News_Reverse-mentoring

2018.01.18

Digital reverse mentoring: capitalising on young talents

Over the last fifteen years, Essilor has seen a significant digital transformation in all areas of its business – from upstream innovation, data-driven manufacturing to digital platforms helping teams collaborate better internally, as well as get closer to customers and consumers.

Essilor set out in 2017 to go one step further on its digital journey by sharing the skills and knowledge of different generations within the Group. It launched a Digital Reverse Mentoring program to link young talents as mentors to senior leaders to help them go deeper into digital tools and trends.

Volunteers from different areas of the business, including R&D, Sales and IT, paired up with a senior manager. Over a six-month period, mentors regularly met with their mentees to explore a range of topics, from digital devices and applications, social networks to current digital initiatives in the Group. In addition to digital learning, the program has proved a great opportunity for young talents and senior leaders to meet and share experiences beyond typical business silos.

“Doing the opposite of traditional training models was challenging, as here it’s the more junior people who train the most experienced” explained Aude, one of the young mentors from Essilor’s R&D department. “I felt I was learning through teaching, as progressively you’re also improving your own skills. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to get to know people in the company I probably wouldn’t otherwise have met.”

“The idea and the approach are very good – short, effective and practical insights on digital topics that were well prepared in advance” said Eric, the senior manager mentored by Aude. “It’s a really great idea to leverage the expertise of our internal talents in this way.”

“It was a real exchange of views between someone who’s grown up with digital life and another who has been discovering it along the way” added Nicolas, another young mentor from Sales. “The experience allowed me to see another dimension of the company. Very enriching.”

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