Mentor Accountability

When mentoring seems to occur less often then we feel it should, or when mentors seem less effective than we wish, we may begin thinking about ways to hold mentors more accountable for their work, in effect to force them to be more effective.

Generally, that approach is not going to prove very effective. Increased performance rarely results from forcing compliance.

Yes, mentors SHOULD be accountable for their mentoring and the impact on the protege, and several other things, like attendance at mentoring trainings and support activities. But typically, when mentoring seems to infrequent or ineffective, the first place to check for a cause of that problem is the effectiveness of mentor training and support, not the ineffectiveness of any mentor. Mentors may be less than effective, but the reason for that is what deserves the most attention, not so much the mentors themselves..

Look first at mentor selection, then at mentor training, and then and at mentor support activities. If these have really done their job, are research and best practice-based, THEN asking the following accountability-related questions is next.

THE KEY QUESTIONS for this section

  • Should we hold Mentors more accountable?
  • How can we hold mentors more accountable with out seeming to distrust them?
  • If so, how and for what can we appropriately hold Mentors accountable?
    • How can we ensure that mentors make a big impact on protégé performance?
    • What can we do if mentors don’t seem to do their job like we think they should?
  • Should mentors and / or mentoring be assessed?
    • If so, how and for what will mentors be assessed?
  • Should proteges be assessed?
    • If so, how and for what will protégés be assessed?
  • Should the mentor program coordinator be assessed?
    • If so, how and for what will the mentor program coordinator be assessed?
  • Who will be involved in developing any mentor, protégé, or program coordinator assessment?
  • What evidence will be needed to evaluate and document the effectiveness of the various assessed participants?