Why Reverse Mentoring is Perfect for Today’s Construction Mentoring
The construction industry is in a unique transition period as the Baby Boomer generation begins to retire and the Millennial generation begins to enter the workforce. With this transition, there comes numerous challenges and opportunities.
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Baby Boomer Challenges
Baby Boomers are struggling to cope with the advanced technology taking over the construction industry. When they first started their careers, this type of technology wasn’t around. They learned how to do their job and they became comfortable with the way things were done. Now, as the end of their career nears, they are being bombarded with complex digital environments. Baby Boomers are expected to navigate these new digital tools even though they’ve never dealt with these types of technology ever before.
While Millennials may be experts when it comes to technology, they lack the hands-on experience that Baby Boomers possess. They are used to building and creating things online, not in the real physical world. This is a challenge because not all digital designs can be built into a real building. In the digital world, you can create almost anything. In the real world, it’s more complicated.
Millennials are weak where Baby Boomers are strong and Baby Boomers are weak where Millennials are strong. Millennials can navigate cloud-based software, robotics, drones, and mobile technology while Baby Boomers know how to make building comes to life. If construction companies capitalize on the strengths of each generation, they will spread knowledge and increase productivity. The way to do this is through reverse mentoring.
So, what is reverse mentoring?
In reverse mentoring, an older construction professional is paired with a younger construction professional. In this situation, both individuals would teach each other valuable skills. Unlike traditional mentoring though, the younger professional is in charge of training and the older professional is in charge of learning. This way the younger individual can teach the older individual how to use new construction technologies.
Why it works
Like I mentioned earlier, reverse mentoring capitalizes on the strengths of both individuals. It gives each person a sense of meaning and purpose because they are able to share knowledge. In addition, this type of collaboration allows the knowledge of older generations to be recorded. This ensures that the Baby Boomers vast industry experience is not lost after they retire.
While the current transition period may be challenging, it offers enormous opportunity. If construction companies recognize the valuable knowledge that these two generations can share, they will be on the road to success.