Effective management of the launch phase will ensure the completion of each user step necessary to set the foundation for successful participation. The launch phase is your opportunity to build momentum and excitement, and to give users a positive first impression of the software and your program. This guide outlines a few simple but effective tips to ensure your launch is a smooth experience for your users.
Why it matters: Building momentum at this early stage is critical to ensuring the success of your program. The launch phase is your opportunity to ensure your users are onboarded successfully, are taking the necessary actions to secure a mentorship, and are feeling positive about the experience from the start.
- KEEP AN EYE ON ENROLLMENT STATS
View the enrollment growth rate among your population and work with sponsors, champions, and leadership to promote the program, especially if rates are lower than expected. Navigation: Home > Tile: 'How is enrollment in your program?'
- POST WELCOME ANNOUNCEMENTS
Welcome users to the system, remind them of key next steps, and point them to resources that will help them navigate the site and the matching process. Navigation: Manage > Engagement > Announcements
Learn more: Creating Announcements
- MAKE SURE USERS PUBLISH THEIR PROFILES
Users have a status of 'Unpublished' until they complete the mandatory profile fields. You can view 'Registered Users with Unpublished Profiles' in the User Views tool to identify these users. You can also start the email campaign, 'Get users to publish their profiles.' Once a user has published their profile, their status will change to 'Active'. Navigation:
User Views: Reports > User Reports > User View Reports > 'Registered Mentors with Unpublished Profiles'
Email Campaigns: Manage > Engagement > Email Campaigns > 'Get Users to publish their profiles'
- CHECK PENDING INVITATIONS (if you are inviting users via their emails)
Make sure that invitations are being delivered and keep an eye on open and click rates. Users with the status 'Opened and Clicked' may have had trouble registering, so reach out to them to see if they need help. Navigation: Home > Tile: 'How is enrollment in your program?' > click on 'Invitations' > click on 'Track Invitation Status'
- CHECK PENDING MEMBERSHIP REQUESTS (If using the 'Apply to Join' setting)
Respond promptly to membership requests. Unless you’ve specified that membership requests will be approved on a specific date, check the Membership Requests tool every day or two and respond to applicants to keep the momentum going. Navigation: Home > Tile: 'How is enrollment in your program?' > Click on 'Pending Mentorship Applications'
Learn more: Membership Requests Tool: Processing Requests
1. SELF-MATCH PROGRAMS
How to empower users and assist those that don’t find a match:
- ENABLE SELF-MATCHING
Be sure you have self-matching enabled with the two settings below by navigating to: Manage > Program Configuration > Program Settings, and select the correct tab:
- 'Matching Settings' tab: Under 'Ongoing Mentoring Settings', this option should be selected: Mentees send mentoring requests to mentors.
- 'Permissions' tab: Under 'Privacy', at least this option should be selected: Mentees can view Mentors.
- POST MENTEE AND MENTOR-SPECIFIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Announcements posted on user home screens and sent via notification can guide them in taking the next steps needed to get matched, as well as point them to matching resources
- KEEP AN EYE ON MENTORSHIP REQUESTS
Follow up on pending requests that sit for a long time. Look for trends of non-responsive mentors and follow up with them. Navigation: Home > Tile: 'How is matching in your program?' > Pending Mentoring Requests.
- FOLLOW UP ON REJECTED REQUESTS
Make sure mentors are declining requests for appropriate reasons; it may be that they are no longer available and should be deactivated from the program or, they are not available to take on more than one mentee but don't know how to change their limits. Follow this path to view the reason selected for rejection and the mentor comments: Navigation: Home > Tile: 'How is matching in your program?' > Pending Mentoring Requests > 'Rejected' tab.
- FOLLOW UP WITH MENTEES THAT HAVE NOT SENT A REQUEST
Follow up with mentees that have not sent a request to see if they need assistance in finding a match. You can start an email campaign to do this automatically, or you can send one-off custom messages if desired.
Navigation: Manage > Engagement > Email Campaigns > Drafted: 'Get Mentees to Connect'
2. ADMIN MATCH PROGRAMS
- Bulk Match: Use the 'Bulk Match Users' tool to quickly pair large populations.
- Match Individually: Use the 'Find a Mentor' link on the mentee profile to match an individual.
Do quick temperature checks on matches early; re-match those that aren’t a good fit if possible. Here are some options for checking in:
- 30 or 60-Day Connection Surveys: Use the survey questions provided or edit/add your own to find out if their partner is a good match. You can edit the questions if needed. Navigation: Manage > Engagement > Surveys
- Send a one-off message to all connections and let participants know that they can reach out to by selecting to 'Contact Administrator' from their account dropdown on the upper right of their page.
Learn more: Surveys: An Overview
The First 60 Days Of Connection
- CHECK ENGAGEMENT
Check early and often for activity between pairs. Early activity is crucial, since this is when pairs are setting expectations and building the foundation of their relationship. Follow up with those that aren’t active to see what is blocking them. Navigation: Home > Tile: 'How active are your mentoring connections?'
- ASK FOR INFORMAL FEEDBACK
Anecdotal feedback, in the hallways or over the water cooler, can be powerful insight into the participant experience. Ask for this as well as feedback through more formal channels.
- CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SUPPORT
Often, users have the most questions once they start participating in a mentoring program. Consider holding follow-up support sessions to help boost engagement. Ask for feedback during these sessions to gauge program health.
- CHECK ADMIN INBOX OFTEN
Reply promptly to user inquiries to keep their momentum from slowing down. We recommend that you set your email settings on your profile's 'Notifications' tab to daily or whenever there is activity, at least during this early phase of the program. Or, log in often for new admin messages.
- ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY SPACES (If using community features)
Articles, Forums, and Q&A spaces often start strong, but will become stagnant without continual reinforcement, fresh content, and recognition for participation. Seed relevant content as needed to encourage usage. Make managing the forums an ongoing part of your program administration.