This approach to preventing the development of an unfair burden that might otherwise result from adding to the workload. Of participants requires non-participants to relieve an appropriate amount of participants' conventional workload.
More particularly, this proposal recommends reducing the number of direct reports assigned to participating mentors and adding them to the number of reporting personnel supervised directly by non-participating upper-level employees. In principle, the idea is simply to reduce the workload of supervisory-level employees who choose to participate in the mentoring program as mentors as necessary to maintain their productivity and avoid resentment on their part. The corresponding consequences of non-participation by prospective mentors provides a natural incentive to choose to participate in the program to avoid the alternative increase in conventional professional responsibilities.
Maintaining Motivation on the Part of Mentors:
The first element of maintaining the motivation on the part of mentors is allowing the voluntary element previously described. To whatever extent participation as mentors is perceived as an undesirable responsibility, (even if merely by virtue of workload volume rather than specific objection to mentoring in particular), the element of choice minimizes resentment associated with those aspects of participation that are not purely voluntary (Myers & Spencer, 2004). The second element of maintaining the motivation on the part of mentors is increasing the relative proportion of the importance of the performance of their direct reports in the performance review of supervisory employees. In that way, self-interest on the part of mentors provides a natural incentive to devote a conscientious effort to the professional development of personnel for whom they are directly responsible. This mechanism also transforms a significant proportion of the motivation among mentors from potential benefits that relate primarily indirectly to benefits that relate directly to the professional interests of the mentors (Myers & Spencer, 2004). Ultimately, the combination of semi-voluntary participation by prospective candidates for mentoring responsibilities and the increased respective importance of direct report performance on the performance evaluation of all supervisors (i.e. irrespective of whether or not they choose to participate directly as mentors) naturally increases the incentive to participate as well as the motivation to achieve optimal results envisioned within the mentoring program objectives. The option to trade increased supervisory responsibilities as a method of opting out of the mentoring program serves other purposes that are consistent with the optimal use of the mentoring concept.
For example, supervisors who consider themselves comparatively well-suited to the role of mentor have the opportunity to contribute more to the long-term benefit to the company associated with overall improvement in the career development of lower-level employees. Meanwhile, supervisors who consider themselves better suited to assuming additional conventional supervisory responsibilities instead of participating directly in the program as mentors are less likely to resent those increased responsibilities than they might resent imposed mentoring responsibilities.
Furthermore, the implementation of increased reliance on the performance of subordinates on the performance evaluation of all supervisors likely translates to greater efforts to facilitate superior performance, even strictly within the traditional relationship between supervisor and supervisees. In that regard, supervisors who choose to opt out of direct participation in the mentoring program as mentors are not necessarily disadvantaged by their non-participation because they can still contribute to the professional development of their direct reports, albeit outside of the scope of the mentoring program.
Assessment and Program Evaluation:
The structure and design of the proposed mentoring program lends itself directly to accurate results assessment and program evaluation. First, the relative performance evaluation of lower-level employees provides a direct measurement by virtue of comparison between their previous performance and rate of improvement and their performance after participation in the mentoring program.
Second, the results of the mentoring program are directly measurable in terms of the relative performance and rate of performance improvement of mentor program participants against that of non-participants. Third, and perhaps most significantly, the effectiveness of the mentoring program is directly measurable by virtue of a comparison of the performance and rate of improvement of low-level employees reporting to non- participating supervisors against their own previous performance evaluations and prior rate of improvement. This particular element provides a measurement that is particularly important in light of the unavailability of mentorship for those low-level employees who are not capable of being accommodated by the mentoring program.
Locker, K.O. (2000). Business and Administrative Communication. Boston, MA: