How to Measure the Success of Corporate Mentorship Programs

Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
January 7, 2022

Measuring the success of employee mentorship programs is easy when there are clear objectives. But not all goals and measurements are created equally.

Effective mentorship programs exist in conjunction with a commitment to support employee development. These programs should be a reflection of an organization’s goals and built into company-wide efforts to improve employee engagement, promote career development, and increase retention.

In order to track the success of a corporate mentorship program, it’s critical for program managers to start by defining the overall purpose of the program by aligning it with your organization’s higher level objectives. Employee retention, promotion rates, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are three good places to start setting when outlining the program’s higher level goals. The ultimate purpose of every corporate mentorship program is to create impact at the organizational level, so it’s smart to set and track goals around these bigger-picture items.


Tracking the Organizational Impact of the Mentorship Program

Watch Employee Retention

As the Great Resignation unfolds, an organization’s corporate mentorship program could play a fundamental role in supporting employee retention. According to Ten Thousand Coffee's research, the COVID-19 pandemic has made employee connectivity more difficult, and 62% of employees will leave their companies for more mentorship, development, and connectivity opportunities.

To measure how the mentorship program impacts employee retention, compare turnover rates among program participants and non-participants. Dividing further by role is key, too, since sales reps and customer service reps might start with very different rates.

Keep Tabs On Promotion Rates

One of the overarching goals of many corporate mentorship programs is to accelerate advancement and cultivate internal leadership pools. Tracking promotion rates is a good way to see if a program is effectively achieving this end.

There are many ways to track promotion rates. They can be tracked by promotion rates as a whole, comparing the number of people in the company to the number of promotions over a given period of time. Or they can track the average time between promotions. With each of these different measurements, organizations can then track how many of the promotions come from people who are in the mentorship program.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all companies, role types and departments are the same when it comes to promotion rates. For instance, a sales team at a growing organization might have many more leadership opportunities available than a larger and more stable company with less internal mobility opportunities.

Measure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As DEI initiatives continue to top organizational priority lists, corporate mentorship programs are one of the most effective ways to support them.

A straightforward way to set and measure goals around DEI and mentorship is to track promotion rates, turnover, and survey responses among underrepresented employees who go through the mentorship program. Do people who go through the program receive promotions more quickly than those who don’t? Do participants report higher feelings of engagement and belonging? Ideally, mentorship will become a springboard for underrepresented employees to take leadership positions, and ideally they will go on to act as mentors themselves.

Measure Goals on Individual Professionals Levels

Setting and tracking goals for mentorship program participants provide fine-tooth insight into whether the program is working on an individual level. Are participants meeting their goals? Do they find it to be a good use of their time? Would they recommend it to others? To answer these questions, three areas to track are mentee progress, participant feedback, and program advocacy.

Track Mentee and Mentor Progress

One of the best indicators of success of a corporate mentorship program is that mentees are achieving their goals. Individual career development goals, in fact, should be at the heart of any mentorship program. That way, participants aren’t just meeting to share small talk; they’re working on getting mentees where they want to go. When designing your mentorship program, start by making sure all mentees can set goals at the beginning of the program and can track them throughout, ideally in a tech-enabled mentorship platform.

It’s a good idea to have mentees use a proven goal-setting method, such as SMART goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Sticking to this model makes it more likely that mentees will achieve their goals, and it makes it easier for program managers to track progress.

Here’s an example:
Non-SMART goal: “I want to become a more productive employee.”
SMART goal: “In the next three months, I want to complete my course in SQL.”

Beyond having mentees set goals, program managers should also have them submit goal reports at regular intervals throughout the program. Administrators can do this by sending out surveys on a monthly or quarterly basis (depending on the length of the program) that give mentees a chance to share their progress and achievements. If mentees are mostly hitting their goals, this as a sign of program success. If not, then it’s probably time to get some feedback and find out what isn’t working.

Monitor Program Advocacy

Monitoring program advocacy—program participants who promote the mentorship experience on their own—is another lens for measuring the program’s value and effectiveness. There are a few ways to track program advocacy.

The first way is to keep track of new program signups from both mentors and mentees. Are signups decreasing, staying the same, or steadily increasing? If signups are decreasing, dig into feedback surveys and find out what’s going wrong. If they’re steady or even increasing, it’s likely that the word-of-mouth reputation around the corporate mentorship program is positive—an indicator that the program is working.

Beyond this, organizations can also track how many new program signups come from referrals of people who’ve been through the program before. This information can be found by asking applicants in the program application what made them decide to sign up for the program and include “Referral” as one of the possible answers.

A final useful metric to track is the number of mentors and mentees chosen to participate in multiple rounds of the program. While people only participating in a single round doesn’t necessarily signal anything negative about the program, mentors and mentees consistently registering for additional rounds of participation is a positive sign.

Get a Tool that Powers Mentorship Programs

Effective mentorship programs are not built on good intentions alone. Clarifying their purpose, setting goals, and following them up with metrics are all indispensable steps, and getting a tool that supports these efforts can make all the difference.

At Ten Thousand Coffees, we’ve built a solution that helps manage corporate mentorship programs. In addition to pre-built templates, automated mentor-mentee pairing, and discussion guides, our platform helps HR managers track essential data in real-time. That means administrators can keep up with employee goals and progress, as well as collect feedback all in a single, simple, central location. To find out more, book a demo today.

