How to mentor millennials in the workplace

14 Jun How to mentor millennials in the workplace

The workforce is undergoing a seismic shift as the rising millennial generation bring with them new ways of thinking and operating.

Millennials will make up a substantial percent of the global workforce by 2020. This generation who were typically born between 1980 and 1995 have a desire for flexibility, fulfilment and opportunities to connect and learn in the workplace.

This generation think differently to prior generations, prioritising people and purpose. Millennials also have high expectations from their employers and they are demanding a roadmap for success.

So, what can companies and recruiters do to prepare millennials for success in a changing workforce?

Here are three kinds of mentoring tips than can help millennials effectively navigate their careers:

1. Group mentoring:

Millennials value working in a collaborative team and the same applies for mentoring opportunities. Peer-to-peer activities, leadership circles and topic-based groups enable a mentor to work with several mentees at the same time in an open environment that fosters the exchange of ideas, professional development tips and general support. With more millennials also choosing to work from home and in separate locations from company headquarters, group mentoring can be easily undertaken through software that has built-in social-networking abilities.

2. Embrace unique millennial attributes:

Millennials bring to the table a unique set of attributes that differentiate them from their older counterparts. Many prefer diversity in their work, flexible work arrangements and enjoy working on purpose-driven projects. Companies should tap into this during mentoring activities so millennials can get the best value from mentorship. This involves organisations embracing different perspectives and being open to new and innovative ways of undertaking tasks.

3. Provide regular feedback: Millennials crave a constant stream of feedback and advice which provides the perfect context for millennial mentorship. Open dialogue, two-way communication and interactive learning are all key components of successful millennial mentoring that will help them thrive in the workforce and in their careers.

Millennials have a strong desire for flexibility in their work, but also crave a clear career path that provides them with optionality, growth and valuable learning opportunities.  Mentoring millennials is a great way to help them develop the skills for the future as they navigate a career path that is far less linear than it was for prior generations.