Are you keen to invest in mentoring in your organisation but not sure what evidence or research is available on the return on investment you can hope for?
If so, you’re not alone. In my experience, most leaders and HR professionals instinctively know the value that mentoring can bring to employees, managers and their organisation. But they also know they need the data to back that up if they’re going to win the support of senior management.
That’s probably one reason I get several emails asking if I can signpost them to the evidence that a mentor can bring value to an organisation.
In this post, I’m going to signpost it for you too.
What is the value that mentoring brings to organisations?
1. Employees are looking for career development
As we come out of recession, employees are thinking about their opportunities to progress and develop. Data from the CIPD’s Employee Outlook Survey highlights that 22% of employees are looking for a new job. Other research shows that “lack of opportunity” was the main reason for individuals to leave organisations over the past twelve months.
2. Employees would like to be mentored
Recent research by Penna has found that 20% of employees are not currently working with a mentor – but would like to. The research also found that a further 40 per cent of employees have never had the opportunity to be a mentor or mentee.
3. Mentoring provides opportunities for learning and development
A comprehensive study in 2006 by Gartner revealed the following benefits of mentoring
- 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring programme had a salary grade change, while only 5% of workers who did not take part in a mentoring programme had a change
- Mentors were promoted 6 times more often than those not in a mentoring programme
- Mentees were promoted 5 times more often than those not in a mentoring programme
- Retention rates also were higher for both mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than for employees who did not engage in a mentoring programme
Other research supports these findings with mentees reporting higher career satisfaction, career commitment, career mobility, and positive job attitudes
4. Mentoring benefits the organisation
Mentoring also benefits the organisation by reducing turnover, increasing organisational commitment, promoting knowledge sharing and retention, and enabling early identification of top talent. Most executives who have had a mentor say it played a key role in their personal career success. For that reason, organisations consider mentoring a best practice in developing high potentials.
5. The world’s most successful organisations have mentoring programmes
This evidence explains why 92% of Fortune 500 companies have a mentoring programme
They recognise the learning and development that leaders can gain through such relationships is difficult to gain through other methods such as training classes, seminars, and books.
Mentoring helps both mentor and mentee to gain new skills and develop within the organisation. It can play an invaluable role in keeping and developing your current and future leaders.
You may be wondering which of these 5 points is most convincing? All organisations are different, and your most persuasive case will depend on your organisational challenges right now. But I’ve found the evidence that hits home most often is the impact on retention and promotion from within.
What other evidence would you put forward? Please let me know and I’ll add it to the blog.