In a world that is now arguably dominated by the digital arena, it can be a struggle for older generations in the workforce to keep up, particularly with younger generations entering the workplace already well versed in digital marketing, social media and more. Rather than the traditional mentoring of seniors tutoring the younger intake, there is the opportunity for businesses to foster a more inclusive environment through reverse mentoring.
What is reverse mentoring?
It is fairly self-explanatory: reverse mentoring involves a two-way approach to training new staff. Not only do junior workers learn but also they teach. This has become more of a pressing need as companies worldwide are increasingly receptive to modern technology as a driving force.
Extending this openness to senior staff who perhaps have a generational gap when it comes to being tach-savvy offers a way to build mutually-beneficial relationships in teams with a range of ages.
A ripe knowledge tree
Senior members of staff have a wealth of experience that they traditionally impart upon junior staff members; however, the balance is shifting to a more level playing field as millennials start their careers already receptive to fast-changing developments, which is arguably a skill in itself. Combining the experiences familiar to all age groups is a certain winner in terms of making sure all staff are making the most of their potential.
Opportunities both ways
It is not just about including older generations in technology, however, as junior staff involved in reverse mentoring will have better access to decision makers and managers through stronger relationships with their senior staff. This presents them with a unique opportunity to kick-start their career by ensuring their ideas are heard by the right people. Equally, older employees then expand upon their existing skills with the dynamic skills that new generations are naturally offering.
Keeping up tradition
While reverse mentoring is a fantastic opportunity for forward-thinking businesses, it is vital to have a structured strategy in place that maintains a level of respect for all staff members, as they will be imparting valuable knowledge to newcomers that breeds a successful and loyal workforce. The key is making the most of both traditional and modern mentoring to create an environment of collaboration that ultimately leads to a more productive team, happier personnel, and a business that thrives in times of rapid change.
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