New Mentoring Trends Help Boost Success in a Multigenerational Workplace

new mentoring multigen workplace

When the concept of reverse mentoring burst on the scene in the multigenerational workplace, it was all about having cool 20-somethings teach the older crowd how to use “the Facebook.” Now most generations are pretty savvy—in fact their takeover of Facebook has sent Gen Z scurrying to Instagram or Snapchat.

But that doesn’t mean that they still can’t learn a thing or two from the younger generation—and vice versa. Here are some recent articles that show how mentoring and reverse mentoring can boost success in the multigenerational workplace.  

Actively Promote Mentors for Generation Z

“Those newest to the workforce still value work-life balance, yet are more driven than ever to pursue their dream jobs. Gen Z-ers carefully evaluate and prioritize the quality of the people around them in the office. Help Gen Z hires along the way by surrounding them with people who challenge them intellectually and mentors who spur conversation and let them see the broader impact of their work.” — Read more at Forbes.com.

Mentorship: Consider the Role of the “Modern Elder”

“The implicit exchange that can occur [between Millennials and Baby Boomers] is DQ (digital intelligence) for EQ (emotional intelligence). Many young people are digital natives who really understand how the technology ecosystem works. They can reverse-mentor Boomers and Gen Xers around the digital intelligence that companies want today. At the same time, older workers can provide emotional intelligence, which involves so-called soft skills like how to listen, show empathy and cooperate with others. Unlike IQ, EQ can grow over time and with experience.” — Read more at Society for Human resource Management.

Being a Role Model May Come With Stage, Not Age

“If you’ve reached the C suite or have attained a secure spot at the top of your chosen profession, it’s time to start thinking about becoming a mentor…the executive or master stage is defined more by competence than age. You’ll know you’ve reached this stage when you have valuable wisdom and experience that can benefit others. For example, you may be a 28-year-old tech master, ready to mentor middle-aged but less experienced people in your field. The point is that you’ve become a leader and now it’s your turn to cultivate future leaders.” — Read more at Fast Company.

Digital Learning is About More Than Social Media

During her time as a mentor, while [29-year old Ewa] Sulima, [an HR executive at French insurance giant Axa] learned a lot about the daily jobs of various members of the C-suite (she came from a Digital HR Project Management background), she wasn’t the principle learner in this relationship. ‘The monthly exchange was a great way to, step-by-step, extend [my] view of the digital world,” [Gerald] Harlin, who later went on to become deputy CEO, explained. ‘It [was] a real exchange where I explained what I knew, or didn’t, and my mentor proposed different ideas, working by iteration to ensure I [got] an extensive view of the different subjects we went through.’ … ‘We built this program to familiarize upper management with [new] technologies,” Karima Silvent, global head of HR for Axa, explained. ‘When they get first-hand experience with digital tools, they get a better understanding of the behaviors of digitally savvy people—employees as well as customers.’” — Read more at Dell Technologies.


Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on millennials and the multigenerational workplace, trusted by global companies, universities and the world’s top media outlets. A New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her presentations have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.

Leave a Reply