When it comes to mentoring, by now you know how to get started, what questions you need to ask to build rapport, and how to set a goal, but what do you do after that? How do you stay accountable throughout your mentoring relationship?
As you get deeper into your partnership, you’ll need to know how to evaluate your progress thus far and how to do so effectively.
Here are some things both mentors and mentees can do in order to encourage continual evaluation and reflection with one another.
4 Steps to Measuring Mentoring Progress
1. Revisit your SMART goals
Remember those SMART goals you set at the beginning of your partnership? It’s time to go back and revisit them. Oftentimes, we set smart, simple goals, and then convolute them as time goes on. Take a step back and review if your goals continue to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Your SMART goals should continue to provide you with the clarity, focus, and motivation you need to achieve them and improve your ability to reach them by encouraging you to define objectives and set a completion date.
2. Assess completion
Now that you’ve looked at the SMART goals you previously set, ask yourself, have you achieved what you said you would achieve by this point in time? Remember, making your SMART goals time-based is an important part of the process, as target dates provide a deadline to focus on and work towards, helping prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over longer-term goals. Where are you today? Have you fallen behind? Are you ahead of schedule? What adjustments do you need to make to stay on track?
3. Understand that deep reflection improves career performance
As we discussed in a previous post, research conducted at Harvard Business School found that “taking time to reflect on our work improves job performance in the long run” and that “learning from direct experience can be more effective if coupled with reflection”. The act of reflecting on our experiences can be a powerful mechanism, making learning more effective and even longer-lasting. By intentionally attempting to “synthesize, abstract, and articulate the key lessons taught by experience”, our experiences can be more productive and we can be more confident in our ability to achieve our goals.
4. Keep one another accountable!
Last but not least, regularly checking in with your mentoring partner will allow you to better keep one another accountable. Accountability can be tricky when it’s left up to ourselves, so having someone there to encourage you to keep up your momentum and help you along the way can be the difference between stagnation and forward progress.
Together is Better
Building a habit of checking in on your goals and progress with your mentor or mentee periodically can provide you with the push you need to keep propelling yourself towards achieving your stated SMART goals.
Revisiting, assessing, understanding, and staying accountable can help you measure progress effectively after you’re off and on your way in your mentoring partnership. Even if things are going swimmingly, it’s still a good habit to complete these four steps every so often throughout the relationship.
Start building a culture of mentoring at your organisation today, with Mentorloop. See how our platform works—including matching methodologies and ROI reporting—learn how others have used Mentorloop to successfully engage and retain their people, and discover how to easily start, run, and measure your own mentoring program. Learn more.