a program outside of government. …Mentorship is sort of like having an advisor. You want someone to talk to. You’re not looking for a sponsor or a coach to get you that next role. What you are looking for is someone to bat ideas around with and consult with.” Jovanka Balac, president of Young Government Leaders – “A lot of the issues with young people in government is they don’t know who those people are, or they don’t how to reach them. That could be within their agency internally or if they’re interested in another agency somewhere else, that form of communication doesn’t really exist.”