How to Lead and Mentor Multigenerational Teams | Tamara Thorpe

With a difference of 2-3 years on average there could be four groups in which generations can be classified in. Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennial. Millennial are the newest generation in workforce between 1981 and 2001 also called Gen Y. Gen X is 1965-1980, and baby boomers born between 1964-1946 and traditionalists born from 1926-1945.

Harvard Business Review proposes that in 4 years Millennial born in 1977-1997 will account for nearly half the workforce in the world. Today there are 1.7 billion, Millennial worldwide. They represent 25.5% of the world population and comprise 75% of workforce.  They are said to stay in their job for less then 3 years, so retaining Millennial workforce is very crucial as the cost for substituting them is really high.

Millennial come in the workforce with some very strong values around:

  • Collaboration
  • Inclusion
  • Appreciation
  • Strong desire for growth and development
  • And mentoring.

Millennial, view mentoring as a connection to share knowledge, with people who know how to get things done. They prefer culture where there is a lot of collaboration. Mentoring has seen a huge shift towards virtual context. Now more and more, mentors are shifting towards web based and online mentoring platforms. There are now more sophisticated mentoring softwares for more complex matching to make mentoring more effective. Mentoring has become more integrated in people lives. There were times when people had one mentor now they have different mentors for different contexts. Because all of these mentoring ways are not formal we are experiencing a whole new category of informal mentoring which is playing a greater role.

Many organizations today are also introducing reverse mentoring where someone younger is mentoring someone who is senior. Mutual mentoring is non-hierarchal concept of mentoring and in multi-generational workforce mutual mentoring is very useful where everyone is learning from each others irrespective of experience, age or seniority.

Millennial who have just finished their studies are coming in industry with new ideas, theories and energies. There are so many new concepts that keep coming with every passing day and that combined with knowledge from experience when both combined can really benefit the organization in many ways.

  • Strengthen organizational intelligence
  • Build sustainable communities of knowledge
  • Promote collaboration across differences
  • Sustain competitive advantage
  • Enhances performance and career growth.

To make mutual mentoring successful it is important to:

  • Cultivate and nurture an age friendly environment by recruiting, retaining, and engaging workers of all ages
  • Develop the ability to communicate and behave effectively and appropriately in inter GENERATIONAL situations based on one’s GENERATIONAL knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Millennial workers strive to have a very balanced work life balance as compared to Gen X. They work under the model: work smarter not harder. They make use of technology to get their work done effectively so they have personal and family time. Once you understand fully, the difference that raise due to generation gaps at workplace you will be able to work out a plan for effective organization working. When you understand how each generation is different and how they work differently than we are able to more accurately determine behaviors, the values that influence the behaviors and mold our behaviors accordingly and find some common grounds. Once you do this you develop a working behavior which is a mutual relationship build upon respect and relationship which is very vital for building a strong and intelligent work force. Monitoring and evaluation are very critical to any mentoring relationship because lots of mentoring relationship don’t work out and don’t match, therefore, it is important to have a process to evaluate and match the right competencies and work out the best relationship between mentor and person who is being mentored.


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