The company also needs some system of feedbackand evaluation in order to know whether mentoring is functioning
In fact, there are three main reasons for measuring:
to troubleshoot individual relationships
to provide information for quality improvement of the mentoring programme
One of the paradoxes of formal mentoring programmes is that the essence of the relationship is its informality - the ability to discuss in private a wide range of issues that will help the mentee cope with and learn from issues he or she encounters,
In practice, a certain amount of measurement provides the foundation on which the informal relationship can grow most healthily. It allows:
scheme co-ordinators to recognise where additional support is needed and to improve the operation of the scheme - not least the training
mentors and mentees to worktogether to build the relationship, understanding more clearly what each can and does bring to the discussions.
Where attempts to measure mentoring become unacceptable, they usually involve:
an attempt to assess and report upon mentees' performance to a third party
a linkbetween the mentor's opinion and a specific reward for the mentee (a promotion or a diploma, for example) - here the role has become more that of a tutor
disclosure of the content of discussions.
In such circumstances, measurement is likely to make the mentee - and sometimes the mentor - less
By contrast effective measurement in mentoring is:
valued by all parties as helpful
straightforward and easy to apply.
Mentoring measurements fall into four categories,
Figure 12: Categories of mentoring measurements
Relationship processes - what happens in the relationship; for example, how often do the pair meet? Have they developed sufficient trust? Is there a clear sense of direction to the relationship? Do the mentor or the mentee have concerns about his or her own or the other person's contribution to the relationship?
Programme processes - for example, how many people attended training? How effective was the training? In some cases, programme processes will also include data derived from adding together measurements from individual relationships, to gain a broad picture of what is going well and less well.
Programme outcomes - for example, have we increased retention of key staff, or raised the competence of the mentees in critical areas?
Measuring all four gives you a balanced view of the mentoring programme and allows the scheme co-ordinator to intervene, with sensitivity, where needed.
Table 6 shows the actual measures used by GlaxoSmithKline's finance division. The total number of measures was kept to a maximum of 10, covering the full spectrum of hard and soft measures, process and outcomes and relationship and programme measures.
How often: at least 5 meetings
What phase: set direction + working towards targets
People are networking more
Mentee is asking for development opportunities
Has a plan/action around raising personal profile
Do we trust each other/work together well?
Are we dealing with real issues?
Do I enjoy it?
Has significant learning taken place?
There is a need at both programme and relationship level for a clear purpose up front and a clear idea of what behaviours are expected from both mentors and mentees. It is good practice to involve potential
Many organisations now begin the programme with a short research project to establish likely barriers and drivers to mentoring.
Mentors and mentees can benefit from greater
This is the opportunity for mentor and mentee to review whether the relationship is going to work. Key questions here include:
Have we established strong rapport and trust, sufficient to worktogether?
Does the mentee perceive the mentor's input as relevant and stimulating?
If not, what
The scheme co-ordinator will want by this point to know whether people are meeting, and whether they have discussed the future of the relationship.
The scheme co-ordinator will want at the minimum to know what further support is needed, if any, in the form of further, more focused skills training, or general encouragement to participants.
Good practice typically involves a short survey of participants, followed by a review session during which some ad hoc training can be provided.
Assuming that the relationship achieves its objectives and winds down, it is useful for both parties to review the following:
What did we expect to achieve?
What did we actually achieve?
What else did we learn on the way?
How will we use what we have learned in future developmental relationships?
Assuming that the programme