When I speak to a prospective client, the issue of return on investment (ROI) often comes up. What people generally are asking is: ”What do you have to justify that mentoring is a wise business investment so that I can present this to senior management?"
The case for mentoring is largely anecdotal (people reporting on their experience); however, there are resources that are available for those seeking more "objective" criteria.
So let's start off with the easy part.
The following cover the gamut from serious research, theories and case studies. The Gartner study is one of the more comprehensive studies that measured salary increases, etc. in a corporate setting.
- The Handbook of Mentoring At Work edited by Ragins and Kram
- Gartner study on Mentoring at Sun Microsystems
- American Sociological Association on Diversity Management in Corporate America
- The Mentoring Complete's website
For me, though, the more important measurement is how people report about their experiences with mentoring and how this transforms their approach to their work and to their life. What dollar value would your company put on statements such as these made by mentorees:
- "My mentor helped me gain self-confidence that made me much more effective in managing my employees."
- "I would not be here today were it not for my mentor. I had become very frustrated with my job and the organization and my mentor helped me to look at things differently and how I could make changes to enjoy my work more."
- "I am so grateful for this company for having provided me with this really amazing relationship. It's wonderful how the mentoring experience can transform you."
- "I love the company but thought that my career here had reached its peak. My mentor ignited a fire under me to see new opportunities and map out a plan to apply for those opportunities in the future."
Future Mentoring ROI
Another ROI in mentoring is that once someone has been mentored, they tend to mentor others so that your ROI keeps on growing long after you've implemented your program.
Cost To Replace An Employee
I recently saw a statistic that said that replacing an employee costs about $22,000. In at least one of the statements above, an employee was retained and the company saved that $22,000.
Some great resources on the cost of losing employees:
So certainly do your homework on researching mentoring ROI, but be sure to include the anecdotal, which, in my view, can be more powerful and more persuasive than the written and statistical research.
Ml12nan | Dreamstime.com