I’d like to introduce you to the concept of Reverse Mentoring. You may already be familiar with the term - introduced in 1999 by General Electric and used to up-skill a Board of Executives on how to use the internet, Reverse Mentoring is now transforming workplaces across the world by simply pairing together, unlikely employees and I’m one of them. In November 2018 we produced a comprehensive white paper on Reverse Mentoring to explore how the tool can be used to support an inclusive workplace culture, diversify your current and future talent pools, broaden your demographic, retain millennial talent and support your commercial objectives and it was a huge success. Having spent more than three months researching, interviewing and studying Reverse Mentoring and the organisations that have used the tool to achieve greatness, we shared the paper with our network and the results were overwhelming. We had a whole community of HR professionals contact us with their stories of mentoring in different formats and amazingly, we had organisations that we had never spoken to before – tell us we had inspired their entire programme of learning and development. We decided we couldn’t possibly not use this as a perfect platform to start our very own Reverse Mentoring programme and so at the start of 2019, I became the Reverse Mentor of Managing Director, Lee Costello. What an incredible journey it has been. Almost reaching a year of our mentoring relationship and we have not only learned a huge amount from each other but we have helped each other to grow as employees of Stanton House – as leader and consultant. While I have been given an insight into leadership and what that requires, I was able to offer Lee a millennial voice and a fresh perspective on how business-wide decisions impact the rest of the workforce. I wanted to share our white paper with you once more because aside from the incredible thought-leadership from the likes of EY, Microsoft and BNP Paribas it might give you the inspiration to start your own journey with Reverse Mentoring and see if you too can build a more inclusive work-place culture. Have you ever been Reverse Mentored or perhaps you are a Reverse Mentor yourself? Please do get in touch and share your stories about how you have been impacted through Mentoring. Download our white paper on Reverse-Mentoring white paper
03 Dec 2019
Greg Young is an executive coach, mentor, author and leadership development practitioner who is recognised internationally as a thought leader in the issues surrounding board and senior team cohesiveness. Greg is passionate about the development of female leaders and the improvement of gender diversity. He advocates that mentoring has the potential to support both of these objectives. With the adoption of technological developments such as artificial intelligence and machine learning there is an urgent need for the greatest diversity of thinking organisations can possibly get. Unknown problems require unknown solutions and companies well positioned to act are making great progress in terms of improving diversity, with gender diversity often a key priority. A key focus for many organisations is how to generate diversity that will produce that ability to harness the benefits of disruptive technologies. Alongside company led initiatives, some governments and numerous industry bodies are also setting targets which; whilst important, can present a lot of resentment. In the instance of gender diversity, companies are facing a material loss of male talent and my advice is that if you are looking to promote diversity, don’t lose track of the people who aren’t diverse. This is where real leadership comes in. Look at the reason why you are introducing diversity initiatives and rather than improving diversity for diversity’s sake focus on the long-term survivability and success of your organisation. It is very easy to ignore the people who form the status quo; those who claim it’s ‘PC gone mad’, but you need to bring them with you at the same time. Use your first mentors to persuade their colleagues that this is the right thing to do and give them the dialogue and the data as to why this is the right thing to do. For full access to Greg’s interview and our white paper on Reverse Mentoring please follow the download link below and join the conversation – how important is your non-diverse workforce? Download our Reverse Mentoring white paper here
09 Aug 2019
Célisiane Rosius was the Project Manager at BNP Paribas Personal Finance and responsible for their global reverse-mentoring programme. She is an expert in digital transformation and held responsibility for developing the digital skill-sets of 24,000 employees around the world. BNP Paribas Personal Finance launched its Digital Reverse-Mentoring Programme in September 2017 which sees millennial staff teach senior and c-suite colleagues how to embrace the digital world. The programme was created by Celisiane, whose primary focus is to digitally transform the workforce. This scheme allows for the transfer of knowledge between three working generations. BNP Paribas Personal Finance launched a reverse-mentoring pilot for the Executive Committee in 2014 but it ended quite quickly so when I was asked to start the