3 Types of Mentoring Programs for Millennials
It’s no surprise that millennials are taking over the workforce. In fact, it has been estimated that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. With this information in hand, organizations are taking a hard look at what they offer to attract the millennial talent pool.
One of the top benefits that millennials are asking for, is the opportunity for career development. For many individuals this is non-negotiable when looking to join an organization. The Millennial Survey by Deloitte shows that 71% of millennials will leave a company within 2 years if they believe their skills are not being developed.
One the best ways to give millennials what they are asking for is through a mentoring program. But not just any mentoring program is going to work.
Millennials like customization, and they are generally more interested in things that directly apply to them. This applies to mentoring as well, so millennials are looking for a mentoring program that works for them.
Types of Mentoring Programs for Your Millennial Employees
In reverse mentoring, the traditional model of senior-level mentor and junior-level mentee is reversed. This gives younger employees the chance to demonstrate their knowledge that senior-level employees and executives often don’t have. This approach allows millennials to not only learn, but also teach.
When millennials are in the role of a mentor, they are given a window into the higher levels of the organization. They ultimately get a better understanding of the business. This is extremely beneficial to an organization because when those senior execs retire, the younger generation will be filling their positions.
The knowledge they gained while simultaneously teaching will be indispensable once they are in leadership positions. This makes reverse mentoring a great succession planning strategy for your millennials. It also provides a good platform for long-term career development, even if there is no desire to become a leader.
In group mentoring, also known as team mentoring, several mentees are assigned to one or more mentors. The mentees are often similar in job function or career level, and as such have similar backgrounds. However, the mentors often differ in job functionality or career level.
Group mentoring really gives millennials the feedback that they crave. Not only can the individual receive advice from a mentor, but they can also learn from other mentees in the group. BT, the British telecommunications firm, found that 78% of their employees preferred to learn from their peers. Group mentoring gives them the opportunity to do just that.
Meeting this need for peer-to-peer learning will give millennials what they want and result in higher satisfaction. This means that the organization will see an increase in employee engagement, leading to increased productivity and employee retention levels.
This type of mentoring is less traditional than most. This method uses psychological testing and a background review to match mentees with trained mentors outside the organization. The mentoring takes place online and both the mentor and mentee remain anonymous throughout the process. This gives both parties the opportunity to really open up and gain unbiased feedback.
This can appeal to millennials that want increased privacy or have concerns about getting a mentor. It ensures that the relationship is not discussed outside of the meetings. It also gives the mentee a completely unbiased viewpoint to learn from.
Mentoring Software for Your Millennial Mentoring Program
No matter what type of mentoring program you choose for your millennial employees, the important thing is that you have one. If you don’t offer it to them, they will leave in favor of an organization that does. However, there are some things you can add to a more general mentoring program to appeal to millennials.
A great example is mentoring software. Millennials stand out for their technology use, leading in several categories. Most notable, almost 100% of the generation uses the internet. This means that creating an internet-based online platform for your mentoring program will appeal to the generation at large.
Not only will the online mentoring platform appeal to millennials, but so will the ease of use and functionalities available. Through software, optimal mentor matches can be self-selected by the millennial mentees. This is done by providing access to the profiles of available mentors and compatibilities based on predetermined criteria.
With more successful mentor matches and an appeal to the techies, mentoring software is widely compatible with mentoring for millennials.
To learn more about how mentoring millennials can improve your ROI, watch our webinar: Mentoring Millennials: Boosting the Bottom Line.
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