Within the recruitment world, there is a frequent debate about which is better: experience, or youth. Most of the time experience wins out. Although there are some companies that prioritise younger employees at the expense of more experienced employees, most companies still look at a resume/CV and, the more experience they see, the more they want to hire that person.
If your company is considering hiring younger employees, however, there are ways to get even more out of their employment. One such strategy that is becoming increasingly popular in business circles is known as “Reverse Mentoring.”
What is Reverse Mentoring?
We all know the idea of mentoring – an experienced employee takes a younger employee under their wing, and teaches them how to adapt to the business world. Mentoring has always been seen as a highly advantageous way to encourage a young employee’s professional growth. Indeed, some of the greatest minds in business today had mentors, including Richard Branson, Robert Herjavec, Mark Fields (CEO of Ford), and more.
But there is a new strategy that more businesses are starting to integrate: “Reverse Mentoring.” With reverse mentoring, the young employees that enter the company take on a mentorship role of their own. Part of their job involves training baby boomers, and other more experienced employees, on technology, social media, and new strategies/ways of thinking that can help them improve their business talents.
These days, more and more roles can benefit from things like:
- Social Media – Sales, networking, marketing, customer management – social media can play a role in many different industries, and young employees tend to be particularly adept at using it correctly.
- New Apps/Software – Young employees are more likely to be familiar with technology which can improve productivity. For example, Slack, Trello, Dropbox, and more, that experienced employees are unlikely to be aware of.
- Latest in News/Strategies – Younger employees are more likely to be up to date in the latest advancements in the field. For example, the switch from direct mail marketing to inbound marketing is something that a millennial employees may be more aware of integrating.
These are all just some examples of the training and guidance that young employees can give to baby boomers.
Benefits of Reverse Mentoring
The primary advantage of reverse mentoring is its ability to train experienced employees on some of the strategies that are currently being used today in their industry. Whether it’s social media or some other type of service or software, training people with less experience in the newest techniques and strategies can be highly advantageous for both the employee and your company.
But there are other benefits of reverse mentoring as well, including:
- Improve Communication – Reverse mentoring has the potential to improve communication between older staff members and younger staff members in a way that benefits both. The more they each understand what strategies they have been using and the mindset they bring into the work, the more likely they will be to find new and easy ways to communicate in the future.
- Building Respect – Similarly, many experienced employees look down on massive change, and many young employees look down on “old concepts.” This can cause the two groups to see the other as a problem in their professional growth. Reverse mentoring helps to build respect between the two parties, and the merits of both strengths.
- New Concept Integration – It’s one thing to start a new concept. It is another to integrate it into the existing framework. By having baby boomers and young employees connect, both can figure out how to effectively integrate it into what already exists within the workplace for a more seamless transition.
In addition, although the reverse mentoring relationship is designed to help the baby boomer, there is some evidence that it can also help the young employees as well, who learns from the person they’re mentoring while they’re teaching them the new programs.
Integrating Reverse Mentoring Into Your Business
Even if you don’t make an effort to hire young employees, or you already have a bunch of young employees on staff, reverse mentoring is still valuable. It gives you an opportunity to get more value out of your young employees, improve the strengths of your older employees, and create a culture in the office that can help everyone work better together.
If you’re interested in hiring young employees that could be the next great mentors in your business, or you simply need to find new staff, contact Recruit Shop today.