Keeping the restless millennial in me on track

Posting date:03 Jun 2019

We often discuss the benefits that reverse-mentoring can have on your workforce be it through creating an inclusive culture, diversifying current or future talent pools or even supporting your commercial objectives but in our recent white paper we interviewed Magnus Svortsol Lie who discusses the enormous benefits that came from his time as a reverse-mentor and how it kept his inner restless millennial, on track.

Magnus explained that time and trust are key themes and how making your own rules, ensuring confidentiality and preparing for sessions are vital attributes to a strong and successful mentoring relationship. It was the culture-change at Microsoft however that enabled the relationship to flourish as while he didn’t see the company as a hierarchical establishment to begin with, the shift to include and listen to younger voices made the programme easier to participate in.

“I was growing faster, I thought I made better choices and stronger decisions as a result of mentoring and was being included in more conversations. It was an investment in me and the company got higher returns based on that process. I remember how trustworthy I felt my contribution was which; alongside other projects, heightened my interest in Microsoft. I learned to understand the whole company, see the bigger picture and develop a different point of view. 

"As a result, I overachieved for the next year and exceeded targets which without such schemes may not have happened. I was kept interested and invested in working for the company which as a millennial is vital.

"A common generalisation of millennials is that we are eager to move up the ladder as quickly as possible but we can get tunnel vision. We get bored, restless and want to see instant results. Some of this might be true, I will not speak for all but I could recognise some of those patterns in myself. I was that restless person, I wanted it all too quickly but during my experience with reverse-mentoring I understood that you can’t get it that fast, and you shouldn’t. The more experience you have, the more information you possess, the more chance you have to succeed. You should be clever in moving up the ladder and gaining more experience.

"I developed more patience and I knew I needed to do more, gain more responsibility, learn how to handle people. If I got a leadership position after one year it would be my dream, but it may not have been successful.

"It’s a great way to keep millennials in one company and understand what they need. Millennials can often glorify the idea of becoming a leader but not understand what it means – this was a learning experience. It’s hard to retain millennials, only if you focus on the wrong things.

"Better salaries, better social options and enjoying the company are all huge benefits but they are also tools used to attract talent, not to retain employees. A company can give you what you need to be successful but it’s ultimately your responsibility to absorb and to learn. It’s all about process. Their responsibility is to empower you to do it and provide you with the tools, but you need to get there yourself. A lot of millennials may not understand or fully accept this.

"The mentoring scheme helped to make millennial workers feel recognised, trusted and appreciated while building a bridge between generations.”

For access to the full interview alongside our exclusive research, thought-leadership and statistics in our white paper focused on reverse-mentoring please follow the link below.