Workshops explore best practice mentorship for graduate optometrists

Almost 90 Specsavers store partners from across Australia and New Zealand have participated in a workshop aimed at enhancing their understanding of how to be effective mentors as they prepare to welcome graduate optometrists into their business.

From 15 to 23 January 2018, a series of Primary Mentor Workshops were held across Australia and New Zealand for the optometry and retail store partners participating in the 2018 Specsavers Graduate Program.

In addition to equipping the store partners with the knowledge and resources they need to feel confident in their role as mentors, the Primary Mentor Workshops aim to ensure the newest optometrists joining the Specsavers family are fully supported in the first two years of their optical careers.

Members of the Specsavers Aus/NZ Professional Development team facilitated the workshops, with experienced mentors also contributing their advice to help guide first-time mentors and share their learnings with the group.

The interactive forum looked at what graduates expect of their mentors, and emphasised the importance of understanding a graduate’s needs, fears and concerns to best support them. The attendees learned about effective methods of communication and were given useful support tools and techniques designed to create a practical mentoring framework. This included a comprehensive guide to best practice mentorship for the first 90 days of the Graduate Program.

For the first time, the workshop program also included a module on situational leadership, with the mentors learning a practical framework for how to adapt their leadership style to meet their graduate’s development level and thus maximise the effectiveness of their mentorship.

The first wave of 2018 Specsavers graduate optometrists will converge in Melbourne from 26 to 28 February for a three-day Graduate Induction event.