The workplace is undergoing a transformation, a seismic type of shift, as millennials take over from baby boomers!
Although the shift may sound daunting, there is no way out as millennials are expected to comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025. This generation, which comprises of people born between 1980 and 2000, thinks differently from the baby boomers who came ahead of them and is characteristically impatient for success. So, you need to craft a reliable way of working with them.
With this transformation, call it passing the button from baby boomers to millennials, being inevitable, we are left with one option: mentoring the millennials into the pillars of success.
After mentoring early millennials and guiding them to success in different organizations, I can tell you with authority: millennials have a huge potential which you can use to grow your business. I established that they do not simply want any mentoring, but mentorship that meets their specific needs. However, if you are not careful, grooming them can drain your energy and set your organization for failure. To help you with this, I have identified three types of mentoring that you can use to turn millennial workers into your business pillars of success, and I am going to discuss them here in this “Turning Millennials Workers into Your Business’ Pillars of Success through Mentorship” post.
This mentoring approach shifts the role of organization mentoring to line staff (millennials in this case), who learn from top leaders by mentoring them. So, how does it work?
An employee is matched to a departmental leader or top manager, who mentors him/her along. Say, a marketing executive dealing with social media can show the junior staff how to connect with clients. Here, the millennial gets a window to learn how things are done at the top and the responsibility attached to such roles.
In reverse mentoring, as the mentee learns from the manager, he also gets the opportunity to question how things are done and even identify areas that can be done better. So, learning becomes mutual and a culture rooted on respect, commitment, and trust is developed. If a marketing department that largely uses brick-and-mortar strategies brings in a millennial, he/she might suggest that the organization considers new avenues for marketing, such as social media, mobile apps, and influencer marketing.
When such suggestions are given by millennials, it is important to think about them and let the mentee grow with them. So, factor their suggestions, study them well and draw an action plan with clear goals. And you know what? Millennials are energetic, meaning that they will work harder, both in the company and away, until they get the “results” that they consider their own. This way, you increase production, make millennials happy and propel your organization to success.
This is a less-resource-intensive mentoring model, but a highly effective strategy of giving millennials the feedback they want. The mentorship can be steered by a senior manager or designed to operate on a peer-to-peer basis. However, the most effective method is setting a platform where millennials can define the mentoring they need. To demonstrate this, I will use the example of AT&T.
At AT&T, the company has made mentorship self-organizing or topic-based, which the organization refers to as leadership circles. This method allows the company to reach and work with more employees, virtually all of them. Some of the main benefits of this model include:
- A single mentor can work with different mentees at any single moment.
- The platform allows mentees to connect among themselves, enriching each other’s ideas and growing together.
- The strategy is easy to implement in most organizations.
To make group mentoring more effective, you should consider bringing aboard a professional mentor. As an outsider, the mentor will bring more diverse skills, including those that have been applied effectively in other companies.
With a good mentor, millennials are challenged to think critically and change their views about the organizations they work on. As their ideas get absorbed and implemented, they feel valued, and part of the organization. Furthermore, they will work harder knowing two things; they have an opportunity to grow and become successful as the company improves.
When mentoring millennials, it is important to appreciate that most of them yearn for greater flexibility. They also want constant streams of feedback using modern communication channels, and anonymous mentoring is designed to achieve that.
Anonymous mentoring utilizes background reviews and tests, such as psychological tests, that help to match a mentee with a professional mentor. Unlike the conventional mentorship where the mentor and mentee require to take time together as they explore challenges and grow together, anonymous mentoring is done online. The method is more effective because of the following:
- Millennials can easily select their preferred time for mentorship. Even if the millennial prefers to have sessions at night, it is easy.
- There is some level of confidentiality when a millennial is dealing with an anonymous mentor.
- Because mentors are able to deal with more mentees, they have a lot of knowledge to guide their subjects.
If you are in business, failing to craft a good strategy for dealing with millennials is like setting up the enterprise for failure. Well, it is a fact that they are “taking over” the workplace as baby boomers retire, and it can be a serious challenge because they are rather impatient for success.
The best way to make your organization become successful is mentoring your millennials. Mentorship helps millennials in your organization to start thinking differently, and become the drivers of change. Using the above three mentorship methods, you can empower millennials in your organization to become the pillars for organization success. They stop being the otherwise “stubborn” staff and become the personalities that you can look to for higher production, new leadership, and business continuity.
No matter the type of your business or the level it is in, using the right mentorship makes millennials the force that you need to steer the organization to the next level.