Reverse mentoring: Get a new perspective on your business!

November 13, 2012 - Tags: Training Managing

Are you looking for guidance? Ready to learn new skills? If so, reverse mentoring might be right for you! Traditionally, mentors are older and more experienced than their mentees. Reverse mentoring uses a different approach: younger or less experienced employees act as mentors to older or more experienced employees or business owners.

For example, a recent graduate may not have many years of experience, but as a mentor, they will be able to share the latest advances in their field of study. A reverse mentor could also help you successfully tap into new ways of doing business: using social media to reach your customers, recruiting younger employees, or introducing new technologies to the workplace.

A successful reverse mentoring program could help you:

  • Tap into your employees' energy and creativity
  • Become more tech-savvy
  • Boost employee engagement and commitment
  • Give your junior employees valuable experience
  • Foster cross-generational knowledge sharing
  • Identify future leaders

If a reverse mentoring relationship is right for you, these tips can help you make it work:

  • Set clear goals and identify areas where the mentee is seeking guidance
  • Keep an open mind and be ready to share your thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns
  • Make sure that both parties are comfortable with their roles

Keep in mind that reverse mentoring does not need to replace traditional mentor/mentee relationships: both can be useful ways of sharing knowledge and ideas.

To learn more about how employees of all ages can strengthen your business, visit BDC's Managing generational diversity in your business page. You may also want to visit our page on Leadership skills for information on encouraging leadership within your business.

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