With the huge number of retirements, it is evident that there will soon be empty positions in most companies and businesses. The notion of reverse mentoring is one of the most effective ways that has been implemented to deal with the issue. Reverse mentoring simply means that instead of the normal mentoring where the elderly are instructing the young, the young now instruct the elderly.
Reverse mentoring, if used appropriately can bring about a number of benefits including impacting enough information in the young ones for them to take up senior positions in the future. Millennials, who have been regarded as not as driven as the rest of the people, are now very useful when it comes to reverse mentoring. To achieve the desired results in reverse mentoring, caution has to be taken to ensure that each partnership is of the right fit.
Tips for Successful Reverse Mentoring
Mentoring in any situation is a delicate process. In this case, for successful reverse monitoring special attention needs to be paid to various factors. Since it involves placing people from different age groups and expecting them to dependently work together there need to be measures put in place to ensure it becomes successful. The following are relevant tips that can be used to increase the positive outcomes of reverse mentoring;
Identify the business challenge
The most important part of the reverse mentorship program is identifying the problems that the program is designed to help leaders deal with. By coming up with the program there must be a skill or something that the leaders would benefit from learning from their mentors. Stating the problem or the lack of a skill will make it easier for the mentors and mentees to prepare themselves.
The business challenges could be learning how to use social media platforms, or increasing their knowledge of current events and many others. By knowing what the problem that needs to be dealt with is, the mentors and mentees will be able to plan their time and benefit from the program.
The need for an executive sponsor is mainly for mobilization. Most leaders may not see the benefit of being paired with millennial. Therefore, an executive sponsor plays the role of convincing them of the need. An executive sponsor is usually a person that most leaders respect. Placing someone in a lucrative and superior position as the executive sponsor will ensure that more and more people in leadership positions join. The presence of an executive sponsor makes the reverse mentor ship program more appealing to members who would view it as a waste of time.
Appropriate mentor-mentee matching
After mobilizing the leaders to join and finding mentors that are willing to be in the program the next task is all about the pairing. It is essential to pair members that will highly benefit from each other. In cases where the organization is small, the pairing is easy because the person in charge of pairing knows everybody. Being aware of the people being paired is useful because the program is aimed at achieving the best results at its completion.
In bigger organizations pairing is hard. In such situations, the organizer will have to employ ways that will lead to the best pairing. A commonly used method is one that is similar to speed dating. The mentors and mentees that are interested in the program meet and talk for a few minutes before moving on to other mentors. This way they will have an idea of whom they can most benefit from. Both groups should be able to benefit from each other.
Clearly, make known the expectations for both mentors and mentees
After appropriate pairing, it is necessary to inform the members of what is expected of them. This is not just simply stating what the problem that led to the program was. This involves their duties, what is expected of the mentors at the end of the program, what is expected of the mentees at the end of the program, and how well they handled the program.
Also, it is important to provide both parties with all the necessary resources they will need to make the program successful. Giving the mentors and mentees all the knowledge and information they require, together with all the resources that they would need increases the chances of the program succeeding. Another valuable piece of information is how the organization’s goals and the mentorship program align. The mentors and mentees should not forget that they are working for the betterment of the organization in general.
Successful of a reverse mentor ship program also relies on the management. The management needs to be willing to make detailed checks on how the two parties are faring. Managing the mentor ship program makes the mentor and mentee to work towards the goal that was set in the beginning. One of the ways the management can manage the mentor ship is by carrying out mid-point checks.
Since reverse mentor ship programs can run from six to twelve months, a midpoint check at the third or sixth month respectively is necessary. Checking on the progress ensures that there is continuous sharing of information and knowledge at all times. No checkpoints may leave the work to the final moments.
Reverse mentoring if used appropriately could be very beneficial to organizations. For years people have been complaining about the lack of experienced employees to fill the spaces of those that are retiring. This reverse mentoring program will prepare the younger generations to take up the mantle once the leaders retire. While doing so it will also help the current leaders to be able to understand modern concepts especially, regarding the internet.
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