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According to Lois J. Zachary, director of the Center for Mentoring Excellence, Reverse mentoring allows a young IT employee to receive exposure to a senior-level person "while the senior-level person learns something" from the young employee. According to research, employees learn more from one another than formal training, but effective reverse mentoring programs should be organized and managed by a human resources department, Zachary adds. Here are some things to think about if you're planning a reverse mentorship program for your IT staff.
There might be some preconceived assumptions if you chose to pair Millennials with baby boomers, for example. Baby boomers may feel that millennials are an "entitled generation" that refuses to work hard and expect to be rewarded. On the other hand, Millennials may feel that baby boomers are technologically illiterate and entrenched in their ways. You'll need to address these concerns and encourage everyone involved to approach the situation with an open mind.
Outlining the rewards, they would gain in their careers is one approach to get people more amenable to the idea. All employees, regardless of their age, want to feel appreciated.
It's pointless to put people together who are rigid and unable to learn new things, regardless of their age. Instead, you want employees who have shown a drive to learn, who want to help their coworkers, and who are interested in advancing their careers. Simultaneously, attempt to match people who can truly benefit each other.
Provide some instruction on how participants may effectively convey their ideas or views to their spouse to establish an open and honest connection. Knowing what to expect may assist in dispelling any questions or concerns that the participants may have privately.
For a reverse mentorship program to succeed, it must be documented so that the advantages are obvious and any necessary changes are addressed. It's also crucial to establish criteria, including how frequently – and where – partners will meet and the intended objectives.
To learn more about harnessing employee strengths through reverse mentoring, read here