For most executives, who are likely those at the bottom of the silent generation or in the baby boomer generation, their only interaction with the millennial generation is through parenting. Some companies are trying to change that dynamic through a new trend in reverse mentoring.
Yes, millennials have a lot to learn, but their perspective on technology and pop culture also provides them with a lot to teach. It also builds better relationships among the workers as opposed to instilling the limiting traditional hierarchy, where some younger professionals are afraid to speak up.
Jackie Crosby, a writer for the Tribune News Service, has noticed the reverse mentoring method take hold in Minneapolis:
Millennials recently overtook baby boomers as the largest generation at work, and by 2020 they'll be more than half of the nation's workforce. Companies are taking a renewed interest in reverse mentorship as a business strategy.
The Hartford, PwC, Cisco and Procter & Gamble are among the believers. Facebook, along with several nonprofits such as the National 4-H Council, have joined AARP's "Mentor Up" program.
At Deloitte -- where a reverse mentoring initiative began with young workers teaching older employees how to use email -- the benefits flow both ways. "Junior professionals" gain more exposure to top leaders and build confidence, said Minneapolis managing partner Jeff Cotton.