Mentoring Millennials isn’t easy. Here are 17 Tips.

Mentoring Millennials isn’t easy. Here are 17 Tips.

Mentoring Millennials isn’t easy. We’re talking about a group of people who grew up in a lateral leadership structure, with team-oriented school projects, and without the ideology of “paying one’s dues.”

If you’re creating a mentorship program that’s hierarchical or based upon gender segregation, think again.

From an early age, Millennials have been bombarded with the idea that they could reach their dreams if they just believed in themselves. This included all genders, races, ages, creeds, and abilities.

Millennials are more than trophy kids with Disney Channel dreams. They are a generation that is determined to accomplish their goals and empower those around them to live out their purpose. As Martha Stewart says, “This is a good thing” and an even better thing for today’s workforce.

So, where should companies start?

Here are 17 tips for any business that is looking to create a dynamic mentorship program for Millennials on their team.

1. Mentorship is about transparency

If we never let our guard down and let others in, then they’ll never really know us. The same is true about mentorship. Many business leaders are asking mentees to put their best foot forward because they don’t really want to deal with their real issues.

Millennials see through this facade and force mentors to drop their guard and interact with authenticity.

Millennials in the workplace want to know that when they enter into a conversation that they’re talking with people–not a persona.

If companies want to create environments that attract and retain, then they have to take the time to know them. This takes work and it takes time.

2. Mentorship is about being known

If companies are not willing to carve out space for understanding, then they’ll never be able to gain the trust or respect of their Millennial workers.

Mentorship is one of the most intimate and rewarding opportunities. However, transparency and trust must be at the core of any mentoring relationship.

If businesses want to create mentorship programs, then it has to be a two-way conversation. A script won’t work.

3. Mentorship is for self-development 

Mentorship is not a cloning process, but an environment purposed for character development.

Many companies view mentorship as a way to create carbon copy. This perspective is not only wrong. It’s also highly damaging because it limits ingenuity and innovation to only a few leaders within the company.

4. Copying the past won’t help your future

There’s nothing wrong with looking at those who have paved the way and learning from their creativity and leadership. But, Millennials want to work towards progress–not repeat the past or the present.

Millennials are looking for motivational speakers, intuitive therapists, hipster influencers, time-management consultants, and executive leaders who are willing to walk with them as they become the best version of themselves. In many ways, they’re looking for Tony RobbinsMel RobbinsJill Konrath, and Eric Thomas all wrapped up in one person. This can seem like a huge undertaking. And in essence, it is a lot of work.

6. Mentorship is about respect

Mentors need to show respect for their mentees by actively listening, giving honest feedback and advice, and respecting their autonomy and ideas. Millennials appreciate it when they can trust that their mentor will be open. Additionally, mentees should also be encouraged to challenge the status quo and think outside the box.

7. Mentorship is about collaboration

Millennials are all about collaboration, especially in the workplace. So, when it comes to being a mentor for this generation it’s important to foster an environment of mutual respect and shared responsibility. Mentors should strive to create an atmosphere where everyone feels included and valued. They should also make sure that all team members are working together towards a common goal.

8. Technology matters

Millennials grew up surrounded by technology. This means they expect mentors to utilize digital tools in order to communicate effectively with them. Businesses should invest in the right technology solutions in order to provide mentors with digital ways of interacting with their mentees — such as video conferencing apps or online project management software — that make working together more efficient and effective.

9. Celebrate progress & successes

One of the most important things mentors can do is celebrate their mentees’ progress and successes along the way — no matter how small they may seem at first — as this motivates Millennials to continue on the path toward achieving their goals. Acknowledging even just one positive trait or milestone each day can go a long way in terms of boosting morale among Millennial workers who learn best when rewarded for putting forth effort along the way rather than waiting until after goals have been reached for recognition from superiors.

10. Remember: every person is unique

No two people are exactly alike; therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to being a mentor for Millennials in the workplace. Each individual will have different needs based on experience level, personality type, interests, etc., so it’s important that mentors take some time before beginning a new relationship with someone to get acquainted with who they are so that conversations can be tailored accordingly in order for both parties involved to benefit from the exchange of knowledge or insight offered by either side during discussions or meetings between mentor/mentee pairings.

11. Set clear expectations

It’s essential for mentors to provide Millennials with clear expectations before any mentorship relationship begins. Not only does this create a sense of transparency that is beneficial for both parties, but it also helps to ensure that neither party’s time is wasted and both understand what the other expects from the engagement. This could include setting goals, outlining any associated tasks and timelines, as well as discussing potential rewards or recognition if goals are achieved.

12. Encourage creative problem-solving

Millennials are creative, resourceful problem-solvers and often come up with innovative solutions to challenges they encounter in the workplace. So mentors should strive to foster an environment in which their mentees feel comfortable brainstorming different ideas or approaches to projects or task assignments in order to make sure their best work is put forward each and every time.

13. Teach goal-setting & productivity hacks

Mentors should be sure to help their Millennial mentees develop better goal-setting skills, as well as teach them productivity hacks so they can maximize their time management abilities more effectively and efficiently accomplish tasks on a regular basis. Additionally, encouraging Millennials to break up larger projects into smaller milestones will help them stay on track without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work necessary for the completion of a project or assignment overall.

14. Promote self-awareness & communication

It’s important for Mentors to encourage open communication between themselves and their Millennial mentees — offering suggestions on how they can become more self-aware while attending not only to a heightened sense of self but also how they interact with others around them since communication is key when it comes to success in the workplace.

15. Prioritize learning & growth opportunities

In addition to providing insight into their professional fields, Mentors should also prioritize creating learning and growth opportunities for the Millennials they mentor so that those individuals have access to additional resources that can help them grow in terms of skill set development, and knowledge acquisition — all leading towards an eventual promotion within the organization if desired down the line.

16. Lead by example

Millennials look up to successful people as role models who have “made it”–so leaders need to demonstrate exemplary behavior throughout every interaction with their employees in order for those employees to believe that accomplishing similar feats is possible too–not just something you hear about overnight success stories online but something attainable through hard work, dedication and commitment over time instead.

17. Make yourself available & build relationships

Finally, mentors should always endeavor to make themselves available whenever needed by those they are responsible for nurturing and developing professionally–whether it be via phone calls, emails, or face-to-face meetings every week/month–while at the same time building meaningful relationships with these individuals so that when there is a trust established between everyone involved then anything is possible moving forward together!

Mentoring Millennials may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and tools it can be incredibly rewarding. By understanding their values of collaboration, respect, progress, and technology use, mentors can foster an environment that encourages success while helping to develop each individual’s unique strengths. If you are looking for ways to mentor this generation more effectively in order to drive better business results and create positive changes in your workplace culture, these 17 tips should help get you started on the path toward success!

Here are some other posts to help you understand millennials:
Dr. Colleen Batchelder
As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.
This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience. We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring your data is handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).