- While it’s true that the older generations of workers have much knowledge to pass down, the younger generations also have much to offer older and more experienced workers.
- Reverse mentoring might actually be hugely influential and necessary for the future of work to thrive.
- Gilles Raymond, CEO/Founder of Letsmeet, explained how reverse mentoring can positively affect a company, as well as the future of work.
Looking to take your company to the next level this year? Start having your managers establish reverse mentoring programs.
While it’s true that the older generations of workers have much knowledge to pass down, younger generations also have much to offer older and more experienced workers and leaders.
“Mentoring typically involves a seasoned professional showing bright-eyed workers the ropes. However, new hires may also provide senior executives with critical insight for business longevity,” according to a previous Allwork.Space article.
In fact, this type of mentoring might actually be hugely influential and necessary for the future of work to thrive. The vast benefits of pairing workers from different generations, and ideally backgrounds, include positive changes for diversity, inclusion and corporate culture.
Reverse mentoring is also, at its very basic level, just a great way to share knowledge between individuals and teams. One of the largest arguments for the benefits of reverse mentoring comes from the fact that younger workers are typically digital natives; they grew up with modern tools all around them.
“Digital transformation needs digital leadership. The younger generation is looking for that in its employer,” said Sherry Hartnett, co-author of High-Impact Mentoring: A Practical Guide to Creating Value in Other People’s Lives. “If they see that their leaders don’t understand it, then it creates a lack of respect and uncertainty on how the organization is going to move forward in the future. Reverse mentorship is a way for leaders to become more digitally savvy.”
Times are constantly and quickly evolving, and upskilling is becoming ever-more necessary. Who better to teach the older generations about work tech and current trends than younger, eager workers who are looking to make a mark in their workplace?
In a Q&A with Allwork.Space, Gilles Raymond, CEO/Founder of Letsmeet, explained how reverse mentoring can positively affect a company, as well as the future of work.
Allwork.Space: What do you think younger workers can teach their managers/bosses?
Gilles Raymond: The young generation can teach three key aspects to management:
- Tools: During their studies and internships, the young generation have access to a series of innovative tools; they have no hesitation in trying and then keeping or dumping them. Many software programs, including professional services such as Calendly, started with college users. We see the same trends on Letsmeet. When they land in a new company, younger workers can and should suggest new tools and new methodology.
- Management style: Linked also to their academic background and previous experiences, they can recommend to management new ways to communicate and manage teams. Younger workers may be more open to the world — and for some of them with international experiences, they can share their experiences with cultural gaps.
- Mindset: Younger workers can be a bit naive, and thanks to that they can open new horizons to the company, or even sometimes over-achieve.
Allwork.Space: How can younger workers be “heard” in a way that is constructive and doesn’t seem rebellious?
Gilles Raymond: I embrace ideas coming from the younger team members. I like to recommend to them to prepare their contribution in writing. Obviously, they can present it orally. When it is relevant, I even suggest a structure; I ask them to answer the five Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and then also How.
Allwork.Space: How will reverse mentoring impact the future of work?
Gilles Raymond: Reverse mentoring brings humility and equality. It is a way to develop what is probably the most important type of intelligence for the future of work: the “Darwin intelligence.” Spending time every day with a person from another background will force the mentee to get out of his comfort zone, discover another world — a different mindset, and learn.
Going out of the comfort zone is the only way to learn to adapt to a new environment. The last three years have proven that the “Darwin intelligence” is the first type of intelligence needed to succeed.