What went wrong?

So, your organization has a mentoring program, but it’s not living up to your expectations. Should you scrap it altogether or try to fix it?

Unfortunately, we have no rough and ready answer to that tough question. But, we do have a number of points for you to consider as you make your way through the decision-making process. The more honest you are in assessing these issues, the easier it will be for you to decide how to proceed.

Have you set clear objectives for the program?
If you answer yes to this question, then you should be able to list them.

Are the program’s objectives aligned with key goals of your organization?
If you answered yes, then jot down all the organizational goals that the program supports

What program outcomes are being measured?

Who is allowed to participate in the program?
If participation is restricted, can you explain how and why?
Are all (or a sufficiently large number of) target participants participating? If not, why not?

How are mentors and mentees put together?
Are they matched? If so, based on what criteria? Do the criteria make sense?

What do you do to support/train participants?
What is the quality of the support/training?

Do participants feel management believes the program is valuable?
How does the organization show it believes in the program? Does it use the program as a recruiting tool, for example?

What feedback have you received from program participants?
Does any of the feedback suggest changes that might be made to improve the program?
Have changes been made as a result of the feedback?

What feedback have you received from HR about the program?
Is the feedback consistent? If not, what might account for the inconsistency?

What mentoring model do you use?
Why was that model chosen?
Are the reasons that model was used still applicable/valid?

Is the program managed?
Is there a program coordinator or manager assigned to the program? Is the program manager effective?
Is the program regularly monitored?

What is your basis for feeling that the program is not living up to expectations?

Are there other tools the organization can use to achieve the desired result?

How is Program ROI being measured?
Are the ROI criteria appropriate?

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    What went wrong? (PDF)