Protege Reflections

Protege Responses to Program Evaluation Questions: The Impact of Mentoring

As a part of mentor program evaluations, the proteges from two organizations were asked to comment on how their first year went and on their opinions of the mentorship program they experienced. These new employee’s remarks may provide insights for those who coordinate mentoring programs as to what a program could provide that would make the first year an even better experience.

The following are selected quotes from their answers.

“When I found out I had a mentor, I thought my mentor would really be ‘turned off’ by all my questions. Not only has my mentor always successfully answered my questions, but has continuously made me feel as though every question was pertinent to being a good employee (even when I knew they weren’t).

“Having a mentor has been one of the best experiences of being a new employee. I am proud to call my mentor a good friend and I know that it will always be that way as long as we both are here.”

“My mentor is a wonderful person to confide in. I hope everyone has had as great a “mentor experience” as I did. Thanks to my mentor for making my first year successful.”

“Having a mentor has been a very positive experience for me.”

“My mentor has helped me both professionally and personally. It’s been great having someone with experience who can answer all my questions and not make me feel silly for asking them. More importantly, it’s been a real morale boost to have my mentor pop in my room just to say, ‘Hello'”.

“My mentor has tried very hard to help me take the “new” out of being a new employee.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with my mentor. It has been nice to have somewhere to go with questions. The fact that my mentor is not in my department has helped me to meet more colleagues outside my own area.”

“Even though I am not new to the organization I am new to the position of Department Head. My mentor has been a good source for me to go to in an informal setting.”

“The Mentor Program has helped me through some trying times. When I have felt unsuccessful, or that the others hated me, that I wasn’t a help to themin any way, or even that I would never be a good employee, my mentor always had some appropriate story with which to cheer me. I feel that I am making progress toward being a ‘real employee’.”

“The primary differences between  the-beginning of the year and today are in the pace and the change in my feelings of desperation. It’s far less hectic now”

“I wish I could have more opportunity to visit others and to observe the good work done by veteran employees. I was told “if you get a chance, you might find it helpful,” but tell me how I was supposed to make that happen when the program didn’t provide it ? I would have loved to do it! I know it could have helped me see time and task management techniques, especially with those very prescribed and formal work processes that are a part of this department.”

“My mentor helped me with so many management techniques–that’s what new employees need help with most of all! How do we manage all of this?”

“My greatest satisfaction is making it through the first six months. Now that I have some routines established and understand things better, there’s time to evaluate what I did andI can refine and improve. I’m in much better shape now, and I feel better about a lot of things. My greatest discovery was ‘there’s always another day’. Now that I’m doing things a second or third time, I find that I have more time than I thought to improve what I do.”

“For a new employee, the biggest problem is managing ‘all the information’, getting to know the system, the building, the people, and the work processes. No one can remember all that we are told in the orientation week at the beginning of the year. It takes time to get acclimated. I’ve learned that new employees simply must be patient with information overload. It all becomes clear over time. What I found was, as my mentor told me, ‘As you need it, you can learn it’.”