Have you ever considered reverse mentoring in the finance function and/or your company?
According to Hays, many innovative employers in the corporate world are beginning to encourage reverse mentoring, touted as a way to help combine the knowledge of junior and senior employees in an organisation and allows innovative new ideas begin to come to fruition.
The recruiter’s regional managing director UK&I & EMEA Nigel Heap said that the culture of reverse mentoring encourages every generation to learn and share their own unique experiences.
The software mindset
“Millennials, and even more so Generation Z workers, have what we call ‘a natural software mindset’,” he noted.
Hays defines a software mindset as a combination of embracing, learning and implementing technology and then adding human value to maximise the technology and inject creativity.
Heap sees reverse mentoring as an effective way of kick-starting intergenerational working.
“The concept is a fairly new phenomenon whereby the traditional image of the mentor is turned on its head, and senior or older members of the workforce are coached by millennials and Generation Z,” he pointed out.
Reverse mentoring reinforces lifelong learning
Reverse mentoring reinforces the idea of lifelong learning, fosters diversity and skills development, as well as being a clear example of how to support different generations working together, he added.
“Younger generations are inherently more IT-savvy, which means they have so much to offer the rest of the workforce, which is less familiar or confident with technology,” Heap said. “Business leaders need to see this an opportunity to position these generations as mentors in their organisation, especially as organisations invest more in new technology.”
Hays also advised employees of all ages to understand the other generations they are working alongside on a day-to-day basis and creates a workforce that is more reflective of the world.
“The most crucial factor is that both parties engaging in the mentoring session need to begin on a level playing field,” Heap said. “For example, the more junior employee needs to feel that they can express their thoughts and opinions to their more senior counterpart without feeling uncomfortable. Equally, those engaging with their mentor need to come into the process with an open mind.”
Reverse mentoring not only allows the older mentee to benefit, but the process provides an opportunity for younger staff members to spend time with senior leaders in their organisation, according to Hays.
Younger generations in return can develop their own leadership skills, adapt their communication skills and boost their confidence by working with senior leaders to whom they may not usually get exposure, the recruitment firm added.