Technology is changing at a pace that we have never experienced previously and with that comes new challenges for the ageing workforce. How to stay digitally literate.

In the past, mentoring and coaching was traditionally delivered by a more experienced (often older) employee to newer team members as a way of passing on knowledge. But what if the more experienced employees are the ones in need of training and mentoring, especially when it comes to technology?

It’s time to look at mentoring from a whole new perspective.

1.   Switching the roles around

Techopedia defines reverse mentoring as a process where older executives are mentored by younger employees on topics like technology, social media, and current trends.

The great news is that reverse mentoring benefits both parties. Younger employees feel a deep sense of connection because they’re contributing to the advancement and growth of their company at the highest level. And high-level executives are kept up to date and across new trends and technologies.

Reverse mentoring can be both formal and informal.  In-person, via Skype or at a company event. The more flexible the better! Both sides have the opportunity to grow and develop their professional skills and enjoy the feeling of helping others.

“We make a living by what we do. We make a life by what we give.”  (sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill, but not confirmed)

2. Micro mentoring

Micro mentoring begins when you create a small group (online potentially) and present that group with an informal opportunity for mentorships.

Modern technology has provided the tools and resources to connect via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter with an individual who has more expertise, experience or knowledge in a specific field (as opposed to connecting as an employee).

The popularity of micro mentoring has grown exponentially because of the connections millennials have at their fingertips. Their informal and casual nature prompts them to reach out in an instance.

Multiple mentors over a period of time is a common occurrence for millennials. Utilizing every single resource available Millenials are now leveraging micro mentor relationships for support with salary negotiation, job searching, team development, interviewing, and onboarding. A great network allows you to fast track insights and experience and build trust.  LinkedIn allows you to request mentee advice and then suggests possible mentors. Working out loud circles enable on or offline peer mentoring and enhanced accountability  on any topic, in any global location.

What a fantastic way to boost your knowledge, connections and confidence.

3.   Group mentoring

Group mentoring consists of multiple experts and learners gathered in a group setting for individual and structured development.

A group of sharp mentors who understand how to align skills, work with mentees to focus on improving their skills in a specific area of interest. Each mentee is paired with someone who has a similar background. An expert who is capable of understanding the individual’s unique life experiences and shares common ground with the mentee. This can work really well with groups of graduates in organisations or groups on a particular career pathway.

Each option has its own pros and cons. There is not a one-size fit all approach for team members to pursue growth. With the challenge of staying up to date and unlearning one of the core capabilities for the future of work, forward-thinking organizations need to update ways and means for continuing to iterate the centuries-old tradition of passing on wisdom, in new and disruptive ways.

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