How to Reduce Your Training Expenses with Corporate Mentoring

June 26, 2014

While training classes are widely available for any learning need, they can also be very costly. The time spent away from the office and probable travel expenses, as well as the cost to take the class (or create the course internally), necessitates an immense commitment of both time and money from your organization.

In a poll taken during one of our recent webinars, 66% of attendees stated that they use a combination of mentoring and training in the workplace. This combination of methods is just one way in which you can free up your training budget while generating an even better developmental result.

While mentoring can supplement training, in some cases it can also be effectively substituted for training. If you’re finding that your training budget is too small to get the amount of development your organization’s employees truly need, don’t let your training budget limit the growth of your company. Improve your business performance by making sure you evaluate the needs of your organization and consider the beneficial impacts of mentoring, both in conjunction with and in place of formal training classes.

Supplementing Training with Mentoring

There are cases when it is extremely beneficial to supplement your training with mentoring, as mentoring provides a type of learning that is more specific to the needs and culture of the organization than traditional classroom training can ever be.

Follow these steps to be sure this is the right path for you:

  1. Determine if mentoring is appropriate to supplement the focus of the training course
  2. Confirm that qualified mentors are available
  3. Time the mentoring program and partnerships to begin as soon as possible after training ends to promote reinforcement
  4. Assess the mentee at the end of their training to set specific goals in their mentoring learning plan relative to where they are developmentally
  5. Assess the mentee again after the partnership to measure the learning that took place

If you have a limited training budget or if you just want to accelerate your learning curve, implementing a mentoring program can help with these problems and many other bumps you encounter. Mentoring is an efficient and cost effective use of your training budget that frees up crucial funding and hours, giving your company more flexibility to focus on its actual objectives of growth and development.

Substituting Mentoring for Training

Mentoring can also replace formal training programs in the right circumstances – but be sure to tie it to business objectives and formalize the process so that it gains respect within your organization.

Follow these steps to successfully implement mentoring within your business structure.

  1. Determine if mentoring is able to achieve desired learning goals and objectives
  2. Win hearts and minds of all stakeholders (including mentors, mentees, managers and leadership)
  3. Agree on structure, process and learning goals for the partnerships
  4. Confirm that qualified mentors are available
  5. Ensure that mentors and mentees are committed and understand their roles within the partnership
  6. Obtain manager support and understanding of their role in the mentoring partnership
  7. Asses learning at the end of the partnership

70-20-10 Model

Mentoring is not just more cost effective than training; it’s also more effective towards achieving your learning and development goals – and here’s how.

The 70-20-10 training model developed by Lombardo and Eichinger is the result of extensive research into the “why” of the success of high-performers. This learning and development model posits that learning happens in organizations in practice according to the following breakdown:

  1. 70% of organizational learning is due to challenging assignments integrated within the workflow – learning by doing.
  2. 20% of organizational learning is due to social relationships and feedback.
  3. 10% - and only 10% - of organizational learning is due to coursework and training classes

Take a look at the first two: formal mentoring covers 90% of employee needs through assignments integrated into the mentee’s workflow, and feedback given via social relationships.

Furthermore, mentoring provides this information in shorter and more effective segments, as well as in terms that are specific to the needs of the organization.

In Conclusion: How Can Mentoring Help You?

Mentoring improves your business performance by developing your internal talent, and providing cost effective solutions to help your employees grow and develop. Reduce your training expense and get more out of your budget by:

  • Evaluating what a structured mentoring program can achieve for your organization
  • Determining how your organization can roll out mentoring as an effective talent development initiative
  • Implementing a successful mentoring program based on a strong plan that’s tied to your organizational objectives.

Discover more about Insala’s corporate mentoring solutions here.


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