programme again I made sure I asked everyone for their feedback on the previous experience, we took that information and created a whole new programme. We had a bigger population and had asked all of our high potential staff to take part. We had 30 volunteers to start with and they helped us grow the scheme into what it is today – 110 trained mentors in 18 countries and 140 managers have been mentored. I created five modules for the relationship to follow including how to manage your identity online, how to increase influence online, the future of digital and the way the digital world is changing work inside of BNP Paribas Personal Finance. I then asked everyone that was interested in the programme to take an online test which would help us match mentors to mentees. The mentor would then select three of the modules to teach the mentee followed by a final feedback session. The relationship is completely confidential, I don’t have any idea as to what they say but what I did find out; from my own experience as a mentor, was that it wasn’t purely about the transfer of digital knowledge. It was and remains to be about behavioural skillsets too. Mentors have to apply online and have to be willing to partake in the relationship for six months and respect that it is private and confidential. You have to be compatible with technical skills, social network and be under 40. You have to speak at least one common language with your mentee and be aware that it is volunteering. You need to donate your time outside of your working hours and it can add up a full day in the six-month relationship. As part of their application, mentors have to take an online test which has a minimum pass mark and if successful, they will be invited to an enrolling session. We have a lot of IT people who actually fail the test as it’s about social networks, online influence and leadership as much as it is about digital skills. We then offer a full training programme which includes an education of the modules, an introduction to mentoring and a coaching session on soft skills. It is very important to build soft skills as you will be communicating with some of the most senior people in the company. Both participants remain committed to their signed confidential waiver and at the end of the relationship they can continue to mentor one another or shake hands and say goodbye. Mentors can go on to mentor another mentee in the company, 1 in 2 decide to start again so now I have mentors who have already had three of four mentees before them.Sometimes the mentor has more to gain than the mentee because they can network with people they wouldn’t usually have access to. Reverse-mentoring provides a huge opportunity to have direct access to senior colleagues you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to work with. Using myself as an example, I’m 28 years old and have been working here for just over a year yet I am the digital mentor of the CEO. This is a huge opportunity for everyone taking part. For full access to our interview with Célisiane and the rest of our reverse-mentoring white paper, please follow the link below. Download our reverse-mentoring white paper
01 Jul 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. Download our white paper
03 Jun 2019
The banking, retail and hospitality industries are paving the way for Reverse-Mentoring programmes with the likes of HSBC, Tesco and InterContinental Hotels Group advocating the benefits of the scheme but with big branded companies backing the cause - is it time smaller businesses follow suit? To request a copy of our white paper which explores how reverse-mentoring can improve racial, intergenerational, hierarchical and gender diversity - please follow the link below. Download our white paper
02 May 2019
Reverse-mentoring can transform several aspects of your work-place culture; it can encourage diversity, boost the productivity and efficiency of your workforce and add value by broadening your demographic, retaining talent and upskilling a generation. But, how can you get your board and your leadership team to agree it’s a great idea? We interviewed Adrian Edwards, Managing Partner of EY to ask him how you can build a case for change. This is the advice he offered companies looking to implement Reverse-Mentoring: “You need to get your boards and your c-suite to role model the scheme as something that the organisation values and how it is a valuable use of time. You can’t publicly mandate it and not then support it and champion it. “Our scheme was about women mentoring men but it’s also about the different generations, different lenses of diversity and when you have senior women it’s equally as important that they have mentors too. “What is vital, is making sure that the mentors have some training and a network that gives them the confidence to be effective mentors. I also think it was very helpful as a group of mentees to discuss our experiences as a collective, we could raise systemic issues such as learning styles and how to apply flexible working. This in turn created a policy group and allowed us a company to highlight things that we needed to tackle.” To find out more about Reverse-Mentoring and to read Adrian’s full interview, request a copy of our white paper.
