Just as it sounds, sometimes it helps for younger people to mentor their elders. While years of experience are often associated with people who have lived more of them, the digital age has caused a shift.
From the Elder Perspective
It may be a hard sell initially but here are some things an older employee could learn from a younger one:
- New technical skills.The younger end of the current workforce grew up with technology and is fluent in things that older generations might not be.
- Bridge the generational gap(s).Learning about someone by having them teach you something is an effective way to build communication and teamwork. The old “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” analogy.
- Socialize on a meaningful level.Find commonalities you might not have known existed and learn how to better turn collaboration into a two way street.
From the Younger Perspective
It can be a daunting task to try to teach your boss something, here are some potential take aways for the younger side:
- Develop training skills.Sometimes the best way to learn is by doing. If you have younger staff teaching new topics to older staff it gives the younger staff a unique opportunity to develop teaching skills early.
- Increase visibility within upper management.Putting the newer employees in the spot light gives them the chance to shine in ways they wouldn’t otherwise get.
- Gain insights into leadership’s thought processes.There is plenty to learn by being a teacher too. Younger employees may also get a look at the thought processes of their superiors, helping to build transparency and foster collaboration.
Give It a ShotTry reverse mentoring on a small scale at first and see how it goes. You might find that different people are adept at teaching different things and that can allow you to build a process of mutual learning and growth within your organization.