Mapping Mentoring in the Creative Industries
We are delighted to announce the launch of our cross research centre study, with the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network and ICCAMS (CIRIN). Our project involves developing an understanding of mentoring in the Creative industries. We are partnering with Creative UK.
Contact the team: firstname.lastname@example.org
The STAMINA Mentoring Network is a group for mentoring scheme leads, co-ordinators, administrators and mentoring champions. Our name has emerged out of our mission which is to share good practice across mentoring schemes and support their sustainability - hence our name SusTAinable MentorINg Network. The network is based upon a project funded by the University of Oxford's ESRC Impact Acceleration Award in 2016/17.
This project builds upon expertise and research interests of the team across 3 local Universities (Oxford, Oxford Brookes and Reading) and further through a Programme for Enhancement of the Student Experience (PESE) project at Oxford Brookes University on developing sustainable mentoring schemes (Gannon & Maher, 2012; Gannon, 2016; University Alliance, 2013), the Radcliffe Department of Medicine Mentoring scheme (RDMMS) at Oxford University and The University Mentoring Project at Reading University.
The central tenet of the project is to share good practice in developing mentoring schemes across disciplines and contexts. There are 3 main issues that mentoring schemes typically face as they grow and develop within the HE setting. These issues are sustainability, effective transitions for administrative systems and practices for reporting on impact and these same issues are recorded to a greater or lesser extent across different settings in the wider mentoring research (Clutterbuck et al, 2016; Karallis & Sandelands, 2009).
This network offers a unique opportunity to build upon our existing scholarship, research and expertise and share the approaches and practices which offer mentoring scheme longevity across disciplines. This is distinctive in the area of mentoring where the focus has tended to be on how to set-up mentoring schemes and fails to expand on the issues associated with growth, problem-solving and sustainability.
The team involved in this project is multi-disciplinary and responsible for developing and researching mentoring schemes across a range of settings, healthcare, higher, vocational and professional education. The core of the team have developed expertise in creating and supporting mentoring schemes and moving through key transition points including widening participation and incorporating the use of IT. The potential contributors include a range of industries and settings, education, healthcare, STEM subjects and the arts from the private sector to voluntary/charitable sector. From this diversity of expertise in managing mentoring schemes and our existing research we hope to share expertise in managing mentoring schemes and wider good practice in sustaining mentoring schemes.
This multi-disciplinary approach will allow those involved in mentoring schemes to explore good practice in this area and benefit from the dissemination of knowledge and practices from across the extensive range of settings where mentoring takes place. Supporting this bid will enable researchers and practitioners to draw on a wider set of expertise on mentoring (Gannon & Maher, 2012; Gannon, 2016). Specifically, it is envisaged that participants will be able to build sustainable mentoring schemes through identifying practices for mentoring schemes themselves and further disseminate good practice on the recruitment of mentors, training resources for mentors and mentees, planning and implementing clear reporting for impact procedures, and enhancing administrative systems which allow effective reporting and longevity for mentoring schemes.
Framework for mentoring scheme sustainability
Key themes and issues associated mentoring schemes:
Determining what the purpose is of your mentoring scheme is crucial. What does your mentoring scheme set out to achieve for its participants and for the organization(s) concerned? You may have more than one purpose, however, so do think about what may be the secondary as well as the primary purpose of your mentoring scheme. Review our list of possible purposes and read the case studies associated with those categories.
- Organisational socialisation
- Transition between education/career
- Organisational Focus/Strategy
- Return to work
- Supporting social enterprise
- Community engagement
- Improving workplace culture
- Readjustment (post institutional)
Forms of mentoring
There are many ways of delivering mentoring and this strand captures some of the options which can be considered in the development of a scheme. It may be that your scheme could several of these forms of mentoring or use more than one form to reach a wide range of mentors and mentees.
- 1 to 1
- Face to face
- Group mentoring
- Reverse mentoring
- Speed mentoring
- Hybrid mentoring
Marketing of the mentoring scheme
Our experiences suggest that it is important to effectively engage your mentors and mentees throughout the lifecycle of your scheme. There are several ways of achieving this and we outline the main options with examples from case study schemes to help you identify which might work for your mentoring scheme.
- Open evening/event
- Social media campaign
- Word of mouth (through network and previous participants)
- Trade Press
- Press release
- Website information
- Career interviews
- Annual symposium
Recruitment and selection of mentors and mentees
Acquiring mentors and mentees is another potentially challenging area for mentoring scheme coordinators. In this strand, we provide the choices available to coordinators. It could be that you should select different forms of recruitment and selection for your mentors and mentees, and deploy more than one method for some participants. Use the options below to identify the case studies and resources used by other mentoring schemes.
- Application form (paper)
- Engagement with related activities
- Online promotion and registration
- Sourced by networks (coordinator led)
Coordinators have a range of options available to them when they match mentors and mentees. These options depend upon the nature of the mentoring scheme and comprise different levels of mentor and mentee input into the matching process. Review our list of possible matching practices and read the case studies associated with the options.
- Speed matching
- Mutual agreement of mentors and mentees
- Blind matching on both sides
- Mentor or mentee preferences and agreement (semi-blind matching)
- Software matching
- Coordinator matched
Administration and training
Operating a mentoring scheme involves a great deal of administration and deciding how to manage the practical details and activities associated with highly personal data is a crucial part of a coordinator’s role. In our experience, as mentoring coordinators we have tried various administrative approaches and moved between approaches as our schemes have grown and developed. The following list provides the key administrative practices we have used as well as linked case studies and outline resources.
- Paper based
- MS office (Excel) or spreadsheets
- Website development and use
- Shared drives approach - Googledocs, OneDrive, Dropbox solutions
- Use of online mentoring platform
- Specifying online mentoring system
Monitoring of mentoring relationships
Another key aspect of operating and managing a mentoring scheme involves identifying how involved coordinators/administrators become in overseeing and supporting individual mentoring relationships. It may be that within your own scheme mentees or mentors may need additional support or various check-in points to encourage dyads to develop their relationships. Below we outline the main options with examples from case studies to help you orientate which might be suitable for your mentoring scheme.
- Online goal setting
- Regular email/calls check-in with mentees/mentors
- Support/Supervision groups for mentors
- Informal networking/Social events
- Awards ceremony
- Recognition and announcement communications
Evaluation of mentoring schemes is a widely-discussed topic. There are several aspects to consider from the scheme’s practical operations through to how well the mentoring relationships develop and ultimately achievement of the purpose of the scheme. In our experience, evaluation can usefully take place at several points, as a formative activity (during the ongoing scheme), as well as at summative points (after the scheme). In addition, for clearer evaluation insights we also recognize pre-and post-evaluation opportunities and practices. The following list provides the key evaluation methods we have experiences as well as linked case studies and outline resources.
- Before and After evaluation surveys (mentors and mentees)
- Summative evaluation surveys (mentors and mentees)
- Central HR data (re-grading, promotions, awards)
- Organizational metrics (Athena Swan plan)
- Staff/participant attitude surveys
- Focus groups/Interviews
- Retention and Turnover rates
- Social Media capture – blogs, vlogs and posts