At Together, we're often asked by HR and L&D professionals for the best way to measure the ROI of mentorship. It's a question we love to answer.
In fact, there are actually several ways to calculate the ROI of mentorship. Here are the most common:
- Document any raises or the promotion rate of employees who participated in your program
- Track productivity changes among employees with mentors
- Record any changes in employee engagement or retention rates among participants
Regarding mentorship’s impact on promotion rates and productivity, our CEO, Matthew Reeves, outlines the step-by-step process in a Forbes article. If you follow those steps, you’ll have a strong business case that shows your program’s impact.
In this article, however, we’re going to show how you can calculate mentorship’s impact on employee retention and engagement.
Our mentorship platform gives you the reporting tools you need to make this analysis.
Let's dive in!
A snapshot of Together’s reporting suite
As you might know, our platform was designed to help mentors and mentees get the most out of their relationships and give administrators like yourself the insight needed to run successful mentoring programs. A significant part of making your program a success is reporting.
Over on the Together reporting suite, we track a lot of things automatically, but to make it digestible, we categorize them into four reports:
The platform begins collecting data from the moment you invite users to register. A report is automatically generated to relay the number of mentors and mentees, how many mentees each mentor can reasonably handle, registration numbers by day, and any feedback from the registration questions.
The overview section of the reporting dashboard. This is just a snapshot of what you’ll find here.
After mentors and mentees are matched and have had an introductory session, our platform will ask them to indicate how satisfied (or dissatisfied) they are with their pairings. You'll get a report on how many pairs are happy and how many need reshuffling – which indicates whether your algorithm is working properly or needs a tweak. Additionally, we’ll also give you an overview of how many participants are paired.
The overview section of the pairing dashboard. This is just a snapshot of what you’ll find here.
In terms of the actual sessions completed, there are two main metrics Together measures:
- the number of completed sessions over time, and
- how many sessions are completed vs scheduled.
The report will also show granular feedback from participants. Interestingly, we also highlight the mentors that have dedicated the most time to mentoring. This is a great way to find who you should recognize in your program.
The session dashboard provides granular details on session feedback and activity.
Skill and goal registration
All participants are asked to list their goals and skillsets when registering for the platform; for instance, a mentor might indicate proficiency in people skills, while a mentee could express interest in developing IT skills. You'll then be able to see how many mentors are capable of covering each skill level and how many mentees they each need to take on.
The skill and goal report provides an overview of what mentors and mentees want out of the program, the skills they want to grow and what they have to offer.
Together’s reporting dashboard gives you a lot of helpful information to determine the success of your program.
But how can you use this information to calculate employee engagement and retention? Let’s look at each of these specifically.
1. How to compare employee engagement among employees with and without mentors
The trick when measuring employee engagement is to draw a comparison between mentors and non-mentors. There are several ways to do this, but the most effective is probably to create a survey that asks questions about job satisfaction, motivation levels, and so on.
Throughout each stage of the mentoring program, you can use Together to collect feedback. Use registration questionnaires, post-session feedback forms, periodic surveys, and pairing ratings to see exactly how your mentorship program is performing.
Target your questions specifically toward engagement levels: how motivated are mentors and mentees to pursue their goals? How satisfied are they with the progress made so far? How invested are they in the company's mission?
To measure the difference in engagement, you need to ask the exact same set of questions to employees without mentors over the same period of time. This will provide you with a benchmark to compare against and allow you to judge how much more engaged employees with mentors actually are.
2. How to compare employee retention among employees with and without mentors
Where engagement is more of a qualitative measurement, retention is something you can actually put a number on; it's about the number of employees that stay with the company for an extended period of time. Don't worry – the calculation is quite simple.
The basic calculation is as follows:
# of individual employees who remained employed for entire measurement period / # of employees at start of measurement period) x 100
Let's look at an example and go through the calculation. Say you have 10 employees at the start of your measurement period, and at the end of it, 8 are still employed with the company. Here's how you'd find the retention rate:
- Take the number of employees still hired at the beginning of your measurement timeline – in this case, 10.
- See how many employees are left at the end of the measurement timeline – in this case, 8.
- Divide those two numbers: 8/10 = 0.8
- Multiply that number by 100 to get your retention rate: 80%.
In order to compare employee retention between mentors and non-mentors, you can either separate your workforce into a mentorship group and a controlled group, or you can include everyone in the program and see if your average retention rate increases beyond your company's historical average.
If you want to go even further and use this retention figure to calculate ROI on your mentorship program, you can do that, too:
- Find the % decrease in turnover since beginning your program. For instance – if your retention rate is 80% now, and it was 70% before you began your program, that's a 10% decrease in turnover.
- Retrieve the number of mentorship participants from the Together reporting suite (e.g. 200 employees),
- Calculate how many employees were retained by multiplying 10% by 200 employees = 20 employees retained.
- Find the cost of hiring and training new employees. Include the salaries of recruiters, HR personnel, and managers involved in hiring; the cost of job postings; and any other expenses associated with onboarding a new employee (e.g. $85,000 per employee).
- Multiply this number by the number of employees retained (20) = $1,700,000.
- Subtract this from the cost of the mentorship program (let's say it is $25,000). The remaining figure is your ROI: $1,675,000.
As you can see, the calculations are quite straightforward and well worth the time it takes to ring them up. A great ROI isn’t just a confidence boost; it gives you the power to sell your mentorship plan to higher-ups, and it helps you make vital improvements to the program.
At Together, we worked with Randstad – a Dutch multinational human resource consulting firm – to significantly improve their retention rates (and therefore their ROI). We found that Randstad's employees were an astounding 51 percent more likely to stay with the company whilst being mentored via the Together platform and pairing algorithm.
"Our people are finding the program incredibly valuable and are excited to be learning from other employees through mentorship." - Katie, L&D Professional at Randstad
Ready to start your mentoring program?
Measuring the success of your mentorship program is an important part of managing it. Once you begin to collect data, you can track employee engagement and retention over time and see where improvements are needed.
At Together, we make measuring ROI easy with our built-in reporting suite – allowing you to compare both mentor and non-mentor employees on a range of metrics that focus on employee satisfaction. With this information in hand, you'll be able to make better decisions about how to improve your program, as well as understand exactly how valuable it is for your company's bottom line.
Ready to get started? Connect with an Account Executive to learn more about Together. Better engagement and retention metrics are well within reach!