Senior managers are not tech sway, and require reverse mentoring by younger employees who have grown up on computers. Analysis: In traditional mentoring, a seasoned executive might Impart his wisdom on a young up-and-comer about career development or leadership.
However, a growing phenomenon called reverse mentoring (or reciprocal mentoring) gives entry level, often tech savvy employees the chance to school senior executives about business Interests, such as trends In social media, consumer culture, and unconventional ethos to boost office morale.
A primary characteristic of the younger employee is a desire to be included and treated respectfully. Young workers want access to executives and choose work environments where they can build something with them. Embracing the younger employee fulfills those needs and can help older staff adjust at the same time. An effective reverse mentoring program is a “win-win”.
The minute gains valuable insights in areas of expertise that may be unattainable otherwise.
The mentor realizes direct fulfillment by working with someone higher in the organization and roving a learning opportunity that increases chances of exposure within the company for the mentor. Reasons to consider reverse mentoring: Can help you better relate to your employees. Younger employees may be better engaged with technology and applications that can drive business forward. If the industry is going through a lot of change, graduates are a good source of knowledge as they have studied these changes In school.
Can help build cross-generational knowledge for business and Identify key Individuals for future roles. Recommendations: Set It up so that It Is win-win. There could be tension where the senior manager feels they know more because they have been around longer and the younger employee may feel Intimidated by the senior manager. O Make It about more than Just technology; Identify other areas that may be explored. Create a sense of safety and a sense of sharing.
Not only will the younger employees be mentoring the senior manager in technological aspects, done the way they are.
All levels of leadership (right up to the executives) must buy-in to the process and participate. O When the executives are involved and enjoying the experience, their feedback to the rest of the organization will help to back up the benefits of the process. Develop a structured program, set goals, objectives and ground rules. O Assign members or let members find someone they feel comfortable with, but avoid subordinate/manager relationships.
The best value will come from pairing individuals who are not directly linked in the organization; it will ensure more openness and less stress and will increase the likelihood of success. O The younger employees must have the patience and temperament to work with he senior managers, a screen process and training should be put into place to show what is important and how to show patience.
O Members must understand the importance of the program and block time to spend with each other so they do not miss those sessions due to busy schedules. Solicit feedback from members, identify strengths of the program and build on them, more importantly identify the weaknesses and make the necessary changes to continue successfully. Utilize successful techniques from traditional mentor programs. O There should be a shared dialogue, shared learning and the goal of bettering both members in the long all. O A successful mentoring program is not a mentor sitting on one end of the table talking while the minute takes notes unquestioningly. Report on success o Like any successful program, it will be important to report the success through company communications and other mediums as necessary.