24 Apr 2019
Hong Kong offers a dynamic way of life not comparable to anywhere else in the world. It is vibrant, fast-paced and culturally diverse but with an array of professionals finding their way into the heart of Hong Kong everyday - how do we encourage inclusivity and acceptance? The ethnic make-up of Hong Kong varies wildly and according to 2016 census Report, includes 35,069 Brits and 15,749 Americans. With so many different cultures congregating in the workplace it is vital organisations invest their time into improving their culture and it seems there’s a quick solution that can bring with it a range of commercial benefits. Reverse-Mentoring sees the traditional mentoring relationship turned on its head. It can take many forms but often has a junior employee mentoring their senior, a female professional mentoring a male superior or ethnic minorities mentor their non-minority peers, all in a bid to educate the workforce and improve diversity at every level. This initiative offers a low-cost, hands-on approach to transforming your workplace and while diversifying your current and future talent pools can help you to retain millennial talent, up-skill an existing generation of employees and support your commercial benefits. It requires little other than top-down sponsorship and an investment of time and brings all of your employees together regardless of their culture, age or experience. We have recently produced a white paper exploring the benefits of Reverse-Mentoring which will guide you through the process and offer insight, opinion and thought-leadership from organisations such as EY and Microsoft Asia who have mastered the scheme. To receive a copy of the paper please do get in touch and in the meantime, join the conversation – do you think Reverse-Mentoring could change the culture of Hong Kong?
19 Mar 2019
This blog is an extract from our White Paper titled Reverse-Mentoring, a tool to improve racial, intergenerational, hierarchical and gender diversity. As co-founder and Chief Customer Officer I have two priorities; our employees and our customers. Mentoring is a tool that affects and enables both while possessing the ability to completely transform a workplace. From technology, to working environments, to career motivators, the workplace is constantly changing and mentoring has become much more than an experienced individual passing on knowledge to a less experienced colleague. This was all put into context when I attended a Women in Banking and Finance awards ceremony where I was able to discuss topical issues such as the gender pay-gap, diversity at board level and flexible working. As leaders, we discuss these topics frequently, but I learned a great deal from this group of senior female professionals, about how as a male leader I can push the gender equality agenda forward. While I wasn’t being mentored, for anyone listening init could have been described as informal reverse-mentoring. The topic of flexible working was raised at the drinks reception. I have always thought that inclusive leaders should allow their staff to work flexibly if it makes their professional life more effective, comfortable and coherent with their home life but while I thought that was the simple answer, the group provided a different perspective. One of our guests is the COO of an international bank, she said that in order to feel able to work flexibly, our employees would need me as their leader to do the same and to lead by example. Another guest; CFO at a different bank, said that she has never been able to work flexibly due to the fear it would hinder her promotion prospects. All of the women in the circle agreed that this fear was very common with mid-senior level women scared to work flexibly at risk of missing a promotion, not being taken seriously or not following in the footsteps of their leader. This was eye-opening and presented me with a list of questions to take back with me into the office; should a leader lead by example in respect of flexible working? Is it essential for me to work flexibly for my employees to feel comfortable doing the same thing? Why do some women feel it’s acceptable for male colleagues to work flexibly but feel as though they will be penalised should they embrace it? These questions enabled me to take a look at the way I lead and allowed me to better advise my network on how they may be able to change their own behaviours to make their own workplace culture more inclusive. Spending an afternoon with this group of hugely talented professionals not only provided me with a new point of view but also made me reassess my own approach to mentoring. Download our white paper
03 Jan 2019
Millennials are quite possibly the most misunderstood demographic within the workforce – in two years’ time they will be the majority begging the question - how do we integrate them into an organisation made up of older existing employees and how do we allow both groups to learn from each other? The answer; reverse-mentoring. At Stanton House we are passionate about solving people’s problems and that includes millennials. We surveyed our network of young professionals and found that the most important thing for them in business was not salary but the ability to make an impact, be involved in decision-making and have their voice heard. We believe reverse-mentoring to be a simple solution. By pairing a junior and senior employee together, the older person is able to adopt a whole new digital skill-set and learn the importance of utilising platforms like LinkedIn for their own personal development. On the reverse, young mentors are able to gain access to leadership, have their voice heard as the leaders of digitalisation and have an impact in workplace change. Young mentors can make the best mentors and we discuss the advantages of using reverse-mentoring in our white paper which explores the tools ability to improve intergenerational, racial, gender and hierarchical diversity in the workplace. We exclusively interview Microsoft, BNP Paribas and EY who employ reverse-mentoring schemes in a bid to up-skill their existing workforce while engaging their youngest. To receive a copy of our white paper please get in touch and join the conversation – Do you feel like your voice isn’t being heard at work?
