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Investing in Reverse Mentorship

We know that mentorship is extremely important for developing early career talent and creating a strong workforce that will ultimately move your organization forward. The future of work depends on ensuring that Gen Z talent is able to learn and grow in their jobs, so they can become the leaders of tomorrow.

However, did you know that reverse mentoring can also be extremely important for organizations? Reverse mentorship is basically the opposite of traditional mentoring, so instead of a more senior employee teaching a junior employee the ropes, the junior worker actually trains their senior counterparts on the skills they excel in.

This may sound counterintuitive—after all, experienced employees already know about their jobs and the industry they're in—however, reverse mentorship is an arrangement that makes a lot of sense. Since early career talent comes to the workforce with their own unique perspective and skills, they get the opportunity to share their knowledge.

Not sold on why you should consider implementing reverse mentorship in your organization? Keep reading to find out some benefits of this unique learning strategy and how it will help early talent recruitment.

3 Benefits of Reverse Mentorship

We generally think of mentoring as a transaction where a senior employee imparts their wisdom on the junior employee. However, when you flip the script of this paradigm, there are several benefits for employees and for your organization. 

1. Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

If DEIB is part of your recruitment strategy, then reverse mentorship is a perfect way to meet your goals. When organizations hire employees from underrepresented backgrounds, providing mentoring can be an important way for these workers to get an idea of what they can achieve at your organization as they soak in the knowledge of their senior counterparts. When you adopt a reverse mentorship model, not only do employees from untapped backgrounds get to spend time with leaders at your company, they get to teach these leaders about their own unique experiences. 

This can go a long way toward increasing understanding about people from underserved communities in a way that leaders may not ordinarily have the chance to do. The more exposure managers get to this talent, the more they can begin to recognize their experiences and empathize with what they're going through as members of underrepresented groups. As a result, leaders are better equipped to address the needs of these workers so the organization can become more inclusive and welcoming.

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2. Creating an Inclusive Multi-Generational Workplace

Today the workforce is the most diverse it's ever been in terms of age groups, with employees ranging from Baby Boomers all the way down to Gen Z talent. And workers of every generation may, at some point, feel they're being excluded because of their age.

Reverse mentorship can bridge the gap between generations, so people in different age groups or levels of experience can spend time together and get to know one another better. This can help everyone get over any preconceived notions they have about different generations so they all feel more accepted and welcomed in the workplace.

3. Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders

Gen Z workers want to know that they have a future at the companies employing them. Organizations want the leaders of tomorrow. Reverse mentorship can help both sides get what they want because as junior employees participate in this process, they gain skills they'll need to assume leadership roles. As they are mentoring senior workers, early career talent is able to hone critical abilities they'll need to advance in their careers, such as communication and problem-solving skills. In addition, they can become more empathetic and patient, which is needed to be an effective leader.

Reverse mentorship is a different way of handling mentoring than what you may be used to, but it can create a great work culture, while nurturing early career talent and giving senior employees the opportunity to gain new skills. By adopting this model of mentoring, everyone in the organization benefits, so it can cultivate a stronger, more inclusive workplace.

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