Many people are familiar with mentoring that goes on between a senior leader and a junior employee, with the senior leader being the mentor, and the junior employee being the mentee. However, there’s what is referred to as reverse mentoring, and only a few people are familiar with this term.
Reverse mentoring is unique in nature because the roles of traditional mentoring are reversed. In this case the junior employee mentors the senior leader. Usually, the exchanges between the mentor and mentee focus around technology, leadership, a renewed approach to strategic issues, issues to do with diversity as well as working mindsets.
The phenomenon of reverse mentoring developed as a result of the need to retain the millennial workforce among companies. The millennials- which is the largest workforce at the moment- are known to quickly move from job to job, with 43% expected to change jobs in the next 2 years. Reverse mentoring has been found to increase employee retention and has thus become very common in many companies.
The benefits of reverse mentoring
It fosters a better inclusion culture
Building an inclusive workplace includes an ability to put on blindfolds in regard to age, ethnicity, and race. This leads to a wider, albeit more connected insight for senior management into employees.
It brings technology to the forefront
Change is a difficult thing to implement for most people, embracing new technology is one of the hardest of those changes. When an organisation embraces reverse mentoring then it also undergoes a status quo challenge as regard to its digitalisation strategies and processes.
Reverse mentoring improves connection to the organisational culture
The whole process enables both the mentor and mentee to feel better connected to their organisation’s culture. The mentoring of the senior leader by the junior employee provides better insight into the organisation, helping each one of them to connect with every facet of the organisation.
It helps to drive culture change.
By giving the junior employees a chance to mentor the senior management, the organisation is given a first-hand experience of new trends and developments, which helps the organisation to stay ahead of the competition.
It increases diversity in terms of the talent pool
Reverse mentoring tears down prejudices, and as a result grows empathy and helps mitigate unconscious bias. This has a ripple effect because it eventually translates into a diverse top management team.