What is Reverse Mentoring?
Reverse mentoring is where junior employees act as mentors to senior leaders or executives.
Why Reverse Mentoring?
With change and uncertainty in the world of work, it is neither realistic nor relevant for leaders to hold all the solutions. Reverse mentoring is one of the best ways to identify the real organisational challenges and how to address these in a bespoke way.
Reverse mentoring can facilitate a cultural transformation where those more junior and unrepresented become catalysts for change. It is a unique vehicle to accelerate leadership and culture change in the areas of
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Technology advancement
- Breaking down harmful assumptions and unhelpful perspectives
- Creating a mutual understanding and shared purpose
- Levelling the power dynamic in an organisation
For anti-discriminatory practises in the workplace and equality, diversity & inclusion, reverse mentoring
- Creates dialogue which results in giving more opportunities for unrepresentative and minority voices to inform strategy
- Provides the conditions for individuals to voice their opinions with confidence and impact
- Enables understanding behind the data. Data analytics is the easy part. Reverse mentoring increases the chances of genuine change through really understanding the ‘lived experience’, a far more powerful element.
For culture change, reverse mentoring
- Ensures that policy and procedural change is accompanied by sustainable behaviour and attitude change
- Creates dialogue based on reality, not theory, which leads to action.
For inclusive leadership and personal development, reverse mentoring
- Breaks down harmful assumptions and unhelpful perspectives
- Creates a mutual understanding and shared purpose
- Levels the power dynamic in an organisation.
For all of the above, reverse mentoring is an effective and swift way to get information from the ‘frontline’ to improve decision making at the ‘top’.
The process ensures change happens quicker than programmatic approaches. It is the ‘Agile’ equivalent approach to culture change.
Clarify purpose of RM vis a vis organisation strategy
Engage by communicating and briefing employees and gaining buy in from executives
Match mentors and mentees
Mentor skills building
Combined mentor/mentee facilitation
Clarify expectations between mentor, mentee and the organisation
Guidlines and resource kits to review progress
Action learning sets and impact assessment
Our Success Criteria
- How often do you meet: at least 6 meetings
- What phase have you reached in the relationship?
- Are people networking more?
- Is there clear evidence of progress towards objectives?
- Are there new actions implemented at individual, team or Trust level?
- Does the mentee have a clearer idea of how to contribute to ED&I?
- Do you trust each other?
- Are you dealing with real issues?
- Are you enjoying mentoring?
- Has significant learning taken place?
- Has the mentee increased insight, new perspective?
What participants have said about the value of Reverse Mentoring at an NHS London Trust
“We have had honest conversations which previously we might have avoided.”
“If we don't have connectivity, we just have a bunch of assumptions. If we're not connected with reality, we won't get anywhere.”
“No amount of training on culture change could achieve my understanding that I now have of what we need to shift.”
“We have made decisions which for the first time feel informed by lived experience of our staff.”
“We have so much in common and have come across similar things in our life - so he is someone with white privilege and I am not but we are connected in many other ways.”
“I realised I don't need to limit myself - it unlocked something inside myself.”
“I would 100% recommend this - I have connected with an executive who has listened and taken action.”
“My mentee and I have a relationship which is stronger than I could have ever expected - this may sound strange but we have become friends.”