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Reverse Mentoring

How can a junior enrich a senior employee and, conversely, what can an experienced employee give to a new graduate? A lot! The sharing of inter-generational experience enriches both groups. A clash of cultures is no exception to this.

“I signed up for the programme after my consultation with Jitka Hanáčková, where I first heard about it. I was still new at Česká Spořitelna and I missed the network that I had built up at Erste. The Reverse Mentoring programme seemed like a wonderful opportunity to meet more people from different areas of the bank. My mentor/mentee Petra was a great match; we discovered that we had travelling as a common

interest and exchanged stories and tips there, but Petra also has decades of experience in the banking industry in general and at Česká Spořitelna in particular. She gave me the chance to learn about her

job, but also helped me understand the local company culture better and maybe overcome it a bit (I feel there is more distance between the senior employees and their younger counterparts here),” is how Melanie evaluated her experience.

Melanie was paired with Petra, who also speaks positively about the Reverse Mentoring programme. “I did not have any great expectations of the programme. I consider the opportunity to become acquainted with new people to be an unequivocal benefit. Melanie, my partner, was an absolute ray of sunshine for me. Thanks to the programme, you also discover things you are not looking for or expecting,” said Petra.

Anna also had a similar experience. She entered the programme with the expectation that she would acquire new skills, mainly associated with IT, from her younger colleagues. In return, she gave them the benefit of her several years of experience and knowledge of the bank. “She helped her mentors in their first year at the bank to find workplaces where they could best apply their work skills. Even though young people today work during their studies, they are usually taken aback by employment and the demands it places on them,” admitted Anna.

Reverse Mentoring

We have a high regard for the professional experience of our older colleagues. We also know what ideas young people can have. That’s why we decided to link the two groups up and mutually enrich them.

We are bringing the generations of employees under 30 and over 50 closer together through “reverse mentoring”. The pilot year of reverse mentoring, Moudrá sova (Wise Owl), which we started in 2015, had nine wise owls (employees over 50) and seven juniors (employees under 30).

It was great to meet people from other parts of the bank and learn from experienced colleagues. It is these contacts and the transfer of experience that I consider to be the greatest benefit,” commented one participant.

„The biggest benefit is to meet people who are doing something within CS that is completely different than what I am doing. In the case of solving problems they can look at it from a different angle. Many times it is even an eye-opener when he or she actually hears about what is dealt with in other parts of the bank.”

The topics of an ageing population and the associated age management problem concern all of us. Only a few companies, however, are actually prepared for this upcoming labour-market situation. We have 136 active employees who, effectively speaking, are already beyond their expiry date, i.e. they have already reached their retirement age. We have 268 employees who have been working at CS for more than 30 years. In 2015 there were six pairs of mentors-mentees.

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