Mentor Follow Up to Protege Training

By Barry Sweeny, 2001

Follow Up, Follow Up and Follow Up + Successful implementationResearch described in the article accessed by the following link, clearly shows that without a mentor or coach’s follow up support in the workplace, the majority of what the protege may have learned in any training is not likely to be implemented in practice or as improved performance. It’s part of the mentor’s job to be sure the protege’s learning results in growth and improvement in his or her work.

If you have not read the web page “How Mentoring is the Critical “Bridge” for Successful Development of People“, be sure to read it NOW! This article explains the ideas behind this principal of mentor follow up support for implementation.

Simply stated, the mentor must serve as a “bridge” to help the protege transfer from trainings attended, those skills and knowledge acquired there, and to help the protege put them into practice in the workplace.


DEFINE the mentor’s role to include discussion with the protege after protege trainings about specific ways to implement what was learned in the training into the protege’s work. This process should include:

  • Identifying what the content of the training program included,
  • Asking questions of the protege to ascertain extent of understanding of the training content and possible need for further protege “training” by the mentor on any topics.
  • Deciding, what training learnings need to implemented right away & what learning will be more useful later.
  • Setting realistic longer-term goals and shorter-term objectives for implementing the learning in work.
  • Planning the specific steps to implement that learning in the protege’s work, time lines, resources needed, etc.
  • Deciding how the mentor can support the protege’s plan to use training learning and skills in the protege’s work.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, you are right. The above steps are essentially the same ones which mentors should follow in providing proteges with support to implement learning from ANY OTHER development program activities the organization provides.