Reverse Mentoring: 5 Awesome Benefits You Need to Know About

In this article, we will be discussing the key benefits of reverse mentoring and how it can greatly improve employee engagement within the workforce.

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When it comes to mentoring, one of the biggest surprises for individuals is that there are many different forms of mentoring. From the traditional method of mentoring, where a more experienced employee is paired with a junior employee, to group mentoring where a group of individuals come together to participate in mentoring sessions. Many people don’t realise that there are numerous approaches to mentoring, each having unique benefits and providing different opportunities to achieve diverse workplace objectives.

For this article, we will be discussing workplace reverse mentoring programs. But what even is reverse mentoring? Well, it can be defined as the opposing structure of ‘traditional' mentoring, with the more junior mentee taking the role of the mentor and the more experienced and senior employee, acting as the mentee. This style of mentoring isn’t new but is becoming an incredibly popular method used by organisations across the globe to help connect senior leaders with the new generation of employees.

In this article, we will be discussing the key benefits of reverse mentoring and how it can greatly improve employee engagement within the workforce. These include:

1. Reverse Mentoring Creates the Leaders of the Future

When people think about reverse mentoring, they often think about how the mentee can benefit from the relationship. Whilst, reverse mentoring is all about a more junior employee supporting and training a more senior member of the team, there's no denying that the younger mentor can benefit from this type of mentoring. Reverse mentoring is an advantageous tool to help form emerging leaders of the organisation, through the development of skills that come with mentoring in general.

Reverse mentoring helps facilitate junior employee development, by helping them develop a range of skills such as leadership and communication that can assist them going forward in their career. When you allow your more junior employees to connect with a more experienced one, they develop their confidence in their leadership abilities. When they have access to someone more senior within the organisation, each session they can not only observe the behaviour and traits of the mentee but also pick up on the skills and qualities needed to make them a successful leader in the future.

The more senior employee acts as a role model, which results in the more junior participant (the mentor) being more motivated and interested in developing their leadership skills within the organisation. When you provide your employees, especially the newer ones the opportunity to develop, you’re demonstrating that their opinions and perspectives are valuable, which results in more engaged junior employees.

2. Mentoring Reduces Training Costs

It’s no secret that training and developing employees can be a costly and time-consuming task. Whether your organisation has a limited training budget, or just simply understands the impact knowledge sharing within an organisation can have, mentoring provides a more budget-friendly approach to the training and development of all employees.

Reverse mentoring is an established and promising way to help keep members of your team engaged, whilst helping them develop both personally and professionally. Mentoring platforms such as PushFar, provide a solution to help make mentoring accessible across the whole of an organisation, at a fraction of the price of more traditional approaches to training. When your employees can learn from one another, especially in the case of reverse mentoring in which more junior employees are helping develop senior members of staff, you’re showing your employees that learning is an important part of the company culture and allowing them to do so in a more casual and relaxed setting.

3. It Provides Insight Into Workplace Culture and Creates One

We’ve all worked in an office where it felt like the more senior leaders didn't understand what was going on with their employees. It’s not unusual that when employees move up the career ladder, they often lose touch with not only emerging trends and technology but the organisational culture. Now more than ever, it’s necessary that leaders are up to date with the latest insight into the organisational culture, to truly understand how their business decisions can impact those around them. When leaders can connect with junior employees, they have the chance to discuss the challenges and motivations of the workforce.

Whether the younger employees in your team are motivated by sustainability or want flexible working to be a permanent notion, it’s essential to understand the needs and wants of the workforce, if you want to keep them engaged and retain top talent. Reverse mentoring is a good way to enhance visibility across the organisation and workforce as it provides leaders to gain fresh viewpoints directly from the people who matter the most, your employees.

Reverse mentoring doesn’t just provide insight into the current workplace culture but helps construct one that will take your organisation the extra mile. When you have a mentoring program in place, your mentors and mentees will feel as though their development and progression are taken seriously and that your organisation is willing to invest in making sure they are as effective as they can be in their roles. Reverse mentoring also helps create a learning culture because it motivates and prompts participants to take part in knowledge sharing and talk more openly about their experiences.

When you bring your employees closer, it helps improve communication as a whole across the board, especially when it comes to bridging generational age gaps between your team members, which ultimately leads to a more prosperous and open workforce.

4. Reverse Mentoring Improves Diversity and Inclusion

One of the primary and most noteworthy benefits of implementing a reverse mentoring program within the workforce is its ability to help improve diversity and inclusion across an organisation. Enhancing diversity and inclusion is something that over the last decade has become an increasingly important part of every organisation's strategy, with many realising the true impact a diverse and inclusive team can have on the success of businesses across the globe and their employees.

With many advantages such as improved profits, boosted engagement and enhanced well-being of employees, it’s no surprise that organisations are using reverse mentoring programs to help improve diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Reverse mentoring programs are a highly impactful tool for helping overcome diversity and inclusion challenges, due to them providing the opportunity to connect a diverse range of employees, with the junior employee bringing forward their fresh perspectives and creating awareness of the challenges minorities face at work. Reverse mentoring also allows underrepresented groups to gain face-to-face time with leaders and make themselves more visible within the organisation, helping develop and progress within their careers.

Reverse mentoring is also being used to help bridge generational gaps across the organisation. It supports breaking down stereotypes that are associated with the different generations within your workplace, challenging ageism and enabling your employees to connect and learn more about each other. Reverse mentoring helps take away the assumptions your employees may have about each other by removing barriers and encouraging all employees to unite to create a shared learning experience.

5. It Supports the Skill Development of the Mentee

As mentioned, reverse mentoring programs are a great way to develop the skills of both participants. One of the main uses of reverse mentoring programs within an organisation is to help more senior employees develop the skills they need to stay innovative and on-trend. With the world continuously evolving and the ever-growing demand for better leadership within the workforce, organisations are now investing the time and resources to ensure their leadership is as effective as they can be.

In the case of reverse mentoring, one of the most popular skills learnt through these programs is digital skills. With digital skills becoming the most in-demand skills required in the workforce of today, in the fast-paced world we live in where technology continuously changes, it can prove challenging to keep up with all the technological advancements and skills required. This is particularly complicated for more senior employees who usually joined the workforce before the rapid advancements made in technology were made.

From learning about social media platforms to operating new software, there are many digital skills that reverse mentoring programs are helping shape. With more junior employees entering the workforce, they can help teach the mentee (the more senior member) a thing or two about the latest innovations. Whilst traditionally, organisations would send their employees on training courses, they are now recognising that these are not as attractive and as compelling as they would expect, to truly grow and enhance the skills of their senior employees.

In Conclusion

There are some remarkable benefits linked to reverse mentoring, from helping employees develop new skills to improving diversity and inclusion across an organisation. The purpose of this article was to provide readers with a deeper insight into how reverse mentoring programs can be used to help create a highly motivated and successful workforce, that is not only advantageous for employees but the organisation itself.

If you want to learn more about how reverse mentoring can be exceptionally valuable within your organisation, book a free demonstration with PushFar today. We’re the world’s leading mentoring and career progression platform, helping thousands of organisations across the globe fulfil their mentoring needs and an open network of over 100,000 members connecting to develop both personally and professionally.

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