When you implement a new system or embark on a project, how important is it to track success? (Hint: very).
The same holds true for mentoring. Whether you are a mentor or a mentee, tracking progress and outcomes is essential for success. And that's where the need for a mentor tracking system comes in.
A mentor tracking system allows mentors and mentees to keep track of their progress over time, evaluate successes and failures, set goals and milestones, create accountability measures, measure impact on both parties involved in the relationship, improve communication between them – and ultimately build better relationships.
Let's take a closer look at how to build an effective mentor-tracking system that can help foster successful mentorship.
What is a mentor tracking system?
It doesn't always occur to CEOs to track the progress of a mentorship relationship, at least not in the same way they would other initiatives within their organization.
Perhaps this is because mentorship is one of the more relational initiatives within a company. It's also more qualitative than quantitative; for instance, sales figures are easy to measure and track, but how do you quantify the impact of a mentor-mentee relationship?
That's where a mentor tracking system comes in. These systems are typically dashboards designed and built to capture, store, and present information related to the mentor-mentee relationship.
A tracking system allows mentors and mentees to monitor the progress of their relationship over time, evaluate successes and failures, set goals and milestones, create accountability measures, measure impact on both parties involved in the relationship – and ultimately build better relationships.
Why is it important to track your mentoring program?
Few people disagree with the value of mentorship. It's a tried-and-tested way of helping people achieve their goals and develop leadership skills.
Even so, your higher-ups aren't going to invest their time and money into a mentoring program unless you can show them results (building a business case for mentorship is an entirely different can of worms you can learn about in our guide).
A mentor tracking system equips you to deliver evidence-based ROI data to stakeholders. You can show leaders how many mentees have achieved their goals, how many skills they've picked up, and how supported they felt throughout the process.
What's measured in a mentor tracking system?
The metrics for mentorship aren't immediately obvious. Believe it or not, you can put a number on mentorship success. Here are a few key metrics to consider when building your mentor tracking system:
1. Registration process
The first step in a mentorship program is the registration process. All mentors and mentees register their profiles on the platforms and enter their goals, demographics, skills, and experience.
By tracking the registration process, you can measure a few key metrics:
- The number of mentors and mentees involved. Demonstrate to stakeholders that your team is taking the program seriously, and that you've managed to get people on board.
- Mentor capacity (how many mentees all the mentors said they could take on). This helps you to ensure the program is sustainable and mentors aren't taking on too much.
- Profile breakdowns. Categorize the answers to questions like job title and industry to give stakeholders an idea of the makeup of your mentorship program.
If you're still figuring out how to construct an onboarding questionnaire, we've got a helpful guide here.
2. Pairing reports
Depending on the mentorship platform you use, you may be able to generate reports on the mentor-mentee pairs within your program.
Reports like this are highly valuable; you'll be able to see the following:
- Active, pending, and past pairings. From here, you can see how long matches have been active – which is a great indicator of mentor longevity.
- The most common matching reasons. Knowing the reasons why people have been paired can be helpful for future recruitment.
- Percent of participants paired. Have you successfully matched everyone? How many are still looking for a mentor? It's crucial to know this so you can proactively match people up and ensure no one is left out.
- Total matches made over time. Here you can keep track of how the program grows, whether it declines at any point, and what percent of the company has taken part.
- Number of introductory mentoring sessions completed. The number of participants is only valid if they're actually engaging in the program. Tracking introductory sessions helps you make sure that everyone is being proactive and getting involved.
- Mentor-mentee pairing satisfaction. How do your participants feel about the suitability of their matches? Are they achieving their goals in the program? You can get a better sense of how your mentorship program is faring by tracking this metric.
These metrics are useful for stakeholders, of course, but they're also great for program managers. You'll be able to make better decisions, create more effective strategies, and optimize the mentorship experience.
3. Session monitoring
The best mentorship platforms monitor not just participant profiles but also the sessions themselves. This means you can track the following:
- Sessions completed. Find out how often pairs actually meet and, therefore, how much value they are getting from the program.
- Average mentor and mentee ratings. Perhaps your mentorship platform has the ability to collect performance ratings, like ours. In that case, you can use the average ratings to see how satisfied participants are with their mentor or mentee.
- Participant feedback. Any qualitative feedback is great for understanding how the program is doing. For instance, have you collected any reviews or comments? Those are invaluable for making improvements.
- Total hours spent mentoring. You can measure the impact of your mentoring program by tracking the amount of time mentors and mentees spend together.
- Top participants by mentoring hours. When you know who's spending the most time in mentorship, you can analyze their approach and pass on the knowledge to others.
You might track other session-related metrics, like the number of sessions per mentor or average session length. The key is to make sure you're getting an accurate picture of your program and its effect on participants.
4. Skill and goal attainment
When participants first join your program, they should always be required to share their goal and skill aspirations. How do they aim to grow over the course of the program? What, in particular, do they need help with? Collecting this information from the get-go sets you up to track progress and success metrics, like:
- A breakdown of the goals and skills that mentors and mentees indicated they wanted to develop or help develop during registration.
- Insight into how mentees self-assessed their skill and goal competencies at the beginning of their pairing. At the end of the paring, they can re-assess their skills and goals, after which you can clearly see how far they've come.
- How many sessions were dedicated to each goal or skill topic based on feedback from mentors and mentees.
If you can clearly demonstrate to stakeholders that mentees actually grew in their skills and goals, then you know your program is really making a difference – and you'll be more likely to get buy-in.
How do I know if each mentoring relationship is a success?
No matter how advanced your platform is, you can't "set it and forget it" when running a mentorship program. You have to keep your eyes on the prize: that is, a successful pairing between two participants. And you can't do that without monitoring certain metrics.
On our platform, for instance, you can access the Together Health Monitor. It'll alert you when one or both of these two things happen:
- A mentoring relationship receives a low feedback rating, or
- A participant goes for a prolonged period of time without getting a match.
It's indicators like these that tell you when a pairing isn't working. Keep in mind that you can set up your own criteria for determining success.
Maybe if both participants rate their mentor or mentee highly, or have completed a certain number of sessions together, then they're considered successful. Figure out what works best for your program and use the metrics above to track it.
Start your mentoring program today with Together
There's no rule that says you must track metrics to run a successful mentorship program – but it certainly helps.
How can you tell whether your program is truly successful if you don't have any solid data to back it up? Metrics give you a leg to stand on when you're pitching to stakeholders, and they reveal key insights into what's working and what could be improved.
If you're ready to start your own program, let us help you get it off the ground with Together. Our platform is designed for easy setup, integration of metrics, and ongoing mentor tracking, allowing you to ensure that each mentoring relationship is a success.
Contact us today to learn more about Together and start tracking your mentors! It’s as simple as booking a demo – no strings attached.