The Nestlé Reverse mentoring programme gives younger employees the opportunity to share their latest knowledge on how to use social media with more senior colleagues. Since the launch of this intergenerational knowledge transfer programme, 80 pairs of Nestlé Senior Executives and junior team members have worked together in Italy and at the Nestlé International headquarters.
The programme is a two-way communication to close the knowledge gap between older and younger employees. Older employees learn from younger employees about new trends in social media, how young people are using tools like Twitter or Chatter and what implication might be there for the company. In return, younger employees learn about business terminology and industry practices from older employees.
Recommendations of Nestlé on how to create a successful reverse mentoring partnership:
- Identify pairs who can work together and have good communication skills.
- Set clear goals and expectations for both mentors and mentees.
- Make sure senior leaders are open-minded to accept guidance from junior employees.
- Sharing up-to-date skills knowledge on digital skills (e.g. new trends in social media) between young workers and senior executives
- Bridging the gap between the generations currently in the workforce.
- Empowers emerging and established leaders by increasing networking opportunities, fostering exchange of experience.
Outcome and achievements
Since its launch in 2012, the initiative has paired 160 senior and younger team members in this special mentoring partnership on digital and social media skills.