Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Are there cost-benefits for Colleges and Universities who mentor/coach their staff?

Are there cost-benefits for Colleges and Universities who mentor/coach their staff?

Mentoring has many benefits for organisations. Head of coaching at KPMG Bridget Allen, said: ‘KPMG is a highly successful commercial organisation and does not adopt strategies and actions lightly…while we may not measure the benefits of the coaching culture on a scientific basis…we wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work’ (ACCA 2009).

In fact, there are potential costs to institutions who do not mentor or coach their staff.
A 2014 report by Oxford Economics (cited in HR Review February 2015) revealed that replacing a member of staff incurs significant costs for employers: £30,614 per employee. 

There are two main factors that make up this cost:
1.     The Cost of Lost Output while a replacement employee gets up to speed i.e. until they reach their ‘Optimum Productivity Level’. On average, workers take 28 weeks to reach optimum productivity - which has an attached cost of £25,181 per employee.

2.     The Logistical Cost of recruiting and absorbing a new worker, which engenders expenditure, such as advertising costs and agency fees, as well as invested time, such as interviewing prospective candidates. On average businesses spend £5,433 on logistical costs, with the following factors contributing:
·         Hiring temporary workers before the replacement starts: £3,618
·         Management time spent interviewing candidates: £767
·         Recruitment agency fees: £454
·         Advertising the new role: £398
·         HR time spent processing replacement: £196
·         In addition, new lecturers undertake a CertEd/PGCE or PG Certificate in HE (e.g. 3 modules @£850 each = £2,550)

Potential Mentoring/Coaching Costs
1.     Mentor or coaching training @ £850 per full course (£100 per half-day course);
2.     Time for evaluation;
3.     Mentors’ or coaches’ hours e.g. 12 hours a year.

Approx. hourly cost to institution
Mentoring cost per mentee
£30 x 12
Senior Lecturers
£36 x 12
Principal Lecturers
£42 x 12
Part Time Visiting Lecturers
£26 x 12

Cost of mentoring 60 new members of staff in 2014-15
Using 60 Senior Lecturers
Cost of mentoring 60 new members of staff in 2014-15
Using 60 Principal Lecturers
Cost of mentoring 120 members of staff

Cost of full-course training for 120 individual mentors

Total cost of training and mentoring

Cost of replacing 120 members of staff


In his book, Everyone Needs a Mentor (2014 p.84) Professor David Clutterbuck devises useful measurement categories for mentoring and coaching, which could be adapted for individual programmes:
Programme Process
Programme outcome/goals
·         How often do they meet e.g. one hour a month for 12 months?
·         What phase have they reached in the relationship?
·         Are people networking more?
·         Is there clear evidence of progress towards diversity objectives?
·         Is retention for mentees higher than for non-mentored peers?
·         Do we have a clearer idea of who our emerging talent is?
Relationship process
Relationship outcomes
·         Do they trust each other/work together well?
·         Are they dealing with real issues?
·         Are they enjoying mentoring?
·         Has significant learning taken place?
·         Has the mentee gained in competence in an area they wanted to work on?
·         Does the mentee have a clearer personal development plan?

How easy is it to measure the impact of mentoring?
As part of a research project, (Eliahoo 2011) I asked mentors to identify the types of evidence they might use to measure the impact of their coaching or mentoring. Although this was not a straightforward process, the mentors said that they had used the following:
·         Students’ success and achievement rates;
·         Staff retention
·         Staff Engagement Survey
·         Student retention
·         Student attendance
·         Staff appraisals
·         Moving from apprentice lecturer to full teaching role (i.e. no shouting at students as in professional kitchens or on building sites)
·         Reduction in TTT
·         Results of online tests as part of unit assessment
·         Breadth of teaching (e.g. start with level 1 students then take on level 2 and 3 over time)
·         NSS scores
·         Student evaluation comments
·         Easier moderation of assessment and marking
·         Improved student behaviour.

If the cost of training and providing timetabled hours for 120 members of staff to be mentored is £107,610, but the cost of replacing 120 members of staff is £3,673,680, what would you do?
©Rebecca Eliahoo 2015

ACCA (2009) The coaching and mentoring revolution – is it working? Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Clutterbuck, D. (2014) Everyone Needs a Mentor London: CIPD

Human Resources Review February 2015

Eliahoo, R. (2011) ‘Dilemmas in measuring the impact of subject-specific mentoring on mentees learners in the Lifelong Learning Sector’, Practitioner Research in HE, July 2011 issue

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