Hot or Cold? How to Evaluate Your Mentorship Program for Best Results

Performance Measurement
Published on
May 4, 2015

Throughout a mentorship program, mentors will need to perform evaluations. The purpose of assessments can differ depending on when a mentor decides to administer them, but the overall goal is to assess the program's effectiveness. Early evaluations allow for identifying precise goals and determining whether or not objectives are defined appropriately. A pause mid-program aims to expose any weaknesses in the relationship and determine if progress is made towards target outcomes.  

Both of these scenarios allow mentors to make adjustments to strengthen the mentorship and keep it on course. Finally, assessments made at the tail end or culmination of the relationship enable mentors and mentees to return to the initial objectives set for the program and evaluate them based on adjustments made throughout the relationship and how much progress was made.

Both mentors and mentees must maintain an open mind whenever they undergo any evaluation. The process will be successful only if both parties are willing to accept and learn from the feedback they receive.

The format of evaluation is up to you. Mentors can gauge the progress of mentorship by administering formal questionnaires or conducting informal feedback sessions. It can be as simple as meeting over a cup of coffee and going over the original intentions set for the relationship. The most important thing is that you plan the session to achieve maximum benefit. To do that, you need to make sure you have a plan.

Creating a planned evaluation program is simple. The essential elements are to create an intention and determine how you will measure success. Here are a few tips to help you in your planning:

  • Set a purpose for the evaluation program. If you plan to conduct multiple sessions, make sure both you and your mentee understand the goal for each session.
  • Decide how you will track goals and objectives, and this should be part of your overall mentorship plan and will be especially useful when it comes time to scrutinize your progress.
  • Determine how you will collect evaluation data. You may devise a system of your own or opt to use survey software.
  • It would help if you used worksheets for program preparation and involvement during sessions. These will be useful for prompting feedback and recording lessons learned.

You can probably think of even more elements that are important to a robust evaluation program. Use your imagination, and don't be afraid to bend the rules. Here is an article to read for similar outlook towards the evaluation of mentoring programs. Every mentee is different and responds to feedback in different ways. Use what you have learned about your mentee and figure out how to best gauge their satisfaction with the program. If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved, and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.

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