How can you enhance your talent and sharpen your competitive edge in today’s technological workplace?
Try a current initiative referred to as reverse mentoring.
Traditional mentoring has been a way to provide experience, knowledge, and perspective from a more senior associate to a younger colleague.
Reverse mentoring allows for this exchange to occur in both directions, providing opportunities for more “openness” and the ability for younger associates to discuss topics. Such topics can range from advancements in technology and innovation to client and marketing opportunities, which affects broader change in their career at a faster pace – and therefore, a broader change in our society.
This openness also brings together diverse groups with different social and cultural situations, varied work ethics, mindsets, and attitudes, which better cultivates workplace talent.
It’s a “learning partnership” that works!
RS&H associates in the Jacksonville office have an informal process that brings together younger/technically savvy associates with more experienced leaders. There’s a recognition and value placed on the dialog that builds on the strengths of generations and the need to dissolve barriers of “position and power.”
As a result, all parties actively listen, commit time, and dedicate trust to each other.
Reverse mentoring has been used successfully to develop marketing initiatives for our clients, deliver innovative solutions during project pursuits and design, offer suggestions for enhanced workspaces and environments, and propose the latest training and software options for our professionals.
All of these decisions have driven work change and business success resulting in more opportunities for our associates, significant project wins, and company recognition with our clients.
Kim Holland served on a panel about reverse mentoring at ENR’s Groundbreaking Women in Construction (GWIC) conference in San Francisco, CA, in June 2016.
About the author
- Kim is a VP and the Jacksonville Office Leader She has more than 20 years of diverse civil and transportation engineering experience involving project management, roadway/drainage design, traffic control, utilities, signing and pavement markings, public involvement, and permitting on projects ranging from complex system-to-system interchanges to roadway rehabilitations.