How can we measure mentoring?

June 12, 2009
When measuring the success of a Mentoring initiative, the essential first step is to identify the business objectives that the initiative was created to accomplish. Once the objectives have been identified, the effectiveness of the initiative can be properly assessed.

2 examples of successful mentoring initiatives are as follows:
  • One organization was forced to slash its training budget, which meant fewer dollars were available for instructor-led training. Thus, it carried out required employee development activities through mentoring relationships in lieu of expensive training courses. The mentoring initiative saved significant training-related costs, including training program creation costs, program attendance costs, travel costs, and costs associated with time away from the job.
  • Another organization identified development activities which could be undertaken through mentoring, and allocated its limited training funds to those activities that still required them. It thus released dollars which could be directed towards alternative and/or additional development activities.
In each situation, mentoring enabled the organization to provide employees with the equivalent, or, in many cases, more hours of developmental guidance. This was very important during economic crunches or downsizing. Mentoring is particularly important for industries that require continued employee development within a tight budget constraint.

According to several measures, a mentoring program enabled organizations to increase the number of hours spent in training/development per year without increasing their training budget:
  • Many organizations found that those employees who participated in on-the-job mentoring that reinforced classroom training acquired knowledge and skills more quickly than their colleagues who only participated in classroom training.
  • Through mentoring schemes, organizations were able to reduce the duration of new hire orientation and training from as long as 3 months down to 6 ½ weeks. Instead of having to participate in uniform orientation activities, each new hire was assigned a qualified Mentor that focused on the individual’s targeted needs.
  • Overall, the mentoring scheme greatly reduced the amount of time it took for an employee to be able to perform a job efficiently – from as much as 18 months to 13 months.
In lieu of quantifiable measures, some organizations identified specific “behaviors” that they wanted to reinforce or change. Based on the logic that these behaviors were displayed by the Mentor and then adopted by the Mentee, they were able to effectively measure the success of their mentoring initiatives.

Today, many organizations are using integrated technology solutions to help them measure the success of their mentoring initiatives. As part of Insala's talent management software solution suite, Hi-Impact Mentoring ® provides mentoring assessments and tracking data that allows managers to measure and view results in a user-friendly report, as well as all other elements needed for a successful mentoring process, including tools for matching and pairing, training on the mentoring concept, and strategic consulting to help roll out the initiative in the best way possible.

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