Mentoring Initiative Wins HRNZ Award

Plant & Food Research’s in-house mentoring initiative has won the award for Learning and Development Capability at The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRNZ) national awards.

The initiative provides a formal system to create more value and impact from mentoring relationships among staff. Since a successful pilot of the programme in 2018, 70 mentoring relationships have been established.

During the programme, participants explore their career aspirations with their mentor and create a development plan. Included is a 2-day opening workshop, mentoring sessions throughout the year and a closing workshop.

Team leaders have noticed participants have a much stronger sense of where they are heading.

“My mentor has helped me with skills such as writing papers, working with teams and on projects,” noted Ribina Jibra, Post-Doctoral Scientist.

“It feels great that Plant & Food Research are supporting me through my science journey.”

The initiative was co-created by Mark McSherry (OD Leader), Alex Batt (OD Advisor) and Jill Stanley (Science Group Leader), with external advice from Leslie Hamilton.

“The success of the initiative is due to the commitment, experience and generosity of our senior researchers who mentor, and the enthusiasm and desire for growth from our science staff,” said McSherry.

More good things are still to come from the mentoring programme, with the next 10 mentor pairs starting just last week.