I came across this recent article in the Washington Post talking about the aging workforce. Specifically, it was discussing the challenge for older workers of keeping their skills in line with demand. Yep, it’s that skills gap conversation again. And it doesn’t look like it will be going away any time soon.
We all realize the Boomers are going to retire at some point. But they will not retire en masse. Which means they might need some skill upgrades to complement the tremendous abilities and experience they already have. Particularly when it comes to technology.
The article mentioned one company that was doing what they called “reverse mentoring” – having younger workers mentor older ones. My first reaction was, “Why not just call it mentoring?” Then I looked up the definition of mentoring. While it stems from Mentor, a friend of Odysseus in Greek mythology, I don’t know that we have to be quite so literal.
I was reminded of reverse mentoring again recently. I had the pleasure of being a guest on Jay McKeever’s Expert Access Radio program and we started talking about generational differences in the workplace. I brought up the fact that mentoring doesn’t have to be defined as an older worker offering guidance to a younger one. Mentoring is about sharing knowledge independent of the ages of the individuals involved.
So, let me ask you a question:
And as we see workforce changes such as the Boomers retiring and Millennials entering the C-Suite, I believe mentoring can be a great way of learning and passing along information. 0