The demographics of the workforce are changing. Gen Z (those born between the late 90s and 2010) will comprise 30% of the workforce by 2030. With a stark difference in the approach towards the workplace of those born before the internet and those born after, employee initiatives like mentoring programs are due for a transformation.
Discussed below is a list of characteristics new-age employees are expecting from modern mentoring programs.
Supported by technology
Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with technology from a very early age. They have had access to information and are digitally connected at all times through multiple devices. They expect mentoring programs to be technologically agile as well. They are looking for mentoring programs that can be accessed on the go from mobile devices while syncing their progress across different devices. A paperless approach to the content and curriculum of mentoring programs sits right with these employees. Organizations that invest in mentoring software platforms can cater to this growing need and will have an edge going forward.
The new generation that is entering the workforce values individual identity and self-expression. A one-size fits all approach does not work for them. They expect personalization in the mentoring programs created for them. Though the intent of information sharing and knowledge transfer remains at the core of modern mentoring programs as well, some level of customization is needed while creating program content. For example, a mentoring program that has seven steps out of which two are basics of finance (a subject the mentees have an advanced degree in) should be tweaked to remove the redundant milestones for this particular group of mentees. This feat can be easily accomplished by using the clone program feature available in Teleskope’s mentoring platform.
Remote and hybrid-work friendly
Many Gen Z employees began their professional work journeys at the start of the pandemic. They have been accustomed to remote work environments and expect the mentoring programs also to have adapted accordingly. Designing mentoring programs for the remote workplace means having carefully crafted virtual touch-points and interactions that factor in the mentor and mentee being in different physical locations or offices. The mentoring curriculum also needs to include engaging virtual conversation starters. A remote and hybrid-work friendly mentoring program helps connect mentors and mentees across the globe and give the new generation of employees global exposure which they value.
Factoring in personality types
Nearly half of Gen Zs (46%) and four in 10 millennials (39%) say they feel stressed or anxious at work all or most of the time. They are aware of their mental health triggers and resonate with organizations that take their needs into consideration while designing mentoring programs. Mentoring programs that match mentors and mentees according to their personality types demonstrate organizational commitment to the well-being of their employees. If an introverted (INFJ) mentee is matched with a highly extroverted (ESTP) mentor, their energies might not be conducive for a long-term association. Mentoring software solutions can now easily integrate with third-party personality assessment platforms and provide this data as input to the mentor-mentee matching algorithm.
Gen Z is the most diverse generation in American history. They embrace diversity and multiculturalism and celebrate intersectionality. Representation at the workplace matters to them. Mentees that are mapped to mentors who understand their cultural heritage and echo the challenges faced by underrepresented groups lead to meaningful mentorships. Similarly, reverse mentoring where Gen Z employees mentor older generations on the topics of diversity and inclusion can also add tremendous value at the workplace. Tapping into employee resource groups is a great way to add a ribbon of diversity to mentoring programs. This can be achieved by integrating ERG data into mentor-mentee algorithms which is made possible by comprehensive software solutions like Teleskope.
As the new generation trickles into the workforce looking to be understood, motivated and driven by the purpose of their employer, mentoring programs have to step up and support the needs of these employees with features that add value and promote employee engagement and employee satisfaction.