Benefits of Corporate Mentoring Programs for Onboarding: Case Study

October 14, 2015

When applied effectively, mentoring for onboarding is a powerful tool for improving the efficiency with which new hires are assimilated into the organization. Insala worked with a client experiencing three significant challenges in their onboarding program: 

    Slow time-to-productivity and difficulty measuring results – this client's average time-to-productivity for new hires in a particular role was 13 weeks. They needed to reduce this number while still meeting benchmark requirements for skills and productivity metrics.

 

    Maintaining consistency of information and preventing information overload - the client was finding that new hires were receiving different information about the same topics from various departments as they progressed through the onboarding program. New hires were also being overwhelmed with too much information at once.

 

    Adjusting new employees to company culture and environment – this client had recently merged with another company. A group of new hires had to adjust from working in a large urban environment to more of a small-town setting.

Solving the onboarding problem with a corporate mentoring program.

These three challenges are relatively common across different industries and employee functions. Insala was able to help the client with each issue by changing the way they organized, measured and assigned participants to their mentoring program.

Solution 1 - Skill/competency assessments and mentor qualifying

Insala helped the client conduct tests to determine the exact knowledge levels of new hires across different areas. Simultaneously, prospective mentors were qualified with criteria to ensure they had expertise in areas where the new hires needed help. Mentors were assigned based on both the needs of new hires and the mentor's specific area of expertise.

The key to this solution was a skill competency assessment for mentors and new hires. The client also used Insala’s mentoring software to run customizable reports based on these assessments which gave them an accurate picture of a mentee’s development needs and mentor qualifications. The software was then used to report on the "up to speed status" of each new employee, compared with the original program objectives. This approach created a more customized, engaging onboarding program that effectively helped new hires with their individual goals.     

Result: Time-to-productivity was reduced to 6 weeks, a 57% improvement.

Solution 2 – Assigning multiple mentors to provide specific information 

To ensure that new hires were absorbing information properly, they were each assigned two mentors: one with an organizational focus and one with a focus on the new hire's specific job duties. Insala’s Mentoring software allowed the client to more effectively manage these mentor-mentee relationships within the overall onboarding program, segmented based on groups of hires and mentoring objectives. The software also allowed new hires to more effectively access relevant content and videos to support them during their mentoring relationship.

Result: Organizational surveys sent from the mentoring solution indicated a significant reduction in frustration among new hires, increased satisfaction with the onboarding program, a higher level of information absorption, and a decreased number of complaints from managers and follow-up inquiries to the HR department.

Solution 3 – Establishing cultural fit through mentoring.

Mentoring software was used to create psychometric assessments that ensured potential mentors had the skills, attitude and patience required to assimilate employees into a new company culture. The results of these assessments were used to pair new hires with the most appropriate mentors. Mentors were also assigned to help the families of new hires adapt to the change in location.

Result: 84% of new employees were very satisfied with onboarding. The families of new hires sent letters to the company expressing appreciation for the support of their mentors.

For the latest information about mentoring trends and how they are applied to employee development, download Insala's 2015 Mentoring Benchmarking Survey Report.

Related Articles:

5 step process to make your corporate mentoring program a success

Mentoring technology for the high tech, high touch age

Creating an effective onboarding program

Corporate mentoring programs for onboarding new hires

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