A study by Deloitte suggested millennials who intend to stay with an organisation for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor than not. In the same survey, the millennial respondents said an ideal working week would include significantly more mentoring and coaching time than they currently receive.
Most companies focus on recruitment and do not put resources into retention. If you don’t mentor your millennials they will leave you,” says Julie Kantor, chief executive of training and development firm Twomentor.
Companies need to think creatively and structure formal programs to match the millennial mind-set. Traditional one-to-one model of mentoring would not yield the same results when it comes to mentoring millennials.
Businesses must also decide on the correct model. Mentoring is traditionally seen as helpful suggestions over a cup of coffee. But, there is an increased focus on a concrete model known as sponsorship, where an influential employee will not only increment a thoughtful advice but will also help roadmap a career progression and act as an advocate when an opportunity shows up.
In this new age, organizations have to relook at their mentoring programs and implement what is being termed as “modern mentoring”.
Here are 5 mentoring techniques that your organization should adopt for your millennial workforce:
1. Fixing problems on the spot
The Gen Y isn’t going to wait to get through office hierarchy to seek out a senior leader for their problems. Millennials should be provided informal opportunities to approach mentors even when they aren’t reachable at work. These “micro-mentoring” or “situational mentoring” are quick fixes to problems that would generally involve going back and forth on emails/meetings. Modern mentoring is seeing the use of social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn for quick responses to workplace issues.
2. Knowledge transfer through Reverse Mentoring
Facing difficulties in wrapping your head around social media? Need advice on a new phone to buy? Millennials can help you out!
Gone are the days when learning was a one-way street. One-sided mentoring fails to motivate millennials that are looking to be seen as equals at the workplace. Millennials are opening up doors to reverse mentoring - pair a senior executive with a junior and see how two-way learning weaves in its magic of effective outcomes. It's not just millennials who benefit from reverse mentoring. Reverse mentoring is an ideal method to utilise your own workforce to train horizontally and vertically in an organization.
3. Self-paced Mentoring
If you're mentoring programs are rigid one-to-one sessions, then you might be losing out on a larger part of your workforce.
Millennials like flexibility, whether it’s work from home or Bring Your Own Device to work; mentoring isn’t too different. Give millennials the option of choosing their own learning time and pace. Mentors can look at non-traditional forms of mentoring such as podcasts, short videos or conducting sessions over Facebook/Instagram live and reach a wider audience.
Some organisations even provide “Learn on Demand” options wherein a mentee can log-in at their convenience to access mentoring courses/modules.
4. Multiple mentors, multiple learning opportunities
A single mentor can train 100s of employees; similarly, 1 employee can have multiple mentors. The advantage? Employees benefit by receiving training opportunities from senior executives that come from different sectors of the same business. Millennials get access to a vast wealth of experience and advice with innumerable learning outcomes.
5. The other mentor
While mentoring at one's place of work is appreciated, millennials would like to network with people outside their organisation. Most employees wouldn’t be comfortable divulging too much to their seniors for the fear of being judged. An external mentor can provide the ground for talking/asking questions, regardless of the employee’s company work culture. This way the employee has the freedom to discuss their career and life goals. External mentorship is also an excellent way to introduce new skills into the existing workforce.
Every generation has its own methods of learning. What worked for the Baby Boomers may not work for the curious millennials. Work out a modern mentoring program through various mentoring projects and experiment with various innovative ways of engagement, support and guidance.
Mentoring brings out the best in each one of us. It helps us grow and have a focused career. Mentors bring out an opportunity to learn and grow and they also enjoy the feeling of helping someone else. Thus, maximizing your efforts and pushing yourself towards the growth of self and the organization.
MentorCloud delivers a cloud-based, white-labeled platform shown to increase employee engagement and satisfaction by promoting intentional conversations between company-identified mentors and your workforce.
Used by companies like Airbnb, Nvidia Corporation, and Marriott International,
MentorCloud enables the rapid transfer of mission-critical skills and institutional wisdom across the workforce. This raises productivity and increases employee engagement at a fraction of the cost typically spent on employee learning and development.