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The Benefits of Reverse Mentoring at a Fortune 500 Company

Aug 01, 2016

Reverse Mentoring final (3)

At Frito-Lay North America, Inc., a division of PepsiCo, Inc., we believe learning is a two-way street. To foster an environment of learning within the company, our employees often engage in reverse mentoring. Unlike traditional mentoring, where a senior colleague transfers expert knowledge to a junior colleague, the industry- wise veterans and tech-savvy newbies exchange their thoughts and experiences to sharpen each other. Satvika Ananthanarayan, Frito-Lay North America Marketing Analyst, and Marissa Solis, Frito-Lay Marketing Vice President, share their personal experiences and dynamics of reverse mentoring.

The Motive

Bridging the generational gap is a priority among many companies.  “It was a great opportunity not only to meet a leader in this company, but also to bring my perspective and ideas to the table as a millennial,” said Satvika. “It was a great way to connect with a fresh perspective and learn things from the eyes of a very different generation,” added Marissa. While the learnings that come from years of experience in an industry are irreplaceable, newer technologies are more frequently adopted and taught by the younger generation that’s migrating into the workplace.

The Structure

This dynamic duo found connecting once a month and remaining flexible on the meeting location maximized their time together. “Keeping our agenda loose, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting off campus taking the conversation outside of the office walls to discuss different perspectives,” mentioned Satvika. “At first, we built from some work by our advertising agency, which outlined innovative technologies in the market. Later, we focused on specific things, like millennials in the workplace and undergraduate recruiting strategies,” she added. The topics discussed promoted employee learning by sharing unique, generational perspectives.

The Success Measurements

Reverse mentoring is rarely one-sided. “Success is where both people benefit from the relationship by learning something new, bouncing off ideas, gaining new perspective and asking questions in a safe environment,” said Marissa Solis. In reverse mentoring, an open environment that allows both individuals to contribute leads to a better understanding of each other and increased collaboration.

The Benefits

Often, the workplace millennial has access to information that could revolutionize an executive’s business practices. “I got valuable insight into how millennials think about the workplace, their attitudes towards shopping, work-life balance, and career planning,” said Marissa. “Satvika taught me different ways to navigate in an increasingly technological world,” added Marissa. When the voice of our younger generation is heard and valued a bond begins to form. “By sharing what mattered to millennials, I felt like I helped form the department culture in small ways,” Satvika expressed. “Most importantly, I now had an incredible advocate and leader in my corner,” she added. One evident benefit is creating a relationship that didn’t exist previously and, as a result, having a trusted person to approach with workplace questions.

Have you participated in reverse mentoring programs? What benefits have you experienced as a result? Share with us in the comments below.



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  1. Rose Barajas | Aug 21, 2016

    That was a very Awesome and inspiring employment field that was good to no Because every  Great Chip their not a Coach Potato behind it !! Theirs a Chip with a flavor and a spice to let us no we can expect more in any field we are at just mentor and monitor and watch the ripple affect 

     Thank you Fritolay your chip took alot of  chips off my shoulder and gave me a taste to enjoy all spice and herbs of all Nation....

  2. Marie Kanning | Aug 15, 2016
    Interesting ideas - keep going

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