Does this make you nervous? If so, you're not alone. This change of generations in the workforce will affect many common business practices, one being mentoring. Typically when one thinks of "mentoring," the thought of an older, wiser professional molding a young protege to be his or her successor comes to mind. The Business Review's article challenges organizations to break through that old stigma, and to focus on generating more creative ways of mentoring. The goal? Making Millennials feel valuable, letting them share their fresh outlooks on their workplace, and providing personal and career development.
The following are the three different types of mentoring suggested in the article:
1. Reverse mentoring -- Let the young employee teach the old dog some new tricks. Millennials can offer new insight into workplace processes and provide input on how to make things better.
2. Group mentoring -- With a smaller amount of more experienced professionals available (due to the Baby Boomers retiring), this can provide Millennial employees with the mentoring experience they desire in the form of a peer group. One senior employee can host roundtable discussions or a forum for multiple mentees at once. To me, this sounds like a great idea since Millennials are very social and like to give and receive feedback from many individuals.
3. Anonymous mentoring -- This is new to me but sounds very interesting. Matching companies conduct behavioral tests to match Millennial employees with an anonymous mentor outside of their organization. One benefit of this according to the article it "ensures mentors have an agenda-free interest in the mentee’s professional development." On the flip side, the younger mentee may be more willing to open up and discuss problems and uncertainties they experience due to the anonymity.
Do you have any tips about how to mentor Millennials? Feel free to leave any ideas or comments!
Food & Beverage Manager
R. David Thomas Executive Hotel & Conference Center