Rock Island, Ill. - U.S. Army Sustainment Command Mentoring Program mentors discussed expanding the program online and exchanged mentoring techniques in a meeting held on Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, March 2.

The ASC Mentoring Program is a year-long, formal program for new employees and interns to work with a mentor in creating developmental goals. Mentors--typically senior leaders--provide guidance and tools to assist their mentees.

The program recently launched a web-based interface for long-distance mentoring, utilizing SharePoint, a web-based application for document management and storage. The ASC workforce and interns are dispersed across the globe at the Headquarters, Army Field Support Brigades and Logistics Readiness Centers.

Cristina Arduser, program manager, G3 (Operations), said that the SharePoint site will enhance mentor and mentee relations by incorporating more open communication, online resources, and a wider range of pairing opportunities.

"This is the first year the [AFSBs] are required to be in the mentoring program," Arduser said. "We wanted to create a tracking tool to make it as easy as possible for them to get through this process, especially since some of them are overseas and have other priorities."

The SharePoint site includes journals, discussion boards, testimonials, program evaluations and resources, such as career trackers and a library book list.

Mentors also discussed mentoring techniques, their current mentee relationships, and suggestions for improving the program. Highlights included resume building, Individual Development Plans, and soft-skills training.

Michael Hutchison, deputy to the commander, ASC, emphasized mentors should discuss the organizational development process with mentees. He said mentees should understand that career decisions should be based on what is best for the organization and the warfighter.

"When a person talks about taking a formal leader position, it cannot be about you," said Hutchison. "It has to be about the organization."

In addition, Hutchison said diversity, such as experience and age, has value when pairing a mentor with a mentee.

"If you're a mentor, it could be helpful to find somebody that doesn't look like you or have the same experience you have," Hutchison said. "Likewise if you are a mentee."

Hutchison said senior leaders in the organization have an obligation to give back to new employees.