Treatment and Selection Effects of Formal Workplace Mentorship Programs

93 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2021 Last revised: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Jason Sandvik

Jason Sandvik

University of Utah

Richard E. Saouma

Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

Nathan Seegert

University of Utah - Department of Finance

Christopher Stanton

Harvard University - Business School (HBS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2021

Abstract

While formal mentorship programs are ubiquitous, less is known about who gains from receiving mentorship. In this paper, we report the outcome of a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) carried out in a US-based inbound sales call center where one branch of the experiment assigned a random subset of new hires to mentors (Broad-Mentoring), whereas a second branch (Selective-Mentoring) gave new hires the opportunity to opt into a mentoring relationship before assigning a random subset to mentors. In the Broad-Mentoring branch, mentored sales agents outperformed non-mentored agents by over 18% in the first six months on the job. Among agents who opt into the program in the Selective-Mentoring branch, those who received mentorship had negligible performance gains. The differences between the two branches indicates that formal mentorship program treatment effects are largest for workers who would otherwise opt out of these programs. Demographic and personality characteristics are relatively weak predictors of selection into the program, suggesting broad-based programs are likely more effective than alternative targeting rules.

Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.

Suggested Citation

Sandvik, Jason and Saouma, Richard E. and Seegert, Nathan and Stanton, Christopher, Treatment and Selection Effects of Formal Workplace Mentorship Programs (August 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3913821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3913821

Jason Sandvik (Contact Author)

University of Utah ( email )

Richard E. Saouma

Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

Nathan Seegert

University of Utah - Department of Finance ( email )

David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

Christopher Stanton

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
2
Abstract Views
68
PlumX Metrics