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Reverse mentoring : How are the younger generations training their managers to go digital ?

Reverse mentoring is a way for young employees to train managers and executives in digital tools and codes. But its implications go much further as it also transforms management culture by promoting intergenerational exchanges in business.

Reverse mentoring : How are the younger generations training their managers to go digital ?

Young people from Generation Y*, who have grown up in a digital environment and are entering the world of work, are a real opportunity for reverse mentoring programs. These young workers can indeed become the mentors of the management within their companies to train them in digital tools and help them understand the digital world and its challenges for the company.

Rolling out a reverse mentoring program helps foster exchanges between generations and mitigate potential divisions. This can lead to changes in hierarchical relationships and rolling out new modes of collaboration through better understanding of how young workers operate and what motivates them. Moreover, involving young talent helps accompany the company’s digital transformation, bringing forth new ideas that can lead to a rethink of the company’s business model or optimise its operations for better overall corporate performance.Reverse mentoring programme success factors

Each young mentor is carefully selected. They are trained beforehand to pass on their knowledge about digital tools by creating suitable materials and a few days of training in educational techniques. The mentor is thus able to identify and understand the needs of the people they will train according to their familiarity with the digital world in order to set specific mentoring goals. The challenge is to encourage building a relationship of quality and trust between the manager and mentor. In many ways, the reverse mentoring challenges, at least partially, the managerial culture based on the pyramidal hierarchical structure and the concentration of knowledge by the manager.

Sources: Les Echos (5 October 2015 and 25 May 2016) - My HR Line (3 June 2016) - Capital (8 September 2016) - Le Nouvel Economiste (16 September 2015)* Generation Y or “Millennials” were born between 1980 and the first half of the 1990’s. This generation will make up 50% of workers in 2020.

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