10 Tips Employers Need To Know About Mentoring Millennials and Gen Z

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

For the first time in history we have five generations together in the workplace, from Traditionalists to Gen Z. While every person is different for various reasons, it can be most productive to separate their training methods by generation. This is because the ideologies of each generation are typically formed by their shared experiences. Laura Francis at Training Industry and Donna Fuscaldo at Business News Daily detail good practices for mentoring across generations.

Intern Pursuit is committed to helping employers close Power Skill gaps to improve team communication in a multigenerational workforce. Each generation has lived through historic events and technology advancements that brings a rich depth of wisdom and experience that is mutually beneficial to all.

1. Take advantage of generational trends.

While many view an attachment to technology as a bad thing, there are many benefits to Gen Z being so attached to technology. They are generally more tech savvy and can get the hang of digital programs quicker than others.

Knowing your way around niche software programs is a unique skill and is very valuable to HR. While this doesn’t mean millennials and Gen Z will know these programs before they start the job, they may have a quicker and smoother learning process compared to other generations. These generations, having lived through so many pivotal changes in technology, are also more inclined to go with the flow. This is an integral skill in any business – Gen Z and millennials are able to grow with the company and strengthen it.

2. Use mentoring software.

Using mentoring software can help you to make sure that your employee is getting a mentor experience that is tailored to their needs and how they learn best.

Software programs are able to assign mentors and mentees without any bias. This method allows the person to input that information and find others like them. It eliminates the bias from things like age and generational stereotypes from the equation so that everyone is paired with someone who will help them learn and succeed.

3. Tailor your training.

Speaking of tailoring your information, there are optimal ways to cater information to each generation.

For example, Gen Z typically takes in information best when it’s given in bite-sized pieces. While they grew up, they learned that they had endless information at their fingertips, all while being thrown into the world of social media, where everything is consumed under two minutes. This ended in a strong ability to intake information quickly, albeit with a short attention span. This also means that millennials and Gen Z like to have their information on an as-needed basis, and it can help to give them the choice between text and an audio or visual option.

4. Let them decide how they learn best.

The person that knows yourself best is always you. While most may assume Gen Z and millennials prefer to text over meeting in person, everyone has different preferences.

Letting the employee explain their preference and how they learn best can be extremely beneficial. Giving them all the resources they need to succeed will make them feel more comfortable and motivated. It also means they will learn much easier and have more confidence in the workplace.

5. Offer multiple types of mentoring.

Going off of everyone knowing how they learn best, you can do your part by providing many different options for mentoring. Older generations may prefer to be more hands-on while millennials and Gen Z might want to take in all the information before they dive in.

6. Check in on your younger employees.

It’s always good to check in on your employees once in a while. No matter your age or generation, it feels good when your hard work is noticed and commended.

Millennials and Gen Z particularly thrive from being told if they’re doing a good job or not. Likely stemming from the use of social media, it helps for members of these generations to be reassured that they are doing a good job or told what they are doing wrong. For these reasons, it’s probably a good idea to formally review employees at least twice a year – after all, it can’t hurt to frequently check up on everyone.