Senior managers are not tech savvy, and require reverse mentoring by younger employees who have grown up on computers.
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 methods 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 mentee 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 providing 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.
• Set it up so that it is win-win. o 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