December 12, 2017
Companies will soon see an influx of new talent as the post-Millennial demographic, known as Generation Z, enters the workforce. Businesses must consider how the mentoring of post-Millennials can improve the capabilities of those being trained and benefit the organization as well.
Generation Z is characterized by a strong desire for feedback and development. As the newest members of the workplace, these employees will be looking for colleagues to guide them. Mentoring, which may occur spontaneously or through a structured program, extends beyond standard onboarding and training procedures.
Post-Millennials will be growing into their first jobs as others in their organizations receive promotions, transition into new endeavors, or move toward retirement. Before these workforce changes can cause the symptoms of “brain drain,” companies must pass the torch to the next generation. One effective way to spur the transfer of knowledge to post-Millennials is through business mentor/mentee relationships.
Even the oldest of the post-Millennials—a generation born between 1996 and the present—are just starting down their career paths. As these employees take on new responsibilities, business mentors can serve as knowledgeable and trusted advisors who help develop their skills. But to maintain a productive relationship, both mentors and mentees must embrace certain values, many of which are discussed in the AMA course Career Planning: Aligning Your Development to Your Organization’s Needs. Consider these points from the course:
Effective mentors not only possess knowledge and expertise they can pass on to mentees, but also are willing to invest in the process. Having patience goes a long way, as the mentor must allot time to building the mentoring relationship. Good mentors will find it rewarding to advise others.
However, you don’t need to go at a snail’s pace when mentoring post-Millennials. Their formative life experiences have made them proficient in acquiring information rapidly, and they have the potential to learn quickly.
It’s worth noting that there isn’t a limit to how many mentors a post-Millennial can have—several may present themselves either formally or informally on the job.
Most important, post-Millennial mentees must demonstrate strong listening skills to work effectively with a mentor. They must also show a commitment to apply what they are learning, which is best accomplished through their day-to-day performance of work tasks.
It’s important for Generation Z mentees to respect the time of the person assisting them and offer insights and feedback to the senior colleague in return for the lessons instilled.
Everyone will win when post-Millennials can align the goals of advancing their careers with the goals of the organization. When mentors and mentees are willing to cooperate, an effective transfer of knowledge and skills is possible. Individuals on both sides of the relationship can develop their roles in the organization in a mutually beneficial way.