We have resources to help employers to challenge the stereotypes around age. Understanding and managing a multigenerational workforce will help us to have more innovative, engaged and productive teams.
Managing age diversity well in our workplaces offers us huge potential.
People from different generations working together can grow and learn from each other, gain new perspectives, new ideas and new ways of working. However, often we have different expectations about loyalty, the ability to respond to change, career commitment and aspirations, competence with technology and relationships with colleagues according to the age of who we’re dealing with.
We have resources to help employers to challenge the stereotypes around age and understanding and managing a multigenerational workforce will help us to have more innovative, engaged and productive teams.
Reverse mentoring at Kingston Council
In our short film Ian Thomas, the Chief Executive of Kingston Council, tells us about his experience of taking part in reverse mentoring.
Reverse mentoring pairs younger or more junior employees with executive team members to think differently about strategic issues, leadership, culture change and the mindset with which they approach their work.
Reverse mentoring schemes can increase retention, help senior executives drive culture change, and promote diversity.
Ian Thomas, Chief Executive, Kingston Council
Talking about reverse mentoring
I wanted to play an active role in Kingston Council’s reverse mentoring scheme because I have some amazing colleagues that have been working on this for the past year, and I put my hand up as a volunteer for the first tranche, so yeah really excited about it.
I have two people who mentor me, two individuals who are both amazing colleagues and I’ve learnt a great deal from both of them. And they work from different departments, its fair to say a few grades below the Chief Executive and its so powerful that what I knew would happen has happened in that I just to continue to learn every time we have a session I learn multiple things that are new. So its really helping me in terms of my own growth and development and hopefully they are getting something out of it as well.
What’s been really satisfying is how my mentors in reverse mentoring have grown in their own confidence. Another thing I would say that’s incredibly positive is that we’ve discussed and identified solutions together to some of the challenges that we face in the organisation. We’ve tackled issues together in a kind of action learning set style, but clearly in that particular role I’ve been the mentee. And what’s really good is that the power dynamics have shifted so that they are kind of calling the shots on what they think aught to be done and I’ve been facilitative in role, and I think the key thing is that we’ve seen some improvements already as a result of the different roles that we’ve played. So if through any intervention, services to our residents and the people that visit Kingston improves or support for staff improves, then that can only be a good thing.
Both coaching and mentoring places the responsibility on the individual around their personal and professional growth, in a way that formal academic qualifications doesn’t and for that reason I would recommend both coaching and mentoring to my peers and not just within the sector but across sectors too.
So, I would say even though for us, we are in the infancy generally speaking, we’ve been running it for a few months now, I would welcome visits from anyone with regards to the scheme and I would be more than receptive to people speaking to the reverse mentors that we have. Just to triangulate what I’ve said here because it’s easy for me to engage in this conversation from a very positive perspective and it bare nothing to reality. So I would invite you to speak to the mentors, who I’m not paying extra to say nice things, but you know it would be really interesting to see how it feels from their perspective and whether or not they’ve derived similar benefit in terms of their own growth.