Articles

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

July 22, 2011
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.

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