We have 6 improvements to share this month, with something for every type of configuration--from group mentoring to self-select matching and more. We have included use cases for each improvement.
Integrated management of Handbooks and Resources
Handbooks are now easier to manage, as they are no longer stored separately from Resources. Now, handbooks for mentors and mentees will live under Resources along with the rest of your knowledgebase documents. This means you can update and manage handbooks in one place.
What does this mean for your mentors and mentees? Previously, they saw a quick link to the Handbook on the home page. Now that Handbooks are integrated with Resources, there will be a Resources section under Quick Links, which will include links to all other Resources in addition to the Handbook that matches the user's role. Easier access all around! The screenshot below shows an example of what a mentee might see on the right side of the home page.
QUICK TIP: Did you know you can upload documents just once, and link to them in multiple places (such as in the Engagement Plan)? This technique further streamlines document management and improves access. Ask us how.
Update Engagement Plans for existing connections
Just because connections are already using a pre-configured engagement plan template doesn't mean you won't want to make changes to it. Previously, you could apply template changes only to future connections. Now, connections are no longer set in stone - so you can fix typos you didn't notice before, or clarify a certain task. This is particularly helpful for long-term engagements, where new information sometimes comes to light months after connections have begun.
This feature is automatically enabled. If you make changes to a template that is in use by active connections, you'll see a message alerting you of how your changes will impact users.
Unassigned tasks in Engagement Plan templates
The new Engagement Plan design continues to improve! The latest perk is the ability to have unassigned tasks that can be "claimed" by a mentor or mentee, or assigned to someone after the connection is created. This is great for group connections, where a task needs to be completed by just one group member, that person being any one of several mentees (or mentors).
When adding a new task (or editing an existing one), click on the assignee icon on the left and select "Unassigned" as in the screenshot below.
Specific dates in templates
Another improvement to the new Engagement Plan design is the ability to set specific dates instead of relative dates - for instance, a training session that is held only on September 24. This is most common for academic programs adhering to a calendar - midterms and finals are pretty inflexible, after all! This does reduce the overall flexibility of your template: once this mentoring cycle is over, you'll have to edit all the dates in the template if you wish to re-use the template.
For maximum scalability, we do recommend using relative dates whenever possible.
To implement, click "required" on the right side of the action while in edit mode. Then choose "Specific Date." Or, choose "Predecessor" if you wish to use a relative date - such as 4 weeks from start of connection; 2 days after the prior task is completed; etc.
For more information on the new Engagement Plan, read here.
Prevent 0% matches from connecting
As you may know, a self-matching system operates by guiding the mentee's selection: scores are suggestive, rather than prescriptive. This means a low match score does not mean two people cannot embark on a partnership - but hopefully they're better educated about the risk of incompatibility. However, there might be cases where you do wish to prevent certain matches. For instance, you might choose to prevent matching within the same department, or prevent entree-level mentees from selecting mentors who are very high-ranking. Let's use same-department matching as an example. In this case, you should do two things:
1. Ask your Chronus representative to set the matching criteria for department such that an identical match brings the overall score to 0.
2. Ask your Chronus representative to prevent matches that are 0%. This will keep mentees from requesting those mentors.
You can even edit the message that mentees see if they try to request a mentor who is deemed "not a match." Just ask!
Prevent mentors from increasing their connection limit
You've always had the option to allow mentors to change their connection limit up or down from your default, whether your default is 1, 2, or 17. Now you have even greater control. If you know your mentors are ill-equipped to handle more than 3, you can set a default threshold of 3 and allow mentors to reduce, but not increase, their limit. You'll change the setting under "Manage" > "Program Settings" > "Mentoring Connection Settings."
As for your mentors, they can change their limits under "Account Settings" > "Settings."