Engineering Mentoring programme

Last Edited : Feb 15, 2024

3 Min read

Mentoring is a relationship, which has mutual benefits for all parties involved and is generally used to help a less experienced person achieve their goals by receiving assistance and guidance from a more experienced person.

1. Introduction

We continuously look to improve the way we work and collaborate, and to improve our technical capabilities on a group and personal level. This is only possible when every individual member of Signal AI Engineering strives to become the best version of themselves. To help them on that journey, we encourage every engineer to take on a mentor.

Here at Signal AI we have two mentoring programmes available to our engineers:

  • A company-wide programme in which anyone can be mentored by someone more experienced, from potentially any other department.
  • An engineering-specific mentoring programme in which an engineer can be mentored by another more experienced engineer.

Less experienced engineers will benefit more from an engineering mentor than from someone outside engineering, but there’s nothing stopping them joining both programmes.

2. How does it work?

Every engineer is encouraged to have a mentor, which involves asking their manager who will help them define the areas in which they feel they would most benefit from mentoring. With this information, a suitable mentor is suggested and an intial meeting arranged. After that, the mentor and mentee are left to arrange regular meetups. The mentee is usually expected to set the agenda.

3. Our mentors

3.1. What can our mentors help with?

  • Support to settle in
  • Reflection/advice on current challenges
  • Reach individual goals
  • Facilitate connections

3.2. Who are the mentors (in the engineering mentoring programme)?

Mentors are fellow engineers who:

  • Are more or similarly experienced (P2P)
  • Are able to offer a different perspective, as they must be from a different engineering team
  • Have the necessary mentoring skills
  • Each support up to 3 mentees

3.3. Mentor qualities and skills

  • Good communicator: ability to structure a conversation, active listening
  • Gives constructive feedback
  • Openness: willing to share experience, ability to share effectively
  • Actively growing others (Committed, able to motivate and encourage)
  • Emotional Intelligence: recognise one’s own emotions and those of others, empathy

4. Benefits

4.1. For mentees

  • Support
  • Learn from mentors
  • Cross-team connections

4.2. For mentors

  • Impact
  • Learning how to grow others
  • Cross-team connections
  • Learn from mentees, gain a different perspective
  • Potential pathway to line management

5. Mentor recruitment & on-boarding

5.1. Identification of candidates

  • People who are interested in becoming a mentor can get in touch with their line manager.
  • Line managers and a mentoring coordinator can identify candidates (potentially triggered by half-yearly mentor list review)

5.2. Assessment and evaluation

In order to join the mentoring programme a candidate needs to possess a set of qualities and must demonstrate respective behaviours. The Mentoring Evaluation Form is used to assess each quality and to perform an evaluation to determine if a candidate is ready.

The evaluation is performed in three steps:

  1. The candidate uses the form for self-assessment
  2. Then their line-manager will do the same.
  3. Finally the mentoring coordinator will evaluate, mainly based on the line-manager’s feedback and assessment.

The self-assessment is an opportunity for the candidate to reflect and to prepare themselves for potential follow-up discussions.

All decisions/agreements are captured in an internal Mentor List.