Everything You Need To Know About Mentoring Millennials

Those who were born between the years of 1977 and 1997 are today considered over half of the workforce in the world, and in many companies, they are the overwhelming majority indeed. Millennials have a very different way to look at work, as they no longer feel that is an aspect of life that must be balanced with the other activities that constitute their existence, instead they see their employment as an important part of who they are and thus they look for work that they find empowering and personally fulfilling. Having these types of expectations from their work doesn’t come by itself as they also expect their job to afford them the opportunity to meet new people, network and tap into a higher purpose. That last point is probably one of the most important factors that create a key difference between this generation and the ones that came before them and it is the main reason why we want to focus on this article here at Suzzanne Uhland’s Blog.

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One of the first things to keep in mind is the fact that while millennials have very high expectations of their employees, they also set very high standards for themselves, mostly because they are used to surviving such a competitive environment that hosts a large population of young professionals with relatively few good positions in the job market. These conditions also mean that unlike any other generation, they expect their companies to be part of their path to success and expect much from partnering with mentors, an opportunity that can be quite fulfilling for all parties involved and for the organization in which the relationship develops.

Letting go of the traditional mentoring models is a great starting point for partnerships today. Normally the human resources area of sets up these programs and then pair together young employees with senior executives. They agree upon periods of evaluation to check progress and pretty much leave everything on hands of the mentor who is not only responsible for producing results but also for setting up a method to gain such results. The problem with this programs is that they are very generic and do not take advantage of all the potential that is coming together from both sides of the table. Millennials want to be more involved with the entire process and be active participants in their own mentoring.

For this type of people, is it important to work alongside those individuals they admire and whose position in the company they want to occupy one day. This is why it is so important for companies to ensure their senior managers are deeply involved with the mentoring programs and that they ensure these leaders are engaged and willing to participate.  

Reverse mentoring is another key aspect that comes into play when mentoring millennials in today’s workplace. We have mentioned in numerous occasions that successful mentorships should not be a one-way street, but instead work in a way that there is a mutually beneficial relationship with two sets of shoulders carrying the burden of responsibility and reaping the rewards that come along. Reverse mentoring identifies skills that are not so common in senior executives but that younger professionals possess, and create an environment in which a proper exchange of ideas can develop.

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Group mentoring is another great tool at a company’s disposal that can open the floor up for some great opportunities for sharing information. Senior executives can be assigned to groups of individuals interested in mentoring, or even a pool of candidates can engage in some peer-to-peer mentorship in which the group as a whole identifies goals and clearly highlights areas of interest. One of the best advantages of this approach is the fact that is less resource demanding and it gives a lot of control to those involved over the decisions they want to make when it comes to their career and the direction in which they want to steer towards.

All of these approaches offer their own sets of benefits and can help those involved reach their goals at different rates and with different levels of success. The most important thing in these cases is being able to empower employees and make them feel like they are part of the process, give them a chance to participate and give back to a company that takes the time of set up mentoring opportunities and more important of all, allows them to improve upon their leadership skills, something that many consider the most beneficial aspect of mentoring. Millennials are people who understand the value of great leaders and who are adventurous enough to take on these roles personally and carry on with courage and drive towards fulfilling their roles at the workplace. We can sum up by saying that flexibility and trust are the most valuable assets a company can provide when it comes to mentoring for a younger generation of professionals.

* Featured Image courtesy of Pixabay at Pexels.com


Mentoring: A key tool for talent retention

Any organization that seeks to maintain its competitiveness must seriously consider the issue of talent development and management, especially as regards a clear problem of our time: Employees, especially those of the new generations, do not usually stay in the companies they work for a long time. This involves a series of expenses in time and in money (especially when it comes to training processes,) and it really represents a problem for a large number of organizations around the world. One of the measures that may be implemented to deal with this problem is mentoring. I will first analyze the problem of human talent retention, and then I will get deeper into what mentoring can do to provide intelligent solutions.

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The flight of talent has its origin in the mishandling of human resources which has been made from the management of organizations. The lack of understanding leads to the abandonment of thousands of jobs a year. The reasons for the flight of talent are sometimes ignored by the managers themselves who prefer using imperative leadership methodologies, more typical of the old times, in order to imitate the successes of their predecessors.

Still, it is necessary to understand that the world has evolved since then, and the old models are now historical records for the new generations, which point to circular forms of management, based on internal communication and the promotion of labor well-being. Ignoring the adaptation to the new models of human capital management may lead to a serious problem, which not only impacts the future of the company but, on a large scale, would mean a threat to the global economy itself.

The old forms of leadership are outdated and must give way to the new generations based on communication and mutual understanding between leader and worker. Millennials are the generation that opens the door to change. This generation is providing a continuous evolution to improve this and to adapt to the new forms of management for the coming generation, which is eminently digital. At present, the motivation to work, the fact of achieving a good working weather and the family conciliation are the key aspects to get the workers involved in the corporate culture. The philosophy of work of the present century has its roots in the happiness of employees: A happy worker is a productive worker.

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Now, mentoring is a key tool to retain the best-qualified staff of companies. However, even though it has several benefits, it is extremely important that you learn how to use it and implement it correctly. This strategy is related to progression, growth and professional challenges. It consists of a process through which a more experienced person, the mentor, teaches, assists, offers possible paths and contributes to the personal and professional growth of the mentee by investing time, energy, and knowledge. Mentoring, besides being a catalyst for the continuous learning process in the company, shortens the learning curve and is useful for structuring the training that takes place in the workplace. However, it is necessary to know the process well, as the benefits that can be obtained, the objectives that are pursued, and the frequent barriers for an adequate mentoring design.

Read also: Deconstructing the benefits of mentoring: Is it worth it?, by Suzzanne Uhland

Mentoring should be incorporated as part of the development strategy of people within a company and be considered as part of the values of the organization. The same workers can volunteer to mentor the new members of the company, and, during the execution of this plan, the company will be concerned with the professional development of all of them, since the mentors need to study a bit more to teach.

A mentoring program is divided into stages. First, the mentor and mentee’s expectations regarding the learning process are developed, the objectives to be attained are established, and the sessions are planned. Then, the mentor should take the reins of this process and be proactive, by learning everything he/she can from to achieve the goals. To optimize this program, the company must apply it as a tool to retain and capture talent, with the support of the management of the organization, and, in this regard, it is vital to count on enough resources of time and money.

A successful implementation of a mentoring program benefits the company since the staff feels more positive, participatory, and integrated. It usually increases its productivity, performance, and motivation, and promotes an organizational climate. Mentoring builds technical and managerial skills, optimizes the selection and development of new talent, which is recruited with high potential standards and levels of competence, among others. If you implement this mentoring plan, your employees will thank you for the concern you have for them and their loyalty to your company will rise.

The implementation of mentoring is a great effort for the organization; for each mentor and mentee. That is why the results are really stimulating, taking into account the personal and professional growth which is noticed from the beginning.

Recommended: Why retention will be the biggest Talent Challenge of 2017