Your mentorship program is an essential tool for professional and personal development, providing guidance and support to individuals seeking to improve their skills and knowledge. However, mentorship programs should be periodically evaluated to ensure they are effective, relevant, and meet the needs of their participants. Here are some tweaks to consider to take your program to the next level!
Leveraging Program Setting
In this section, we'll be going over some helpful tips to consider for your program. By leveraging the awesome tools and settings that are available, you can try new approaches to increase engagement and productivity, potentially making mentorship more accessible for participants.
Try different Request Types!
Traditional mentorship through mentor-mentee matches is enabled by default. You can also try Peer to Peer, which allows participants to request a peer for non-hierarchical knowledge-sharing, networking, and more.
To do so, select your program then click on Program Settings followed by selecting Matching Process. Check the Peer-Peer box to enable this matching type:
Additionally, you can turn the matching process up a notch by allowing mentors to request mentees! This is a great feature which lets the mentors in your program browse the directory and send matching requests to mentees who they think would be a great fit as their mentees.
You can enable this setting by clicking on Program Settings followed by selecting Matching Process. Check the Mentors can request mentees box to enable this matching type:
Tuning the Algorithm
The matching algorithm plays a massive role in how your participants connect with each other, and over the course of your program, you may consider fine-tuning the algorithm to create the best possible environment for creating more meaningful connections. Here are some things you should consider as an admin:
This is an important aspect to consider when making changes to the Algorithm. You should always pick the field type that is the closest match to the kind of question you intend to ask your participants. Does your question serve to enrich a user's profile but not contribute to matching strengths or rules, or does it contribute to matching strengths and rules between mentors and mentees?
In most cases, the users in your program add the data for their profiles by answering the questionnaire you've created. However, if you support a data-rich HRIS integration, you can have your question answered via information already available in HRIS. Additionally, if you already have another program with overlaps in the type of questions and returning participants, you can choose to link your question field to a fill from another program's field. To learn more, you can refer to these articles: Organization-Wide Fields: Importing Data and Converting Questions and Reusing Questions From Another Program.
When you are building your program's registration questions, it is important to consider what kind of data you are collecting and who it is visible to. There may be sensitive information about a participant collected through the questionnaire that you may consider making visible to admins only.
Question Format and Response Options
The type of responses you allow your participants to choose can have an impact on how they match in the program. It is important to consider the context of the question you are asking and to make the response options as specific as possible to avoid any confusion. Additionally, you can also allow your participants to add custom responses, as this can help users provide the most accurate answer if a particular option is not available.
Another point to consider is how you word your question. Questions should be stated in a clear and concise manner to avoid any misunderstanding and allow participants to choose the best and most accurate responses. Adding an optional description can also help, as it will provide additional context to what is being asked.
One of the key aspects that will determine whether users will be matched based on their responses is the matching rule. Making changes to this part of the algorithm can help streamline the matching process and make the matches more accurate in some cases. By default, the matching rule will be set to look for overlap in responses between users.
Making changes to the priority of your question can affect the match recommendation your participants receive, and can potentially block some users from the matching process. You can make changes to this setting throughout the lifecycle of your program based on the feedback you may receive from users.
Over time, you may want to reconsider or reaffirm your program's matching priorities. This setting will determine what the algorithm will be optimized for when matching. You can either optimize for the highest matching score, which can help your participants have the best match possible based on the overlap between profiles. Or, you can optimize for most program participation, which will avoid having unpaired users and maximize participation across the entire program. Based on user feedback and other factors, you may want to take a look at this setting and consider changes.
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