a group of millennial employees sit around a table some working independently, some collaborating

3 Types of Mentoring for Millennials

Attracting and retaining Millennial talent is not a new discussion. It's been a focus for many organizations because within a few years millennials will make up a majority of the workforce.

What we have not been anticipating is The Great Resignation. Millennial and Gen Z employees are the most likely to partake. Surveys indicate that once the pandemic subsides, 34% of millennials plan to look for a new job, compared to 24% of Gen X and 10% of baby boomers.

One of the top benefits 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 of the best ways to give millennials career development 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 for Your Millennial Employees

  1. Reverse Mentoring
    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. 

  2. Group Mentoring
    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. 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 and collaboration 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.

  3. Flash Mentoring
    In flash mentoring mentees can quickly gain the information needed to complete a specific task. This is a way to create an on-demand learning experience. While there is a tremendous amount of information at our fingertips, there’s a benefit in seeking information internally vs turning to Google.

    Some specific instances where flash mentoring is beneficial include:
    - gaining support or advice when learning a hard skill
    - better understanding a process within the organization
    - getting an outside point-of-view on a single issue

    Flash mentoring has become popular among Millennials because it provides an opportunity for them to be anonymous in their learning. It also allows mentees to choose a mentor that best fits their needs for a specific issue in a short period of time. Flash mentoring helps participants expand their network within the organization.

To learn more about how mentoring millennials, watch our webinar series: 

Part 1: Making the Change for Your Organization

Part 2: Boosting the Bottom Line

Part 3: Developing Your Mentoring Program


If you're looking to start a mentoring program for your organizationrequest a demo with one of our experts to get support every step of the way.

Judy is the Director of Consulting and Mentoring at Insala. She has over 30 years of experience providing customized human resources consulting services to medium to large organizations across a variety of industries. In the area of mentoring, Judy has designed and delivered workshops, training, and a complete mentoring methodology. Judy’s mentoring process is the foundation of Insala’s mentoring solution we know today. Her thought leadership articles have been published in journals such as The Diversity Journal and Industrial and Commercial Training and she has spoken at many conferences throughout her career.


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