Nowadays, technology has become so overwhelming that older people tend to lose track of what needs to be done in order to make it work for them. Reverse mentoring tries to alleviate that situation by pairing these older executives with and mentoring them by younger employees. They can discuss about the latest trends, technology, and some facts about social media.
Basically, reverse mentoring programs have a lot of benefits, which include the following:
It can close the knowledge gap on both of them. This might be done by simply teaching older employees something about social media, which the younger ones can easily do. At the same time, the younger people can learn some business terminologies as well as industry practices in which the older employees can teach them in return.
This can bring close ties with different employee generations. Perhaps this is the right time to forget about the ‘Us versus Them’ conversation and just focus on working together in a two-way street. This is where seasoned executives can be paired with young people in the industry to make things work out for the benefit of the company.
This type of setting can work in an existing company, as it wouldn’t require a lot of new processes. It will only match up employees with different generations and encourage them to meet regularly to challenge each other and to exchange vital ideas. Likewise, there should be no restrictions for people of the same gender or those with similar backgrounds. This is because there is much that can be learned from people who come with different experience and skills.
In order for reverse mentoring to work, there are several factors that should be positioned well. Such would include:
Defined expectations. Each party are required to be very transparent on their expectations.
They should have agreed upon rules. Each of these parties must be committed fully to the mentoring relationship so that they can agree on the rules that should be followed.
They should be willing to learn. At this point, both parties should act in the capacity of the mentor and the mentee. Thus, both should be able to genuinely learn and share some views with each other.