4 Reasons to Put Reverse Mentorship into Action  

The Express Blog has launched a new series called The Value of Mentorship for leaders and job seekers. This is part eight of the 12-part series, so check back for new weekly installments!  

Organizations are looking for ways to improve and strengthen their recruiting and retention efforts due to the competitive job market and generational shifts.  

Employers can encourage colleagues to share their skills and knowledge by offering mentoring programs in the workplace. If you want to shake up the traditional mentor-mentee dynamic, consider the advantages of incorporating reverse mentoring into the employee experience.   

What is Reverse Mentorship? 

Reverse mentoring has been a workplace tool for the past few decades. In 1999, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch popularized the concept.  

Coaching platform BetterUp describes reverse mentorship as having a junior colleague mentor someone with senior-level experience. Reverse mentoring aims to help senior colleagues develop new skills and connect with younger generations. Reverse mentoring isn’t based solely on age. Management or experience level is also an important factor to consider. Reverse mentorship can provide the following benefits for employees:  

1. Leadership Development   

Reverse mentoring can aid in the development of future leaders in the workplace. Senior employees typically mentor junior employees in a traditional mentorship. In reverse mentoring, junior employees support and train senior employees while learning from their experiences. Leadership, communication, and networking are all skills that can be developed through mentorship, giving the junior employee the confidence to become a leader one day. 

2. Leverage Digital Skills  

Reverse mentorship can facilitate the transfer of knowledge between employees. As technology continues to advance, workflows will also evolve. Talent who can apply the latest digital tools and processes in the business setting will be attractive to employers. Younger or less experienced employees can leverage their digital skillset by sharing their expertise with seasoned colleagues who may be looking to stay updated and relevant with the latest tools, platforms, and trends. 

3. Promotes Diversity and Inclusion  

Reverse mentorship can help improve diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace, as evidenced by two international companies that put this concept into action:  

Consulting firm PwC launched its reverse mentorship program in 2014 to improve diversity and inclusion. Millennial and Gen Z mentors meet with their mentees, who are all partners and directors at the firm, once a month.  

Deloitte piloted its reverse mentoring program in 2018. Deloitte says its first initiative was to support women and ethnic minorities who comprise a small percentage of their staff. The following year, the company rolled it out to LGBTQ+ employees to increase its impact. 

4. Recruit and Retain Top Talent 

Reverse mentoring can be a productive way to recruit and retain talent in the workplace.  

According to a recent survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, 85% of U.S. job seekers say companies are more attractive to them if they offer a mentorship program. Similar opinions are held by 87% of job seekers in Canada. 

Interested in reading more articles on mentorship? Check out previous posts from the Express Blog’s Value of Mentorship series:  

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