In the course of our work here at Mentor Resources, we interact with several hundred companies a year helping them investigate, evaluate and start mentoring programs.
During those interactions, this question arises:
Is mentoring cost effective? It’s going to help our people grow and learn, but outside training will do that. Is mentoring as effective as bringing outside experts? After all, these people are well known and respected for having specific knowledge in a targeted area.
Here’s the truth - mentoring is both more effective than traditional training – and more cost effective than traditional training.
I’ve been involved in training for most of my life, and I’ve delivered training to some of the biggest and best companies in the world – all over the world – and helped a lot of folks.
But there are some drawbacks to training, even very-good, world-class training, that mentoring addresses. When you bring in an expert - they obviously know their stuff, but they don’t know your stuff. The good ones do their homework, but it’s not the same as knowing your business inside out the way your own people do.
Also, when you bring this expert in, they are with you for a limited period of time – often only a day or two. The truth is, people don’t change quickly. Change isn’t easy – learning new skills isn’t easy. If you could change behavior in one exposure – my golf game would be better! My experience has been – it doesn’t matter how good the teacher is – or how solid the material they’re presenting, one-time exposure isn’t enough.
In a mentoring program, on the other hand, the mentee has an ongoing one-on-one relationship with a mentor who has the specific knowledge they need – with access to that person for an extended period of time. Enough time to change. To absorb, to learn – to grow into new skills and understandings and awareness. To develop business judgment . And that’s key. You can’t develop judgment in business school. The perfect place to develop it is with a mentor.
So, is mentoring cost effective? Yes!
It’s not only more cost effective, with a quality mentoring program, you have specific learning and behavior change taking place over time. And as to your budget, it takes place for a fraction of what it costs to bringing in world class experts to train your people.
We are currently offering free webinars on establishing and expanding mentoring mentoring progams - in Corporate, Non-profit and Government settings.