Reverse mentoring to re-energising junior staff: how to keep a young workforce happy
Gen Zers are stepping into the workplace during a global pandemic, amid concerns over recession, growing inflation rates, climate change — and, currently, debates over office, remote work and hybrid schedules. Burnout and lay-offs are soaring. So, how can companies motivate this generation? Here’s what industry heads, corporate bosses and academics have told the media in the recent past.
“We had 70,000 people who joined Microsoft during the pandemic; they sort of saw Microsoft through the lens of the pandemic. And now when we think about the next phase, you need to re-energise them, re-recruit them, help them form social connections… We [also] have to get past what we describe as ‘productivity paranoia’ because all of the data we have shows that 80% plus of people feel they’re very productive — except their management thinks that they’re not productive. That means there is a real disconnect in terms of the expectations and what they feel.”
“Younger employees prioritise working for organisations that match their values, foster their growth, and promote connections with colleagues. Overall, a sense of belonging, both in and outside work, will be the most significant benefit that recruiters can offer new talent. Bringing true inclusivity, growth, and community into the workplace — whether you’re fully remote, hybrid, or always in the office — is how your company can stand out for young job seekers.”
“Reverse mentoring [junior staff teaching their managers specific skills or sharing information upwards] is when we shift those roles and the senior person has something they can learn from the junior person [everything from consumer desires and TikTok to changing attitudes around social issues and equality]. One key thing for employers is intergenerational awareness… Starting these conversations allows us to break down some of these barriers.”
“The progress of one generation becomes the foundational premise for the next. And, it takes a new set of people to come along and realise all the possibilities. There are probably things about technology that frustrate you and make you impatient. Don’t lose that impatience. It will create the next technology revolution and enable you to build things my generation could never dream of.”
Credit: Message for the graduating class of 2020