Onboarding and Mentoring Program

The University of Tennessee Foundation (UTFI) Onboarding/Mentoring Program will provide a support system for new employees to allow for successful and productive transition into their position and to meet personal, unit, and UTFI goals.


  • Allow employees to understand missions, values and goals
  • Build an optimistic attitude and provide motivation for job performance, productivity and acceptance of responsibility with confidence
  • Avoid misunderstandings through the communication and dialogue of experience, knowledge, and accomplishments
  • Encourage socialization and sense of belonging in professional and customer service relationships through an established program
  • Provide introduction of and continuous accessibility to UTFI resources in support of all employees
  • Set performance expectations and standards
  • Aide with retention


  • Onboarding is a step-by-step procedure to ensure each employee is provided with the appropriate tools and resources to meet the employee’s needs
  • Unit leader appoints mentor
  • Mentor should be successful employee supportive of UTFI
  • Mentor and new employee should have similar job responsibilities
  • Mentor will initiate face-to-face meeting within first week of new employee’s employment
  • Mentor must have a full understanding of their role in the Mentoring Program
  • Mentoring success is dependent on regular, structured interaction between mentor and employee
  • Mentor should have no supervisory role vis-a-vis the new employee

Mentoring Participant Responsibilities

Participants in the Onboarding/Mentor program will be appointed by the unit leader. Those appointed as mentors should be exceptional employees who exhibit optimistic attitudes and possess strong knowledge of the history, values, mission, and philosophy of the unit and UTFI. The mentor should have similar duties to those of the new employee and the ability and willingness to share knowledge, experiences and accomplishments to ensure the success of the new employee and UTFI.

The mentor is responsible for the following:

  1. Schedule and attend a meeting with the new employee during the first week of the new employee’s employment
  2. Be available for open communication with the new employee through email, phone and one-on-one meetings
  3. Promote and encourage the new employee’s talents, skills and initiative
  4. Provide feedback to the new employee in form of praise and constructive encouragement
  5. Report to manager/supervisor any concerns about the new employee’s abilities or performance factors that may limit success with UTFI
  6. Encourage independence of new employee through acceptance of the ideas and experience they bring to UTFI; know there is always a lesson from any relationship
  7. Share a positive attitude through encouragement without complaints or negative communication
  8. Do not, however, perform the work for the new employee

New employees will participate with an appointed mentor and commit to the role by doing the following:

  1. Attend a scheduled meeting with the mentor the first week of employment
  2. Communicate with the mentor through email, phone and one-to-one meetings
  3. Be open to feedback
  4. Openly accept the mentor’s knowledge, experience and support; however, remember independence is most important, take responsibility for own success
  5. Share ideas and experience with mentor; know there is always a lesson from any relationship
  6. Share a positive attitude without complaints or negativity
  7. Do not, however, expect the mentor to perform the work


If you have questions, concerns or need additional resources, please contact UTFI HR at 974-4686 or email hr@utfi.org.

Onboarding/Mentoring Timeframe

A strong Onboarding/Mentoring program is not an event, rather an ongoing process that begins upon acceptance of the offer of employment. The first 6 months are a more formal mentoring process with specific timelines, objectives and goals that are closely monitored to ensure employee success, productivity, engagement, and ultimately enhance retention. Mentoring continues as a more informal relationship throughout the employee’s career with UTFI.


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