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2.18 – Open Door Staff Retention & Mentoring Program

A. Purpose

The value and purpose of the Open Door Employee Retention and mentoring program for is to increase employee retention and connect employees to our mission to provide consistency in staffing teams and increased quality of care.  It has been suggested that employees who have mentors are more likely to have greater job satisfaction. The goal is to help eliminate obstacles, difficulties, or stumbling blocks that employees might encounter.  This allows employees to freely ask questions and express themselves to gain information necessary to effectively perform the expectations of their positions. 

B. Employee Retention

Open Door’s vision is to cultivate valued roles for all people.  This includes a progressive culture which reflects our core values of integrity, transparency, equality and kindness.  The retention program includes components of employee recognition, available resources, and formal mentoring program.

Open Door recognizes employees through many different methods, including but limited to, the following:

  • Many recognition events throughout the year including an all employee DSP celebration each year during Direct Support Professionals Week and Nurses Week
  • Employee Bonuses with amounts awarded based on longevity
  • Increased Pay for longevity/experience
  • Good for you written recognitions through website, newsletter, Directors Download videos, etc.
  • Employee of the Month Program
  • Staff Perks Website
  • Shout outs during departmental meetings
  • Employee Swag
  • Company provided meals

Additionally, Open Door provides the following for increased employee engagement to support retention:

  • Company paid staff development and external training offerings for all staff
  • Ability to staff to use our building space, gym, and equipment for events when not in use
  • Free produce from company’s garden and farmers market during seasonal months
  • OADSP training and credentialing
  • Tuition credits awarded to employees
  • Employee discount program through vendors
  • Employee Resource Network
  • Employee assistance Program-3 company paid counseling sessions per employee per year
  • Participation in DSP-U program with Southwestern City Schools
  • Mileage reimbursement and performance add-ons
  • Ability to buy back sick and vacation time
  • Personal and bereavement days
  • Recognizing employee and their family graduations, funerals, birthdays, life events

C. Mentoring Program


The goals of employee mentoring are to:

  • Accelerate an employee’s perspective and understanding of the services that Open Door provides
  • Promote competent and consistent staffing teams which increase the quality of services in each Open Door environment
  • Increase employee loyalty and longevity
  • Promote diversity
  • Connect employees with one another (formal and informal/professional and social networking)
  • Open the lines of communication
  • Look after new employees’ welfare and provide employees with a person to listen to concerns as well as successes
  • Enable employees to feel welcome and to believe that they have a career or career path
  • Build relationships with employees and stakeholders

Mentors & Choosing Mentors:

Individuals who are mentors should possess the following characteristics:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Commitment to quality service delivery based on individual interests, choices, and preferences
  • Person centered approach
  • Successful in their position within Open Door
  • Employed for at least 6 months by Open Door
  • Demonstration of knowledge of the mission, values, vision, and strategic priorities
  • Committed to developing staff
  • Willingness to share personal experiences
  • Willingness to assist others to be successful

The Mentoring Program will be coordinated through the collaborative relationship between Open Door Human Resources Department and the respectively assigned mentors and departmental leaders.

Communication of the Mentoring Program:

  • During orientation the new employee will be assigned a mentor by the Open Door HR department
  • The HR department will send message to assigned mentee and mentor with names, contact information, work schedule, and reminders regarding mentor program
  • Current Open Door staff will be informed of the program via various communication venues:
    • Open Door Website
    • Open Door Moments that Matter Newsletter and video features
    • Open Door orientation documents
    • Email or phone
  • All mentors must have training prior to beginning a mentoring relationship with a new staff member

Qualifications for a Mentor:

  • Must be a full-time staff member as defined by this document and have at least 6 months of successful employment at Open Door
  • Convey a positive image of Open Door (committed to the mission and purpose and exemplifies its expectations and core values)
  • Commitment to allowing time to interact with the new employee.
  • Available to the new employee by telephone, email, and in person

Guidelines for a Mentoring Relationship:

Mentors should provide a support network for a new employee. They should encourage participation in trainings, meetings and activities, pass on information about Open Door, the experiences the mentor has encountered, help the mentee navigate all systems, and encourage professional development.

The mentor will welcome the new employee, respond to questions that have arisen, and set a time for their first meeting (this should occur during the first two weeks of employment. Based upon the needs of a new employee, the mentor may provide a tour, introductions to other employees, and assistance with becoming familiar with policies, programs, mission, priorities, activities, events, etc.

The mentor and mentee should meet a minimum of once per month to discuss the new employee’s experience at Open Door and to address any concerns or issues that the new employee has. The mentor should provide encouragement and inspire dedication to Open Door and its mission. The HR department will be responsible for checking in with mentee and mentor at least once during first two weeks, after 30, 60, 90 days of employment.  The HR team will provide feedback to departmental representatives each month. 

If either the mentor or the mentee is not experiencing a positive relationship, both have the option of selecting another partner and are to contact HR department. If the mentor is aware of any negative experiences or issues that the new employee may have encountered, he or she should contact HR Retention Manager.

Suggested Mentoring Activities:

 To help provide a support network for an employee, the mentor may want to engage in some of the following activities:

  • Meet for breakfast or lunch
  • Tour work area/ introduce to employees
  • Visit various departments or Open Door sites
  • Attend a departmental meeting
  • Attend Open Door events/activities
  • Introduce employee to staff
  • Explain employee resources, links to website and information, policy and procedures
  • Provide contact list/refer to those who can assist
  • Discuss emergency preparedness procedures
  • Discuss various employee events and accompany the new staff member to them
  • Review the mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities
  • Review employee benefits and staff training options
  • Discuss the mentoring program and what the responsibilities and expectations are
  • Discuss each other’s background and professional development/career goals

Coordinating Program & Training:

 The HR department will be responsible for coordinating the Mentoring Program, including:

  • Ensuring welcome packets and contact lists provided to all new employees during first day of orientation; daily checks during orientation with new employees
  • Communication of the program to current staff.
  • Coordinate and provide training to mentors as needed.
  • Communicate the program to new staff members during orientation.
  • Conduct an informal yet organized introductory meeting to the program with the mentor (and mentee, if possible) to provide necessary information and forms.
  • If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, provide written direction as well as the appropriate forms to the mentor.
  • Evaluate and assess the Mentoring Program (distribute, collect, log, and analyze participant feedback and surveys) and make recommendations for refinement and improvement.
  • Completing 2 week, 30, 60, 90 day checks on mentees and mentors
  • Follow up with supervisors, teams, departments on mentee progress to ensure success

D. Measurement and Analysis of Retention/Mentoring Program

To assess the value of the Employee Retention/Mentoring Program, all employees are provided opportunities to complete evaluations and surveys for input. Open Door maintains data on the following each month:

  • Turnover/Retention (monthly turnover report)
  • Exit interview analysis
  • Employee engagement (through all employee satisfaction surveys)
  • Productivity of mentee (performance evaluations)
  • Career success of mentee (performance evaluations, promotions, transfers, etc.)
  • Feedback from mentor and mentee (participant feedback forms – mentor and mentee)
  • Follow up with teams, departments, supervisors
  • Additional trainings on what is working or not

Open Door analyzes employee feedback in departmental and leadership meetings each month.  This data drives strategic initiatives, policy and procedure changes, employee recognition and incentive programs, staff training, and overall direction of our agency.  Reports are completed monthly and shared with stakeholders outlining employee feedback and retention data.  Activities that have promoted successful mentor relationships will be referenced in future training sessions and orientations.  Status reports are provided for Executive and Board review monthly. 

Last Revised: 2/23/24

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