Building a Successful Mentoring Program: Mentor Support, Recognition, & Retention and Match Closure


Published on

Join us for this webinar to learn about standards 7 and 8, focusing on mentor support, recognition, and retention, as well as match closure procedures. In this webinar, we will examine how to support and provide recognition to mentors and other volunteers for their hard work and we will discuss the importance of using a formal match closure procedure. We will identify a variety of methods of providing ongoing mentor support, training, supervision, and recognition as well as explore the key aspects of a match closure procedure.

To download the Quality Program Standards and Checklist, please visit:,1607,7-193--123108--,00.html

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business

Building a Successful Mentoring Program: Mentor Support, Recognition, & Retention and Match Closure

  1. 1. Building a Successful Mentoring Program Using the Mentor Michigan Quality Program Standards for Youth Mentoring Mentor Support, Recognition and Retention & Match Closure
  2. 2. Quality Program Standards <ul><li>1: Definition of Youth Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>2: Recruitment Plan </li></ul><ul><li>3: Eligibility Screening </li></ul><ul><li>4: Orientation and Training </li></ul><ul><li>5: Matching Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>6: Match Monitoring Process </li></ul><ul><li>7: Mentor Support, Recognition, and Retention </li></ul><ul><li>8: Match Closure </li></ul><ul><li>9: Program Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>10: Organizational Management </li></ul><ul><li>11: Governance </li></ul>
  3. 3. Mentor Michigan’s Quality Program Standards <ul><li>Developed by the Providers Council </li></ul><ul><li>Not meant to certify or accredit mentoring programs </li></ul><ul><li>Planning and assessment framework to raise the bar for mentoring programs </li></ul><ul><li>Standards based on research, evidence-based practices, and the national Elements of Effective Practice </li></ul>
  4. 4. Self-Assessment Checklist <ul><li>Tool for self-assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Benchmarks for progress </li></ul><ul><li>Determine areas of potential improvement and strengths of the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Quality Program Standards and Checklist are available for download on the Mentor Michigan website </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Mentor Support, Recognition, and Retention & Match Closure <ul><li>Mentor Support, Recognition, & Retention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentor recognition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Match Closure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Closure rituals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting planned and unplanned match closure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources and Next Steps </li></ul>
  6. 6. Standard 7: Mentor Support, Recognition, & Retention <ul><li>The program supports mentoring relationships, recognizes volunteers, and has strategies for volunteer retention. This could include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A kick-off event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing recognition, support, training, and communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured activities or social activities for matches </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Relationship Failure <ul><li>Only approximately half of formal mentoring relationships last beyond a few months </li></ul><ul><li>When relationships end within the first three months they have potential to do harm </li></ul><ul><li>Programs must be able to not only match mentors and mentees, but must also be able to sustain those matches </li></ul>
  8. 8. Ongoing Training <ul><li>Introduce new skills and materials </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce important concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Engage experts to provide in depth information </li></ul><ul><li>An opportunity for mentors to share their experiences and support one another </li></ul>
  9. 9. Possible Ongoing Training Topics <ul><li>Communication and conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Helping youth build self esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>Goal-setting </li></ul><ul><li>Boundary setting </li></ul><ul><li>Handling conflicts with parents/guardians </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity and cultural sensitivity </li></ul><ul><li>Low to no cost activities to do with your mentee </li></ul><ul><li>Specific needs for youth </li></ul><ul><li>Issues that surface while monitoring your matches can drive the content of ongoing training sessions . </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ways to Deliver Topics <ul><li>One on one (in-person or by phone) </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Binders, handouts </li></ul><ul><li>Emailed handouts </li></ul><ul><li>Online modules </li></ul><ul><li>Webinars </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul>
  11. 11. Attendance Boosters for Meetings and Training <ul><li>Offer refreshments, a simple dinner, or make it a potluck </li></ul><ul><li>Offer mentors the opportunity to receive a gift or prize </li></ul><ul><li>Give mentors a sense of ownership over the meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Ask mentors for input when selecting dates </li></ul>
  12. 12. Mentor Recognition <ul><li>Keep morale high, make mentors feel like they are a vital part of your work, generate awareness, recruit new mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Can range from a simple thank-you note, gifts, recognizing matches in your newsletter, or hosting a recognition event </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Involve mentees in the planning and execution of the recognition activity or event! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unique Opportunities to Thank Mentors: </li></ul><ul><li>January: Michigan/National Mentoring Month </li></ul><ul><li>April 15 – 21, 2012: National Volunteer Week </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ongoing Training Mentor Retention Positive Youth Outcomes Sustaining Matches Staff Support Recognition Longer, Stronger Matches
