Combining In-Person Meetings with Web-Based Mentoring

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Yesterday, I published the remarkably high “TiE Mentoring Success Metrics” in the MentorCloud blog. Thanks to Andrina Chaffin (MentorCloud’s Marketing Analyst) for pulling together these encouraging numbers!

In writing “TiE Mentoring Success Metrics”, I was able to put more solid numbers behind a mentoring practice I have used for years:

The combination of MentorCloud’s web-based platform, reinforced by regular in-person group meetings, is powerful and effective – promoting growth in both community engagement and satisfaction. TiE Silicon Valley MentorConnect uses this combined structure for communication. There has been strong improvement in positive feedback from all participants, detailed below.

Both SEED Engineering Mentoring Program (2001-2010) and in TechWomen (2011-now) also used a combination of web-based communication and in-person meetings for success. Of course, SEED was created PT (pre-Twitter), so many of the web communications tools were more primitive then!

Nonetheless, in mentoring programs at Sun Microsystems (including SEED), mentoring pairs who worked at a distance (mostly communicating in email and by phone, with support from Sun’s intranet SEED program webpages) for many years reported the same satisfaction level as those working locally; however, Mentors and Mentees both reported that working at a distance is more time consuming.    In a global workforce, Mentees may work in an area where there are few or no senior  staff available to mentor them. In their case, being mentored “at a distance” is their only choice.  Traveling to see their Mentor once or twice a year at a headquarters event made for a richer relationship.

SEED held twice-a-year events for Mentors, Mentees, and the Mentees’ Managers for education and to encourage different kinds of communication between them. Getting travel funding to go to those events was sometimes a challenge. See “Funding Professional Conference Travel” for some ways this was managed. Some mentees and mentors never met because of travel costs – and  still reported being very satisfied with their mentoring relationship.

TechWomen also presents a variety of opportunities to connect in-person outside of the assigned mentoring relationships, including events such as the Kickoff held earlier this month for alumnae and prospective mentors, and the February 2013 delegation to Jordan.  TechWomen also offers a heavily-used communication network for 2011 and 2012 participant alumnae through its private Facebook page, Google Group lists, and other electronic mechanisms.

May 2013 MentorConnect Metrics from TiEcon:

Responses from 138 of the 185 Mentees:

  • 98% of Mentees were satisfied with their MentorConnect experience. (64% awarded the highest possible rating of 7) – see pie diagram below
  • 96% said they would recommend a similar session to others.  (70% awarded the highest possible rating of 7)
  • 92% said they would like to continue conversations online after the TiEcon program
TiE 2013 Mentee Satisfaction Rates 1=Strongly Disagree
4=Neutral
7=Strongly Agree

Responses from 30 of the 49 Mentors:

  • 93% of Mentors were satisfied with their MentorConnect experience. (80% awarded the highest possible rating of 7) – see pie diagram below
  • 97% said they would recommend a similar session to other Mentors. (83% awarded the highest possible rating of 7)
  • 97% felt that their time was well spent
  • 93% felt that the Mentees were well prepared and asked excellent questions
TiE 2013 Mentor Satisfaction Rates 1=Strongly Disagree
4=Neutral
7=Strongly Agree

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Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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1 Comment

Filed under Mentoring & Other Business, News & Reviews

One response to “Combining In-Person Meetings with Web-Based Mentoring

  1. Pingback: TiE Mentoring Success Metrics « MentorCloud

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