Education 101: Redesigning
Take the Good with the Bad
Investment Tip: Stay In For The Long
It's About Time
You Have to Be a Little
H. James Harrington Responds
This month's question has a familiar ring to it! We have heard it asked for years about the effectiveness of education and training programs. The methods are relatively straightforward. But, as with those efforts, all too often organizations adopt the conventional wisdom that the program automatically has merit, and effectiveness is assumed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Some leading practices with respect to
the evaluation of education and training effectiveness
translate well to the mentoring program. Others require
innovative approaches unique to the mentoring
I. Objective measures of performance
against established goals
Corporate and Department/Group goals should include not only the personal and professional development of mentees, but also goals that clearly support the organization's business objectives.
Mentor goals are a frequently forgotten aspect of the process. All too often, the mentoring is seen as benefiting the mentee only. Mentoring provides a unique opportunity, not easily duplicated, for the mentor to develop a variety of non-directive leadership and coaching skills whose value is becoming increasingly recognized.
Mentee goals remain, however, a core aspect of the process. An integral part of initiating the mentoring relationship is the establishment of clear, specific and agreed-upon goals to which both parties are mutually committed. These goals should include both short, interim (1-2 year) and long term (career) aspects. They should also define specific competencies to be developed, how those competencies will be developed and used, and the metrics for assessing their attainment.
II. Objective measures of possible
III. Subjective (opinion based)
Also, if the organization conducts
periodic employee opinion or satisfaction surveys, these
create an additional opportunity to integrate questions
regarding the mentoring process and further, to correlate
overall employee satisfaction with their
o the mentee's pre-existing
During the assessment process it is important to keep in mind that any of these factors may influence the outcomes observed, and that it will often be difficult to attribute performance, or lack of it, to any one specific cause, including the mentoring process.
All is not lost. However, there are some suggestions that will help, in part at least, to allow attribution to the mentoring process itself and to variables within it. In evaluating the data, look for variations in results:
o between those involved in mentoring
and those not involved
And remember - the ultimate reason for evaluating the mentoring process is to create a foundation for its continuous improvement. Take action on the opportunities that the assessment has identified.