Webinar

How to Measure the Success of Corporate Mentorship Programs

Measuring the success of employee mentorship programs is easy when there are clear objectives. But not all goals and measurements are created equally.

Effective mentorship programs exist in conjunction with a commitment to support employee development. These programs should be a reflection of an organization’s goals and built into company-wide efforts to improve employee engagement, promote career development, and increase retention.

In order to track the success of a corporate mentorship program, it’s critical for program managers to start by defining the overall purpose of the program by aligning it with your organization’s higher level objectives. Employee retention, promotion rates, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are three good places to start setting when outlining the program’s higher level goals. The ultimate purpose of every corporate mentorship program is to create impact at the organizational level, so it’s smart to set and track goals around these bigger-picture items.


Tracking the Organizational Impact of the Mentorship Program

Watch Employee Retention

As the Great Resignation unfolds, an organization’s corporate mentorship program could play a fundamental role in supporting employee retention. According to Ten Thousand Coffee's research, the COVID-19 pandemic has made employee connectivity more difficult, and 62% of employees will leave their companies for more mentorship, development, and connectivity opportunities.

To measure how the mentorship program impacts employee retention, compare turnover rates among program participants and non-participants. Dividing further by role is key, too, since sales reps and customer service reps might start with very different rates.

Keep Tabs On Promotion Rates

One of the overarching goals of many corporate mentorship programs is to accelerate advancement and cultivate internal leadership pools. Tracking promotion rates is a good way to see if a program is effectively achieving this end.

There are many ways to track promotion rates. They can be tracked by promotion rates as a whole, comparing the number of people in the company to the number of promotions over a given period of time. Or they can track the average time between promotions. With each of these different measurements, organizations can then track how many of the promotions come from people who are in the mentorship program.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all companies, role types and departments are the same when it comes to promotion rates. For instance, a sales team at a growing organization might have many more leadership opportunities available than a larger and more stable company with less internal mobility opportunities.

Measure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As DEI initiatives continue to top organizational priority lists, corporate mentorship programs are one of the most effective ways to support them.

A straightforward way to set and measure goals around DEI and mentorship is to track promotion rates, turnover, and survey responses among underrepresented employees who go through the mentorship program. Do people who go through the program receive promotions more quickly than those who don’t? Do participants report higher feelings of engagement and belonging? Ideally, mentorship will become a springboard for underrepresented employees to take leadership positions, and ideally they will go on to act as mentors themselves.

Measure Goals on Individual Professionals Levels

Setting and tracking goals for mentorship program participants provide fine-tooth insight into whether the program is working on an individual level. Are participants meeting their goals? Do they find it to be a good use of their time? Would they recommend it to others? To answer these questions, three areas to track are mentee progress, participant feedback, and program advocacy.

Track Mentee and Mentor Progress

One of the best indicators of success of a corporate mentorship program is that mentees are achieving their goals. Individual career development goals, in fact, should be at the heart of any mentorship program. That way, participants aren’t just meeting to share small talk; they’re working on getting mentees where they want to go. When designing your mentorship program, start by making sure all mentees can set goals at the beginning of the program and can track them throughout, ideally in a tech-enabled mentorship platform.

It’s a good idea to have mentees use a proven goal-setting method, such as SMART goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Sticking to this model makes it more likely that mentees will achieve their goals, and it makes it easier for program managers to track progress.

Here’s an example:
Non-SMART goal: “I want to become a more productive employee.”
SMART goal: “In the next three months, I want to complete my course in SQL.”

Beyond having mentees set goals, program managers should also have them submit goal reports at regular intervals throughout the program. Administrators can do this by sending out surveys on a monthly or quarterly basis (depending on the length of the program) that give mentees a chance to share their progress and achievements. If mentees are mostly hitting their goals, this as a sign of program success. If not, then it’s probably time to get some feedback and find out what isn’t working.

Monitor Program Advocacy

Monitoring program advocacy—program participants who promote the mentorship experience on their own—is another lens for measuring the program’s value and effectiveness. There are a few ways to track program advocacy.

The first way is to keep track of new program signups from both mentors and mentees. Are signups decreasing, staying the same, or steadily increasing? If signups are decreasing, dig into feedback surveys and find out what’s going wrong. If they’re steady or even increasing, it’s likely that the word-of-mouth reputation around the corporate mentorship program is positive—an indicator that the program is working.

Beyond this, organizations can also track how many new program signups come from referrals of people who’ve been through the program before. This information can be found by asking applicants in the program application what made them decide to sign up for the program and include “Referral” as one of the possible answers.

A final useful metric to track is the number of mentors and mentees chosen to participate in multiple rounds of the program. While people only participating in a single round doesn’t necessarily signal anything negative about the program, mentors and mentees consistently registering for additional rounds of participation is a positive sign.

Get a Tool that Powers Mentorship Programs

Effective mentorship programs are not built on good intentions alone. Clarifying their purpose, setting goals, and following them up with metrics are all indispensable steps, and getting a tool that supports these efforts can make all the difference.

At Ten Thousand Coffees, we’ve built a solution that helps manage corporate mentorship programs. In addition to pre-built templates, automated mentor-mentee pairing, and discussion guides, our platform helps HR managers track essential data in real-time. That means administrators can keep up with employee goals and progress, as well as collect feedback all in a single, simple, central location. To find out more, book a demo today.

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