Components of An Effective Workplace Mentorship

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of the study was to identify the components of an effective workplace mentorship. Twenty-five panelists participated in a three-round Delphi study to reach a consensus on these components. The panelists were (1) local school-site teachers and school-to-work coordinators, (2) community college school-to-work coordinators, (3) directors of tech-prep consortia, and representatives from (4) business and industry, (5) labor and management, (6) corporate rsearch, and (7) federal government.

A two-round pilot study was conducted to test the initial open-ended questions for round 1 and to test the survey instrument developed for round 2. Feedback from the pilot study was used to develop the open-ended questionnaire instrument in round 1 and the Likert scale used in round 2 of the study. Criteria of an effective workplace mentorship were retained in both rounds 2 and 3 if 80% of the respondents rated them "important" or "very important."

The study produced 93 criteria in five categories necessary for an effective workplace mentorship. The five categories were: (1) program structure; (2) recruitment, selection, and placement; (3) support activities; (4) program outcomes and evaluation; and (5) ethics. A sixth category, barriers and obstacles to an effective workplace mentorship, was included in the survey and contained four responses. These four responses were summarized along with the 93 criteria of an effective workplace mentorship. A checklist of criteria is included for the assessment of existing programs or to aid those implementing new programs.

Delphi technique, Mentor, Mentorship, Components, Mentee