Build Bridges Within Your Village

Build Bridges Within Your Village

By: Beth Schaefer    Director, Institute for Professional Development

I believe mentoring can help Minnesota build a competent workforce for all generations of workers

by satisfying the workplace needs and personality traits that every generation has.

As an example, I am a Gen Xer.  According to experts, that makes me independent, innovative, and a strong communicator.   While at work, I am likely to seek problem-solving opportunities and enjoy working with competent colleagues; because of this, mentoring provides a clear outlet for me to meet my Gen Xer needs.

The Y’s (aka Millennials) are tech savvy, collaborative and focused on the greater good; they want meaningful work.  Mentoring fits their traits and provides the meaningful work they seek.

Baby Boomers, along with being optimistic and hard-working, enjoy mentoring. The opportunity to mentor others is often listed in their workplace needs, so a connection to mentoring is obvious for them.

So, all the generations agree (on this one thing, anyway), we should find more ways to mentor in the workplace.

Being a part of the Village is more than just giving, it is receiving.  A new generation of workers is entering the workplace, and as much as we can teach them – there is a lot we have to learn.

Gen-Zers have plenty of skills to contribute.  Just some of their noticeable workplace traits are:

  • digitally fluent (and who could not use that during a pandemic)
  • practical (and who could not use that during a pandemic), and
  • flourish in diverse workplace settings (and who could not use that – always).

They will be seeking employers who are culturally competent.  Is your workplace culturally ready to recruit and onboard this next generation of valuable workers?

Consider mentoring as a rewarding step to build the cultural competency of all the valuable generations in your workplace.

Generation traits and needs from Hobsons Associates.