“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” – George Orwell
When your alarm goes off each morning, and you roll out of bed to schlep off to work, you are entering a community that’s unprecedented in human history (even if it doesn’t feel that way on a Monday).
Yep, it’s true - you are a part of the first global workforce that contains members of FOUR generations. Economic, technological, geographic, and socio-demographic trends are contributing to make the early 21st century stand alone when it comes to generational diversity in the workplace -- and we are experimenting with how to turn generational differences into organizational capabilities.
Pearl Buck said, “The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation.”
Prem Kumar wrote a paper a few years back on Gen Y in the workplace, and one of his recommendations was reverse mentorship.
Reverse mentoring is not about giving Boomers tips to get more friends on Facebook. It’s about transparency, trust, and the influence to make the world of work more productive, fun, and effective.
This is the story of our reverse mentorship experience.
At the beginning, we asked these questions: Could sharing information and perspectives help make our work better? Were there insights that each of us had that could enlighten the other?
Our hope is that by sharing our stories, others will experience some of the growth and cool accomplishments that we’ve had during our three years of doing this.
Please join @weknownext on May 16 at 3 p.m. ET, for #NextChat with Next Official Blogger Ross Smith of Microsoft and his reverse mentor Prem Kumar for a discussion on “Creating Generational Engagement with Reverse Mentoring.” We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the following questions:
Q1. How are four generations in the workplace affecting the way we work today?
Q2. What strategies is your organization using to successfully manage four generations in your workplace?
Q3. What is your experience with reverse mentoring?
Q4. Should managers think differently about how they manage various age groups?
Q5. What benefits can companies expect from reverse mentoring programs?
Q6. Based on your specific Reverse Mentoring experience, what roles do you feel HR can play in organization’s generational silos?