The Impact of Mentoring in the Workplace

By EverwiseApril 16, 2015

The individual benefits of mentoring for both protégés and mentors are well known. We’ve also looked at why it’s important for organizations. But what about the impact to the economy as a whole?

Research has shown that people who are mentored tend to gain more promotions and earn more money than those who aren’t. But quantifying the overall economic impact of mentoring isn’t easy. Here are a few of the best recent attempts.

Youth Mentoring

The economic impact of youth mentoring can be quantified by looking at outcomes. According to a report by MENTOR, young people who’ve been mentored are more likely to go to college, hold leadership positions, volunteer in their local community, and a whole range of other things that tend to make them greater economic contributors in adulthood.

Here’s a summary of the findings:


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The full report states that “young adults who are not connected cost society $93 billion annually in lost wages, taxes, and social services. On the other hand, recent data show that every dollar invested in quality youth mentoring programs yields a $3 return in benefits.”

Another attempt to quantify the benefits of youth mentoring comes from Big Brothers Big Sisters, which bases its estimates on the ability of mentors to keep students in school, making them more productive members of society later on. It cites an estimate by the Alliance for Excellent Education that the economic benefit of achieving a 50% reduction in student drop outs in the 50 largest metro areas is more than $13 billion.

Business Mentoring

But what about mentoring of adults?

One study in Canada recently focused on the mentoring of skilled immigrants, and found that protégés “had significantly improved employment outcomes, earning trajectories and shorter times to find employment. Some highlights:

  • A year after the start of their mentoring relationship, unemployment dropped from 73% to 19%
  • 71% of protégés were employed in their field, compared to 27% pre-mentoring
  • Average full-time earnings increased by more than 60% from $36,905 to $59,944

Software company Sage studied 11,000 small and medium sized businesses in 17 countries, and found a ‘mentoring gap’, with 93% of respondents saying mentors could help them succeed, but only 28% actually using a business mentor.

Sage cited other research from the UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Federation of Small Businesses:

  • Nearly twice as many mentored businesses reported an increase in revenue than non-mentored counterparts.
  • Twice as many mentored businesses than non-mentored businesses had hired more staff.
  • 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate of non-mentored entrepreneurs.

This led them to conclude that closing the ‘mentoring gap’ would have a multi-million pound impact on the UK economy.

“Businesses that do not have access to, or choose not to make use of business mentoring are at a disadvantage,” said Sage Group CMO, Amanda Jobbins. “In our information rich age it can be difficult to know if you are doing the right thing. Mentors can play a big role in helping young businesses to navigate the sea of advice on offer.”



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