How to Evaluate a Mentoring Program

by Sandra Lim; Updated September 26, 2017
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When designing a mentoring program, first determine your program goals. These will form the basis for evaluating whether the program has met its expected objectives. Many organizational mentoring programs rely solely on a final evaluation survey, but this may not fully measure the dynamics of mentoring relationships, according to “Evaluating a Mentoring Program,” by Julie Fortin and Christine Cuerrier.

The Program

Step 1

Prepare a survey to be filled out by mentees and mentors at the end the program. Create identical pre- and post-program self-assessments exclusively for mentees. For confidentiality, individuals will be assigned a unique numerical identifier.

Step 2

Administer mentee pre-program self-assessment before participation in the program, requesting mentees to rate themselves on attributes such as self-confidence, assertiveness in the workplace and other qualities.

Step 3

Ask mentees to fill out an identical self-assessment at the end of program participation, Fortin and Cuerrier advise in “Evaluating a Mentoring Program.” Identify any higher ratings from post-program assessment responses on self-confidence, assertiveness in the workplace and any other attributes posed in the initial mentee self-assessment that may be associated with enhanced competency fostered through the mentoring relationship.

Afterward

Step 1

Review post-program surveys filled out by both mentors and mentees, focusing on areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction expressed through open-ended questions. Mentors often find unexpected benefits from mentoring relationships.

Step 2

Gather a representative sample of mentees and mentors to participate in focus groups about their mentoring experiences. (This is optional, depending on company time and resources.)

Step 3

Retain objective third-party facilitator to elicit candid, honest dialogue, steer discussion to issues that repeatedly arise in participant surveys, and explore potential solutions, Fortin and Cuerrier advise.

Tips

  • Review past evaluation data against current overall survey feedback for areas that received low evaluation scores to analyze issues most in need of improvement.

Warnings

  • Mentoring pairs may experience unresolvable conflicts in their relationships, resulting in premature termination of the relationship.

    Mentees that complete the pre-program self-assessment may fail to fill out the post-program self-assessment, invalidating that mentee’s survey data.

References

  • “Evaluating a Mentoring Program;” Julie Fortin and Christine Cuerrier; 2003

About the Author

Sandra Lim has been writing since 2001. Her work appears in numerous online publications, including the “Wall Street Journal" website. Lim holds a Bachelor of Arts in labor-management relations from the University of Toronto, as well as further education in human resources and career counseling.

Photo Credits

  • handshake image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com