Analysis of progress and success of mentoring in the workplace

Tips for Measuring the Success of Mentorships

The basic goal for any talent development program, including mentoring, is success. You invest your time, effort, and money into your programs, and you expect to see some sort of result. But how do you know when a mentorship is successful? You’ll have to measure.

For a lot of things, measuring success is simple. Social media posts can be gaged by impressions or clicks. Customer satisfaction can be determined with surveys. However, you can’t measure the success of a mentorship so easily.

So why bother measuring?

Like we said, you invest a lot into your mentoring program. You’ll want to see the benefit of all your work, and that requires you to quantify your program somehow.

Measuring success with three mentoring program metrics

Consider these three main points of measurement:

  • Business objective achievement
  • SMART goal completion
  • Feedback from participants

These are the metrics with which you will determine your mentorship success with. Each one is very important to not only your program ROI, but the development of your mentors and mentees as well.

Business Objective Achievement

It’s important that you set your business objectives early on, so that you can have this point of measurement. Think about what your organization wants to see the mentorship achieve, and correlate those to overall objectives.

Once your program has been in place for a while and you want to start measuring its success, look back at your objectives and see if they’ve been reached. If there is no progress towards an objective at all, consider eliminating or replacing it with a new objective.

If you’ve achieved an objective already, challenge your organization to take it further. However, ensure you have given your program proper time to be successful. Attempting to measure business objectives too early can end in inaccurately low results.

Program administrators should monitor the progress towards objectives in order to measure the success of the mentorships. The question that needs to be answered is "does the partnership achieve the overall objectives outlined in the beginning of the program?"

SMART Goal Completion

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. This point of measurement should be used directly by the mentees and mentors. Completion of SMART goals in each mentorship is an indicator that the relationships are going well, and your mentees are learning and developing. Both are signs of mentorship success.

Like your business objectives, you want your mentees to set their SMART goals early so they can measure their progress. You also want them to keep track of their goal, which they can do through mentoring software. Once goals are achieved, new ones can be set for continued growth.

Further, goal completion is also about mentees and mentors taking charge of their relationships. The mentee needs to create some learning goals to set a firm list of expectations of what they want to get out of the relationship. On the other hand, the mentor needs to create an action plan, which is how the goals will be achieved. They should revisit this document regularly to update it so the program admin can measure and record the success.

The program administrator also needs to take an active role and check in and make sure the mentor’s action plan is updated. They should keep track of SMART goals reached and regularly reach out to the mentors and mentees with mentoring software. The admin should also keep an eye on all mentorships and ensure the mentor matches made are on the right track.

Feedback from Participants

Unlike our first two points of measurement, you do not have to start thinking about this measurement at the beginning of the program. Feedback will be an ongoing indicator of the success from your participant’s perspective.

Be careful with this measurement, however. Your participants will not necessarily always give you feedback when things go right or wrong. To avoid the “no news is good news” cliché, communicate with mentors and mentees frequently. Putting out surveys and conducting interviews can accomplish this, and mentoring software can help you manage your feedback. 

There are a few things to be aware of for successful surveys. They’ll need to be regularly sent out but use caution and avoid overloading your participants with surveys.

There are two categories: quantitative, and qualitative.

Qualitative results can show things like increase in productivity from participants or changes in retention rates. Qualitative data can be collected through surveys and 1-on-1 meetings focused on how people feel about the program.

Quantitative results focus on the ROI of the program and can be collected through reports generated by mentoring software. These results can help you measure the success of your mentorships, as well as identify its strengths and weaknesses.

Once you go into the program with a set of objectives to be reached, you just have to monitor and keep up with the participants. Survey them to see what they are getting from the program. From there, the ROI of the program can be determined. If all is running how it should be, you should see some good outcomes.


At Insala, we specialize in making sure you go into your mentoring program with your eyes on the prize - a high ROI. Request a demo to learn more about how your organization can benefit from a mentoring program.

Through innovative web-based SaaS technology, Insala partners with organizations to accelerate performance and drive evidence-based decisions for organizations and their people.

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