Know the needs and expectations of your network
In order to offer its members a quality mentoring programme, each institution or association needs to know the needs and expectations of its network. To do this, conducting a survey through your newsletter is a solution. This way, the creation of pairs will be qualitative and you will avoid abandonment and discontent. For Béatrice Leguay, administrator of the mentoring programme at Dauphine Alumni, the guarantee of quality is essential. She confides “At Dauphine Alumni, we have not sought to develop our pairs in number but rather in quality. Our main objective is that the pairs work well”.
Knowing the needs of one’s network also helps to avoid launching a mentoring programme at the wrong time. Guy Delcroix, career manager of the Centrale Supélec Alumni Association confides: “I recently launched a mentoring programme because I felt a particular need. Since 1993, I have developed several mentoring programmes without much success. I analyse this by the character of the students. Engineers like to do things on their own and asking for help is a bit of an admission of failure for them. So I repeated the experience with the arrival of the health crisis, which isolated our students, especially the foreigners. I created a flash mentoring programme of 90 pairs between an alumni and a foreign student. It allowed students to change their ideas, to discover Paris and French culture but also to meet someone working in their field. Like Guy Delcroix, gauge the needs of your network to be sure of your members’ needs.
Engage mentors and mentees through a charter of commitment
84% of the network facilitators who responded to the AlumnForce survey confided that they did not have a user charter. It is important not to neglect its usefulness, which allows the members of your association to be empowered and to be aware of the commitment they are making with the creation of a mentor-mentee relationship. For Marine Homo, in charge of events at HEC, “the charter of use is very important at HEC Alumni and has always been so. Each party, mentor or mentee, signs this charter before officially joining the programme.
Corporate mentoring programmes are no exception to the rule. Frédéric Noël, project manager at the Institut du Mentorat Entrepreneurial, explains: “During the first working session between the mentor and the mentee, we get them to sign a mutual commitment agreement. This notion of commitment is central to our programmes. If we feel that one party is not sufficiently committed to the process and that they come only to network, for example, it will not work. This agreement therefore seals the interest of each party, their investment, the energy and time they will give to this relationship.”
Monitor pairs and conduct a satisfaction survey
Monitoring your pairs throughout the programme Conducting a satisfaction survey during the year is a point not to be neglected. It is an opportunity to readjust the pairs and to review the objectives to be achieved. During the year, it may be that the objectives have been achieved and the mentor or mentee no longer follows up the relationship. It would therefore be a shame not to be aware of this, and not to find a solution for those who wish to continue the experience. For Beatrice Leguay, “it is important to carry out a satisfaction survey during the year in case one of the parties no longer follows up the relationship”.
Marine Homo favours regular follow-up of the pairs and carries out her satisfaction survey more at the end of the programme. She explains: “We check in with the members throughout the programme to make sure that each member has made contact with the other, to find out if the relationship has started well, if everything is going well. At the end of the programme, we send a small satisfaction questionnaire to the mentees to find out if the mentor has answered their questions and problems. And this is something we have always done, whatever the mentoring system, to guarantee its success.
Did you like this article? Check out the one on why you need to launch your network mentoring programme!