  14. 14. Standard 8: Match Closure <ul><li>The program has a process for effective match closure, which documents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exit interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parent/Guardian notification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Written policy regarding future contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process for achieving mentee’s personal goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process for re-engaging the volunteer </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Discuss Closure <ul><li>Discuss options for ending a relationship during initial orientation and training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not simply abandon the relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Appropriate termination or match closure procedure to reduce the negative effects for both parties </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why Do Matches End Prematurely? <ul><li>Issues related to the program or process </li></ul><ul><li>Issues related to life circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Program initiated closure </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor initiated closure </li></ul><ul><li>Youth initiated closure </li></ul><ul><li>Mentee’s parent/guardian initiated closure </li></ul>
  17. 17. Preventing Match Closure <ul><li>Prior to the match: </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-match training </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring mentors, mentees, and parents/guardians have realistic expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic and detailed matching criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout the duration of the match: </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent match monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Periodic in-person meetings with the match </li></ul><ul><li>Quickly deal with issues or challenges that arise </li></ul><ul><li>Provide on-going training for mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate conflict management and resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition </li></ul>
  18. 18. Mentee/Mentor Closure Rituals <ul><li>Key points every closure process should include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify natural emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide options for saying goodbye in a healthy, respectful, and affirming way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address appropriate methods for staying in contact </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Supporting Positive Match Closure <ul><li>Celebrate </li></ul><ul><li>Closure toolkits </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare participants </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities for continued involvement in the program </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss post-match communication </li></ul>
  20. 20. Supporting Unplanned or Negative Closure Situations <ul><li>Be available and return calls and emails promptly </li></ul><ul><li>Get all the information </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate a closure meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the situation to the youth </li></ul><ul><li>Be open and answer questions </li></ul><ul><li>Thank them for being part of the program </li></ul><ul><li>Ask mentor and mentee if they would like to try again and be re-matched </li></ul><ul><li>Offer an opportunity to get involved with the program in some other capacity </li></ul>
  21. 21. Conclusion <ul><li>Staff support, ongoing training, and recognition are the key components of mentor retention </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing a process for effective match closure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All formal mentoring matches end </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unplanned or negative terminations are a process to </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Resources: National Mentoring Center <ul><li>Mentor/Mentee Training Relationship Support Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing Training for Mentors: Twelve Interactive Sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enriching the Mentoring Experience Through Ongoing Mentee Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building Lasting Matches Through Quality Training and Support (Case Study) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More Than Saying “Thank You”: Comprehensive Approaches to Mentor Retention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Resources: MENTOR <ul><li>Elements of Effective Practice Toolkit </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback forms, recognition ideas, match closure interview forms, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research in Action Series </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access Research  Research in Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue 4: Fostering Close and Effective Relationships in Youth Mentoring Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue 5: Why Youth Mentoring Relationships End </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Now What? <ul><li>Quality Program Standards and Program Self-Assessment Checklist </li></ul><ul><li>Bring this information back to YOUR mentoring program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your program’s strategies for mentor retention? Do you have a process for ongoing support and training? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the event that a match must close, do you have a closure process? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mentor Michigan Website </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handouts, resources, related websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Webinars on a variety of topics </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Questions or Comments?