Archive for October, 2012

How One Company Used Mentoring to Improve Time-to-Productivity for a Critical Role

Posted on: October 24th, 2012 by Mentoring Talent presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

According to a recent Monster.com survey, it takes 6.2 months on average for new managers to become productive enough to be considered profitable investments for the company. During that time period, new managers are actually expenses rather than valuable investments. Likewise, for any role – particularly those that are highly technical or specialized in responsibility – there is a learning curve that new hires must surpass before they are fully productive.

So how can you ramp up new hires to be productive for your company more quickly? How can you shorten a new hire’s learning curve? And most importantly – how can you measure the results?

Judy Corner, Director of Mentoring Solutions at Insala, shares her experiences working with one company’s new hire productivity challenges – and describes how implementing a targeted mentoring strategy resulted in shortening the new hire learning curve and reducing time-to-productivity.

Company Challenge: The company took too much time to bring new hires up to speed within a challenging and highly technical sales role. It took approximately 13 weeks for sales representatives to get completely up-to-speed. An expedited and more targeted onboarding strategy was needed to shorten the time-to-productivity while accelerating new hire development.

Mentoring Solution: We assisted the company with deploying a skill/competency assessment to determine the exact benchmark knowledge level of each new hire or mentee. New hires then were able to set individual goals relating to their specific needs for their new position. Next, we helped the company ensure mentors were qualified using criteria that determined expertise in new hires’ specific areas of need. Finally, we facilitated a matching process that paired each new hire or mentee with a mentor based on compatibility between their needs and the mentor’s area of expertise.

Business Result: Through the targeted mentoring program, the company reduced time-to-productivity for new hires in this technical sales role from 13 weeks to 6 weeks. That constituted a 57% improvement in time-to-productivity using a strategic mentoring program, and a significant return on investment.
If you’d like to accelerate the new hire onboarding process and boost time-to-productivity for a critical role in your company, formal, structured mentoring can be a practical and effective solution. Insala provides mentoring training, customized consulting workshops, and mentoring software to help you implement best-practice mentoring programs with measurable results.

The Added Value of Mentoring Software

In particular, the use of technology plays a major role in properly managing a mentoring program in support of onboarding. An online mentoring solution enables you to document and manage the competencies a company values in its employees and uses those competencies as benchmarks for new hire development. It also provides calculated pairing for better mentor/mentee matches based on skill assessments, competencies, expertise and experience.

The ability to track and measure the success of a mentoring program for onboarding is critical. With all new hire and mentor data residing in one online solution, companies can run customizable easily accessible standard reports on:

  • Goals and objectives set
  • Progress toward goals and objectives
  • Time spent in mentoring activities
  • Participation and engagement activities.

Online mentoring software solutions, such as those offered by Insala, allow you and your team to properly manage and measure mentoring programs in support of the efficient and effective onboarding new hires for maximum ROI.

What is Mentoring Today, and How is it Being Used Strategically within An Organization?

Posted on: October 10th, 2012 by Mentoring Talent presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Mentoring, in one form or another, has been around for ages and much talk has been generated about mentoring in the workplace as a way to develop talent. If you are considering a corporate mentoring program or have been charged with the task of investigating mentoring, then clarifying some basic concepts and seeing what’s new in the industry can be helpful.

So what does mentoring look like today? What are some of the trends in mentoring in today’s workforce and how can they shape your vision of a mentoring program at your company? Here, we’ll share information that will hopefully get you jump-started on your journey.

What does Mentoring look like today?

For many organizations, mentoring has evolved into a more formal process. “Formal mentoring” programs can consist of several structured components, including training for participants and the selection/training of a program manager. It tends to be tied to critical business objectives with specific goals and success metrics that can be reported on and measured. Mentor and mentee matches are not just made by similarity or attraction, but on developmental goals of the mentees. And mentoring partnerships can have defined timelines especially when mentoring it used to address a specific skills gap or in the onboarding process. In addition, mentoring has evolved into less of a hierarchical relationship and more of an equal partnership where both mentor and mentee benefit and learn from the partnership.
New ways to mentor have evolved:

  • Reverse mentoring is a senior employee being mentored by a more junior employee typically to fill a specific skill gap. Inevitably the junior employee benefits from the partnership based just on the exposure to the senior employee and the opportunity to approach the senior employee with questions and/or advice.
  • Team mentoring happens when whole teams experience mentoring from a senior manager. It could be to assist them with specific project based work or skill based assignments that pertain to their job requirements.
  • Group mentoring can pertain to groups either from one company within different departments or employees from the same department.
  • Distance mentoring can pertain to individuals matched in different locations but that have background that pertain the mentees development needs. They may communicate by either instant messaging, email or phone depending on what is most convenient or appropriate for the individuals in the partnership.

What companies are finding is that mentoring is a cost-effective employee development tool compared to traditional training programs.

What Objectives Can Mentoring Accomplish?

Mentoring is used satisfy a variety of business objectives today:

  • Promoting effective on-boarding – helping new employee adjust to new corporate culture.
  • Enhance diversity initiatives
  • Improve employee engagement and retention
  • Career development
  • Targeted skill and leadership development tool
  • Address a critical skills gap
  • Create a true “Learning Organization”

Added Value of Technology

The use of online mentoring software, such as those offered by Insala, provides companies with many advantages and cost-savings by automating the administrative process and offering independent accessibility to supporting resources, applications and assessment tools online. An online mentoring software solution automates the matching and pairing process, integrates training and support content and conducts real-time tracking and reporting of a mentoring program’s success.

While mentoring may take different forms, as an organization you can decide what will satisfy your company’s specific business objectives, and implement with the assistance of a mentoring software solutions provider if the need is determined.