So you’re looking to start a business mentorship program, but you want to know about its potential return of investment first (ROI). When it comes to measuring the ROI of business mentorship, there are a couple of factors to consider such as the type of mentorship being offered and the reason why you are offering it. If your mentorship program is tied to specific business objectives or employee recruitment, the ROI can be pretty easy to measure. You just have to calculate the revenue versus the costs savings from the program itself.
However, things are not always cut and dried. When the goal of business mentorship is career development, leadership development, or even succession planning, it can be a bit difficult to measure ROI effectively. In these situations, you will need to conduct surveys at the start of the program and at the end of the mentoring relationship to get a good understanding of its potential returns.
Let’s take a look at you can measure the success of your business mentorship by answering a few questions and comparing a few numbers.
Career development options
If the goal of the mentorship program is for career development, you will need to ask a couple of questions to help you track and compare results. At the beginning of the mentoring relationship, it’s a good idea to ask the participants if they have a clear understanding of their career direction. If the mentee responds with “yes”, then it’ll be much easier to achieve their goals with the help of their mentor.
Those who answer “no” are more likely to benefit from a mentor who can help them establish their career goals first before turning to strategies on how to best achieve those goals. At the end of the mentoring relationship, the most important question to ask is whether the mentee has gained a solid grasp of the opportunities that suit their skils/interests.
If you receive a couple of “no” responses, it could indicate that that the programs needs a bit of tweaking to achieve positive results. This could include a new program format, adjusting the frequency of check-ins, or providing more resources for the mentee.
Perhaps the true test of ROI for a business mentorship is through long-term analysis. One way to achieve this is by conducting a survey a year after the mentoring relationship ends. This can help you determine whether the program was a worthwhile investment by asking your mentee, “Have you felt like your career has progressed in the right direction?”
Comparing the numbers
Career development is a constant work in progress. This means that the mentee should have realistic expectations in terms of the goals they can achieve after completing the mentorship. But if there’s visible progress in the year following the mentorship, we can say that the program is a success and the ROI is good. The mentee(s) are likely to stay within your organisation for the long-term and contribute more to the company’s growth.
Keep in mind that the return on investment isn’t just seeng amongst mentees. Employers also benefit from higher retention rates when the business mentorship is successful. If, for some reason that the mentee feels that their career hasn’t progressed as much as they hoped, it doesn’t necessarily translate to bad ROI.
Examining why the mentee feels this way and setting up a progression path can yield powerful insights and lead to changes that can improve investment returns down the road.
By comparing the numbers from the first and third surveys, you can quantify the effectiveness of the mentorship as a whole. From there, you can create two data sets based on the “yes” and “no” responses from the first survey to help establish baseline comparisons to the third survey’s data. This will determine whether there’s a difference in results for those who had established goals at the beginning of the mentorship versus those who needed guidance building goals.
Mentoring programs can also improve the mentee’s productivity, so it’s worth collecting and comparing applicable company data (such as tasks completed, tardiness, etc.) and compare the numbers before and after the mentorship. There are intangible benefits to consider as well like social capital, company loyalty, and social connection.
Of course, another fact to consider in a mentorship program’s ROI is administration time. Think about how much time staff will spend running the program and multiply it by their hourly wage. It may be cheaper to license mentoring software, which takes the burden off staff.