Mentorship programs in professional organizations can benefit both mentors and mentees by providing support, community, networking, and knowledge-sharing. The current virtual environment provides a novel opportunity to expand the dimensions of the mentorship program for years ahead.
To conduct a secondary qualitative analysis of survey responses from former SNEB Mentorship Program participants as part of formative research for the development of future programming.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Data were obtained from satisfaction surveys completed by mentors and mentees who participated in the mentorship program at SNEB Annual Conferences between 2012-14 and 2016-17.
Two independent coders performed an inductive thematic analysis of responses to open-ended survey questions to determine program characteristics associated with participants' satisfaction to inform program expansion. Findings were reviewed by 2 additional researchers and final themes were agreed upon by all the researchers.
Themes touting program benefits emerged from an analysis of survey responses (n = 112) included “flexibility,” “networking”, “support,” “welcoming personalities of mentors,” “impact of the program,” and “appropriate matching of mentors and mentees.” “Structure” and “communication” were themes that emerged from coding both mentor and mentee responses (n = 85) to inquiry about program improvements. Mentees desired longer mentorship periods, whereas mentors proposed having a designated session to meet and greet the mentees and having substitute mentors available.
The program was well-received by participants. Both mentors and mentees expressed varying degrees of interest in expanding the mentorship program beyond the conference. Future mentorship programs should incorporate elements of flexibility but structure in communication between the 2 parties to have a more meaningful impact on the mentor-mentee relationship.