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Thursday, December 3 • 9:30am - 10:00am
Arkansas New Employee Onboarding- Mentable Session Participant Satisfaction

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The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service implemented the current new employee onboarding program in November of 2012.  The onboarding program includes a mentoring program, online courses (Extension 101, Southern Extension History, New Agent Onboarding and Mentoring, and Staff Chair Onboarding and Mentoring Training), a blended (online:face-to-face) multi-day in-service on basic-level competencies of Extension educators, and monthly Mentable sessions.   

The monthly Mentable Sessions are conducted using Zoom, an online video conferencing program.  The sessions are typically one hour in length and are conducted on the third Monday of every month.  Topics have included working with volunteers, basics of reporting, working with committees, working with key stakeholders, preparing for program reviews, and organizational updates as needed. Sessions are formatted to be peer-to-peer with veteran agents, who are invited to be guest speakers.  Extension specialists are also invited to speak on certain topics, and are usually partnered with a county agent.  District directors and other supervisors are not invited to attend or participate in sessions.  This allows new agents the opportunity to ask questions, make statements, and express themselves more freely than they might if a supervisor were present.  Topics covered in the Mentable sessions are identified by previous first year agents, current participants, and district directors. 

At the conclusion of an agent's first year, they graduate out of attending Mentable sessions.  An exit survey has been developed to evaluate participants' experiences and gain information on how the sessions can be improved.  Questions in the survey address relevance of session topics, speaker preparedness, input for future session topics and speakers, and overall value of participation in the sessions.  Upon completion of an agent's first year of employment and completion of Mentable session participation, a link to a Qualtrics survey is sent and participants are asked to complete the survey.  Questions in the survey include Likert-type scales of satisfaction, YES/ NO questions, multiple choice questions, and open-ended questions. There is no set schedule for analyzing survey results due to the fluctuation of hiring dates. 

To date, respondents to the exit survey have expressed overall satisfaction with their participation in the sessions.  Responses continue to be collected as new agents complete their first year of employment and participation in the Mentable sessions.  Results from the exit surveys are utilized to improve the overall quality of the sessions, identify future topics, verify that session logistics still accommodate the majority of session participants, and assist in identifying potential speakers. 

More in depth results of the exit survey along with best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating monthly sessions similar to the Mentable sessions will be discussed at the conference.

avatar for Diane Mashburn

Diane Mashburn

Instructor - Program Planning, Evaluation and Accountability Coordinator, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

Thursday December 3, 2015 9:30am - 10:00am

Attendees (10)