How to Mentor Millennials at Work

How to mentor millennials at workEven though millennials love communicating with technology, they value face time and one-on-one connections as well. Today’s young professionals want to hear how they’re doing and what they could be doing better, and a mentoring relationship is a perfect way to fulfill that need. Mentoring can also give millennial employees leadership development opportunities, which they’re always looking for.

This week I’ve collected several articles about how mentorship has changed in the business world, what it can do for millennials, and the benefits it can bring to your organization.

The New Meaning Of Workplace Mentorship. Fast Company: “Everyone wants feedback, but millennials are more vocal in demanding it. Why not give it? Mitchell says to ‘Consider regular debriefs regarding how the team handles routine tasks. It trains staffers to look for ways to continuously improve, it encourages ownership among your team, and often surfaces ideas that can improve everyday work experience.’”

Mentor Your Millennials. CLO Media: “‘A good mentor provides a safe zone, allowing both intellectual and emotional reactions to be expressed,’ says Rose Ernst, ‘then providing the recent graduate with suggestions for a different approach to the task, recommended reading and training to help them gain more insight into effective techniques, as well as observations on the more personal factors which may be playing a part in the graduate’s struggle to master the task at hand. A mentor is not a trainer, nor a direct supervisor. Rather, a mentor is someone who gets to know the graduate, both in terms of specific qualifications and more holistically, understanding their aspirations, what motivates them and where they may have beliefs or other outside factors limiting their ability to perform.’”

Being Experienced Doesn’t Automatically Make You a Great Mentor. Harvard Business Review: “As coaches and mentors, we’re typically chosen for our experience — which is a good thing. But that experience can also be a liability when it means we’re far removed from the actual experience of learning challenging new skills. People can really struggle when trying to master new skills. They can feel anxious, self-conscious, embarrassed, and even frustrated and angry. It can take a delicate touch and keen insight to give the right advice, intervene in a timely manner, offer the right words of wisdom and encouragement, and really understand how to nurture a trainee’s sense of confidence.”

The Modern Mentor. Comstock’s: “Gone are the days of waiting for a formal program to pair eager mentees with seasoned advisers. Budgets are partially to blame and so are changing workplace norms — few young people stick with companies long term, which can disincentivize employers to invest in their growth. Today, both mentors and mentees are learning that they must take the initiative or they will be left in the dust by those who do.”

Women at Work: Mentorships Help the Next Generation. Rochester Post-Bulletin: “If millennials are looking for mentorship opportunities or programs in the companies they want to work for, and are even willing to leave their current job to work for a business that offers such programs, what are you doing to attract the top young talent? It’s a competitive advantage for your business to invest in mentorship opportunities for your team and promote such programs when recruiting. Whether you’re battling other businesses in your industry or your city, it’s clear that having established mentorships for your employees will help you gain the attention of the most talented workers available.”

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