But a business won't know that they're impacting any of those areas unless their mentoring programmes are measurable.
Learning and Development initiatives like mentoring are traditionally difficult to measure due to their qualitative nature. This can result in them either: getting de-prioritised in favour of more data-driven programmes, or businesses not really ever knowing the success of their mentoring programmes.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Before any business sets out to run a mentoring programme, they need to have their key objectives and KPIs outlined. In other words, they need to know what success looks like and what the key metrics are that will help measure that success.
💡 If you're starting out with workplace mentoring programmes, take a quick read of our step by step guide: How To Start A Mentoring Programme before getting into the metrics 📊
Key metrics to measure the success of a mentoring programme
There are multiple things to track throughout a mentoring programme, and some metrics will vary depending on the organisation, and the type of mentoring programme being run. The key metrics can be broken down into roughly three groups:
Are people engaged with the mentoring programme? This measurement area would include metrics such as:
Number of sign ups
Number of active mentoring relationships
Number of mentoring sessions
Number of hours mentoring
Number of actions set / notes taken
Are participants making progress in the areas they set out to? This measurement area would include metrics such as:
Number of goals set
Number of goals achieved
Personal satisfaction score
External feedback (i.e a manager reporting an improvement)
Has the programme improved the business areas you were aiming to improve? Such as retaining talent, or succession planning. This measurement area would include metrics such as:
All of these metrics are important to measure the success of a mentoring programme, and using a mentoring software will make it much easier to track each of them.
How to collect data from a mentoring programme
The metrics above require a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. The most practical way of measuring these are with:
Utilise surveys to get an idea of personal opinions and perceptions, such as levels of enthusiasm towards the company, or satisfaction with career development. Where possible use scoring systems for these types of questions to make your data quantitative, i.e:
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being very and 1 being not at all), how satisfied do you feel with your career development over time at [organisation]?
Writing survey questions like this will also make them quicker to fill out, meaning that more people are likely to complete them. The more data the better when it comes to measuring the success of the mentoring programme.
However for certain metrics requiring written data, such as personal improvement, or mentoring relationship feedback, a qualitative survey will provide a detailed overview to accompany the numbers.
Naturally, writing, distributing and collating survey responses in a huge task. And so using a mentoring software which incorporates feedback and surveying into the platform saves programme managers a lot of time.
Organisational HR Data
For organisational data such as retention and promotion rates, ensure you're collaborating with the correct HR team to track participants journeys within the company.
These metrics naturally take longer to gather, and so it's easy to forget about them after a specific programme ends. But if 90% of new joiners who are assigned a mentor stay longer than those who were not assigned a mentor, that is a clear indicator of success.
Ensuring the long-term organisational data is collected over time is crucial to measuring the success of any mentoring programme.
A lot of mentoring programme engagement metrics, such as number of mentoring relationships and sessions, are difficult to have visibility over without mentoring software.
It would require the programme manager to follow up individually with participants to find out how often they are meeting. All it would take is for a few people to not respond, to throw the figures out and lose sight of the success of the programme.
A mentoring software or platform, like Guider, will automatically track these metrics, saving lots of time and resources. No spreadsheets needed.
Reporting success of a mentoring programme
The purpose of measuring mentoring programmes and collecting all of this data, is to report success and demonstrate the impact it's had.
It's also important to report this information in an accessible way. Sheets and sheets of data won't mean a lot to a senior manager who's had little involvement with the programme. Make sure to present this data in a way that's clear and digestible to show ROI.
Loop back to the top objectives of the programme in the first place, such as 'retain graduate talent', and use the survey and organisational data to demonstrate the results. This can obviously be done manually by assembling graphs and infographics, but is much quicker and easier with the use of a mentoring platform that does it for you.
Reporting will vary depending on the type of mentoring programme. Some have a set timeframe to reach a set objective, while others are ongoing as a permanent feature of the company culture. Consider how this will affect the frequency and detail of reporting when starting your mentoring programme.
In order to make mentoring a crucial part of any organisation, we need data to back it up and demonstrate the value.
Before running your next programme, make sure you know exactly how you will measure its success, or get in touch with Guider to find out how we can help 💡