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.

Tip

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

Warning

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.