Listen Up: The Importance of Stakeholder Voice
By Aleka Calsoyas published on Feb 5, 2024
min read
Mentees sharing their input during a roundtable discussion with a program director.

When it comes to matching mentors and mentees, whether for student teaching, or other mentoring programs, our research shows that it is important to give stakeholders a voice in the process. This is necessary to meet diverse individual needs and create more valuable experiential learning. And stakeholders want this opportunity as well.

In a recent exit survey of participants in one of our programs, we learned that 88% of mentors and 95% of mentees agreed or strongly agreed that having a voice in the matching process was important to them. We learned that for some this meant expressing their strengths and development needs for targeted support and for others, logistics were important such as when partners were available to meet to accommodate work, family, and study schedules. What matters in a match and what voice means, can differ from program to program which is why Torace Enterprise subscriptions allow for customizable questions that can really drill down into these topics. Of course, we also have a standard set of event profile questions that reflect best practices and engage in research to refine and improve these, to take the guesswork out of much of the implementation process.

For us at Torace, providing a voice to stakeholders and listening to and responding to what they have to say is not only part of our platform, it is also part of our culture and how we go about building new features and expanding services.

So, what have we been hearing recently and how are we taking action?

We recently asked mentors and mentors how important it was to be “paired with someone who could provide direction and focus to the mentoring relationship”? In this instance, we found that 100% of mentees said this was “very important” or “important” to them, but we also found that 76% of mentors thought the same thing, and no mentors said that it was “not important.”

The go-to in education is to provide mentor training—which is great. In fact, Torace has a short Intro to Mentoring training course (find out more here), but hearing that mentors also want their mentees to be able to provide focus and direction, got us thinking: “We should also provide mentee training!” Many programs like business schools provide direct instruction on skills like “managing up” and in education, we often provide guidance and training on “reflective practices,” but as an organization that supports mentoring relationships, we believe we should be helping mentees with reflection and basics skills to help them provide focus and direction in their relationships with mentors.

So, we are developing a program for mentees that complements our programming for mentors. It will be a short live webinar for mentees to provide a language and set of tools that can help them get the most out of their mentoring relationships. If you are interested in becoming a pilot partner for this work, reach out! We are listening ([email protected])!

To learn more about the Torace matching platform, schedule a demo!

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