18 Dec 2018
With the last working week of the year in full swing, many HR professionals are already looking ahead to 2019. With an emphasis on transforming workplace culture, improving diversity and retaining millennial talent – my network are busy planning their transformation projects for 2019 ensuring the New Year brings with it a new lease of life for their organisations. To help with this, I have been speaking to my network about reverse-mentoring and its ability to transform a workplace - How it can help you to improve racial, intergenerational, hierarchical and gender diversity; retain millennial talent, broaden your demographic, engage a new generation and up-skill an existing workforce. I have emphasised that reverse-mentoring can transform your workplace entirely and it doesn’t cost a thing. I helped to create a white paper focused on reverse-mentoring and launched with two events for my HR community discussing this very topic - I have already started receiving updates from my network on how they plan to introduce reverse-mentoring in 2019 with some already reaping the rewards. I would love our white paper to assist you in making the same changes to transform your workplace in the New Year. Download a copy of the white paper or please get in touch and join the conversation - Is your workplace due a transformation in 2019?
17 Dec 2018
Two days, two great venues, two world-class panels, two passionate groups of HR leaders, one inspirational purpose - to discuss how reverse-mentoring can promote diversity and inclusivity in your business. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the horizon and technological developments such as AI remaining misunderstood by the majority of the workforce, companies are already ramping up their intergenerational mentoring schemes but the two biggest questions remain; are organisations doing it effectively and why has reverse-mentoring become so focused on technology? We explored both of these questions at our Reverse-Mentoring event last week as we discussed how mentoring can break down internal barriers, diversify your talent pool and support your commercial objectives in the process. If you missed the event but would like a copy of our 28-page white paper download it here.
03 Dec 2018
Reverse-mentoring has been the topic of conversation at Stanton House over the last month and it’s a conversation we plan to continue into 2019. We recently produced a white paper focused on reverse-mentoring and its ability to improve diversity, retain millennial talent, broaden your demographic and even support your commercial objectives in the process. We spoke exclusively to thought-leaders, industry experts and the organisations who have mastered reverse-mentoring and presented their stories as case studies for you to take back into your organisations, as insightful reads but more importantly, evidence that the initiative works and that you should try it too.Then it was time to launch to our network and we decided two back-to-back events in Reading and London was the perfect opportunity to bring the white paper to life and see just how much of an impact one paper can have. Over two mornings, 80 HR professionals joined us from across Europe to listen to our esteemed panels who offered opinion, experience and practical advice of how to follow in their footsteps. Our spectacular panel was formed of Greg Young, CEO and founder of LeaderShape Global and VP of Balanced Leadership on the PWN Board; Ella Brown who is charged with reverse-mentoring the entire workforce of Microsoft UK, Laure Le Douarec, who created the reverse-mentoring scheme at BP 20 years ago who has since gone onto replicate the initiative at Nestle, Allianz and more; Adrian Edwards, Managing Partner of EMEIA at EY and his reverse-mentor, Sayeh Ghanbari, also a partner of EY. The panellists, led by David Garstang our Manager of Human Resources, explored the concept of the ideal mentor, how reverse-mentoring can improve racial, intergenerational, hierarchical and gender diversity, how it can help you develop as a leader and pragmatically, how to go about implementing a scheme of your own. The debates had everyone thinking. Every single guest took notes and a copy of our white paper away to try and make an impact to their organisation and we can only look forward to being updated on the progress of these schemes. Download our white paper on Reverse-Mentoring
03 Dec 2018