- "Speed mentoring" can improve outcomes, according to a new report from Yale. Medical residents who participated in a program modeled after speed dating were more than twice as likely to produce research than their peers who received no such support, researchers found.
- The program, first adopted in 2011, pairs groups of interns with five different small faculty groups. Participants report that it has been particularly helpful, and the data seems to agree: For students who took part in the speed-mentoring program, the number of residents who went on to conduct research rose to 88%, up from 33% prior to the program.
- Not only did research increase, but the number of awards received increased from 4% to 32%, and publication rates rose from 4% to 22%.
It may be no surprise to HR and learning professionals that mentoring can improve outcomes, but rarely are there such measurable outcomes as seen with the Yale residents.
Power pairs can ensure that employees enjoy a personalized experience, with curriculum tailored to each mentee's needs. Reverse mentorships can be particularly useful for employers with an aging workforce, providing an avenue to get seasoned employees up to speed on new tech and strategies.
Mentorships also sometimes focus on women and minorities. While some employers struggle with diversity and inclusion efforts, these groups also report difficulty finding advocates to help their upward mobility. Formal mentorships can help, but must be implemented carefully to avoid sending the wrong message.
Managers, too, report a need for guidance. Leadership training is important, but mentorships can provide ongoing support, not only for when supervisors are faced with challenging situations, but also for when it's smooth sailing.
Regardless of aim or format, mentoring programs are generally thought to boost engagement and retention rates. As a result, employers are increasingly integrating such programs into their strategic goals and, like Yale, measuring for ROI.