Training and program monitoring
Though many variables impact program success, providing training to program participants has been shown beneficial to both mentors and mentees. Not only does training help to communicate to participants the program goals and expectations, it can also help prepare mentors and mentees for their roles and can increase mentee perception of program effectiveness. Having a mentor and mentee attend training together can be a good way for them to get to know each other and to begin to form a bond.
As with all training, it’s important to develop training objectives tailored to the program goals. Here’s a list of some topics that can be particularly useful in support of a mentoring program:
• Understanding what mentoring is (particularly important for new mentors/mentees)
• Understanding the role/responsibilities of mentors
• Understanding the role/responsibilities of mentees
• Understanding the program goals/objectives
• Understanding program requirements (for example, information about reports/updates participants are expected to provide, rules related to confidentiality, and so on)
• Establishing relationship boundaries
• Familiarizing mentors/mentees with the resources/support available through the program
• Giving/receiving feedback
• Honing communication skills
• Dealing with problems and conflicts
• Overcoming obstacles
Program monitoring is an important aspect of program administration. Monitoring helps reinforce to participants the importance of the program and the organization’s commitment to it and provides information that can guide program changes and refinements that can help ensure the program’s success.
Monitoring should involve obtaining periodic feedback from participants to ensure they’re meeting regularly and that they’re making progress toward achieving their goals. Research has shown that participant accountability is associated with fewer instances of perceived mismatches. Monitoring can also help you spot and address problems or conflicts within relationships early, allowing you to help the parties resolve them.