Posted on 09/26/2018 via BSH Home Appliances Group

Reverse Mentoring in the digital age

To ensure all employees keep up to speed with fast-paced changes in the digital age, BSH has established an innovative version of mentoring.

Known as Reverse Mentoring, the scheme is an interesting twist to traditional training structures. It encourages junior employees to offer advice and training as a mentor to mentees commonly coming from the senior management.
By participating in the Reverse Mentoring program, the mentees demonstrate the importance of proactively seeking support in specific areas of work, as well as practicing the so-called “lifelong learning” concept. The Reverse Mentoring also boosts their role as leaders, providing them with insights into the values and expectations of younger employees.

Members of Generation Y and Z are born into the digital age, growing up and getting comfortable with digital technologies.
Whereas decision-makers – often not digital natives – sometimes are overwhelmed by the ongoing rapid digital change. Here at BSH the younger generation is able to help out as in-house experts when it comes to (digital) challenges.

The different generations in a working place have also different views on cultural topics. The Reverse Mentoring offers the possibility to have a look at different perspectives on needs and expectations and clarifying misunderstandings to ensure a better cooperation between the generations in the company.

Margit Stegbauer, Head of Corporate Internal Audit at BSH says: “Reverse Mentoring is an optimal method for internal knowledge management. Both tandem partners benefit from the personal experience and knowledge of the other party. Through the open exchange, I gained insights into the generation of a digital native valuable for my professional as well as private life and I was impressed how easy we could overcome hierarchical barriers. “
For the young mentors, the scheme provides a unique opportunity to work directly with senior management. Through this, they are able to learn more about the views of executives, reflect on their own media usage and become more informed about careers in the company as a whole.
Robert Klein, a working student in the Corporate Human Resources, Leadership Development department says: “The Reverse Mentoring is a great opportunity to support a senior executive with my knowledge on digital topics and experiences on cultural aspects of my generation. Of course I also benefit directly from the wealth of experience of a senior executive.”