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Mentor Program Survey Best Practices and Questions

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Could your leadership and development programming use a stroke of genius? Answers to questions about how to enhance your L&D initiatives might be right under your nose.

A mentorship survey is an excellent way to leverage the knowledge, opinions, and ideas of your most valuable resource—your talent. Through the use of surveys, your organization can unlock information about what you’re doing well, what you can improve upon, and where you can most efficiently invest your improvement efforts (and dollars).

In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of mentorship surveys, and fill you in on how this simple tool can give your learning and development initiatives a boost for years to come.

mentor asking an employee questions

What is a Mentorship Survey?

A mentorship survey is a tool that presents a set of questions to your team about their views, opinions, and ideas on mentorship. You don’t need to have a mentorship program in order to utilize a mentorship program, you can just be considering one. The insights gained from mentorship surveys can be used to help design your first mentorship initiative or improve a long-standing program.

Mentorship surveys are dynamic, and each company will utilize slightly different questions reflective of the unique goals of their organization. Mentorship surveys can also extend beyond basic questions relating to mentorship and expand to related and interconnected topics, such as broader learning and development, employee goals, and engagement. Surveys might measure several elements, such as:

  • An employee’s desire to grow within the organization
  • An employee’s desire to be a mentee
  • A manager or leader’s desire to be a mentor
  • Goals for participation in the mentorship program
  • Desired outcomes from mentorship programs
  • Ideas for ways to spend time together as mentor and mentee
  • Information about the desired structure and frequency of mentorship meetings
  • Attitudes toward having more than one mentee per mentor
  • An employee’s intent to remain at the company long-term
  • Perceived strengths and weaknesses of existing mentorship programs
  • Personal experiences with mentorship programs
  • Opinions on the benefits of being a mentor or mentee
  • Preferences on mentor and mentee matching
  • Insights as to skills gained during participation in mentorship programs
  • Information about additional support that might be needed within the mentorship program

When and How Can We Use Mentorship Surveys?

You can use mentorship surveys to gather the thoughts of any of the stakeholders along the learning and development roadmap. You can survey mentees, mentors, leadership, or even non-participants in your mentorship programs. Individual responses can be incredibly illuminating, and so can trends that emerge from the data you collect. They can provide you with both anecdotal evidence and numerical data that reveal how your mentorship program is functioning and whether the objectives of the program are being met.

If you haven’t officially kicked off your mentorship program, a mentorship survey can be an excellent way to prepare for its launch. Not only can you capture attitudes toward the initiative, the goals of participants, and respondents’ great ideas, but you can also use your pre-kickoff survey as a benchmark for future data. A pre-program mentorship survey may measure employee engagement, desires to stay with the company, attitudes about corporate culture, and more—any data points that you’re aiming to improvewith a mentorship program.

Why Should We Use a Mentorship Survey?

Whether you’ve been considering launching a new mentorship initiative for the first time or have a well-established program already, the investment you put into mentorship within your organization can pay dividends for years to come.  

According to the Harvard Business Review, over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies maintain some type of mentorship program within their organization. These programs seek to, among other things, “boost performance and bolster retention” within an organization’s workforce. Evidence shows that these mentorship program can (and do) reap real benefits.

A research project covered in the Harvard Business Review studied over 600 new sales hires who were required to participate in a mentorship program. The outcome of the mentorship program was astonishing: “Accounting for administrative expenses along with the costs of taking mentors and mentees away from answering calls during their meetings,” researchers for the study “calculated that the program generated an ROI of a whopping 870 percent.”

Further, your mentorship program may help you reach your minority group team members in a way that benefits both employer and employee. According to a study covered by the Society for Human Resources Management, organized mentorship programs can reduce turnover, improve upon recruitment efforts, increase overall performance metrics, and foster a better working environment for all employees, but especially for your employees who are women, people of color, or both.

While the results of these studies may not be replicated at every organization that starts a mentorship program, there are lessons to be learned about the benefits that are available when a mentorship program is well-executed. As a first step, your mentorship survey will identify what your unique mentorship program can be, do, and strive to achieve in a way that is likely to produce results for your organization. Your organization is unique—the best way to tell what will work for its workforce, workplace, and industry is to inquire within.

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Sample Mentor Program Survey Questions to Consider:

Your mentorship survey will be unique to your specific mentorship programs, learning and development goals, and employee relations strategy. Your questions should also differ based on the establishment of your mentorship programs and the respondents who will be asked to provide insights.

Here are a few great sample mentorship survey questions to spark ideas that could work for you:

Agreement Scale Questions:

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 representing “strongly agree,” and 1 being “strongly disagree,” please rank your agreement with the following statements:

  • I’m interested in opportunities to work with a mentor or coach to support my career and professional development.
  • I’m satisfied with my opportunities to work with mentors or coaches through the company.
  • The company’s mentorship programs effectively match my interests and goals.
  • Our mentorship programs are well-integrated with the company’s overall learning and development initiatives.
  • Our mentorship relationships are effectively facilitated and managed by the company.
  • Our mentorship programs provide valuable and meaningful experiences.
  • Our mentorship programs are effectively marketed and communicated to employees.
  • I feel well-supported by mentors or coaches in my work and career development.
  • Our mentors or coaches effectively represent the company’s values and culture.
  • Our mentorship programs are effective in helping employees reach their goals.
  • Our mentorship programs are accessible and open to all employees.
  • The company values and supports the development of its employees well.
  • There is a positive, supportive work environment for mentorship programs.
  • Our mentorship programs are supported by the company’s resources and technology.
  • Our mentorship programs are fulfilling and meaningful for both mentors and mentees.
  • I would be interested in external mentorship or coaching programs in addition or in place of internal mentorship programs available.

Yes or No (“Checklist”) Questions:

  • Have you met with your mentor or mentee this quarter, either in person or virtually?
  • Have you developed new skills from working with your mentor or mentee?
  • Were you provided with sufficient resources and support to manage your mentor/mentee relationship?
  • Do you think the duration of the mentorship program is adequate?
  • Will you participate in the mentorship program again if offered?
  • Will you keep in touch with your mentor or mentee beyond the official end date of the mentorship program?

Open-ended Questions:

  • Holistically, how do you feel about your mentorship experience?
  • What was the most helpful part of your mentorship experience?
  • What would you improve upon or change about the mentorship process?
  • What is your overall impression of the company after completing the mentorship program?
  • If you could give advice to any new participant in the mentorship program, what would it be?
  • If you chose not to participate in the mentorship program, why did you make that choice?
  • What would make you more likely to participate in a mentorship program in the future?
  • Do you have any questions or concerns to share with leadership, your managers, or HR?

Could Your Leadership and Development Programs Use a Stroke of Genius?

If you’re looking to level up, start by running a mentor program survey with Peoplelytics and get your bearings before you jump into enhancing your offerings. Request a demo or schedule one directly today.

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