Junior office workers once had a fairly predictable set of daily tasks. Write the sales memo. Build the PowerPoint. Make the coffee.
Now, many young professionals have a new mandate: Drag the boss into the 21st century.
While businesses chase evanescent market trends and grapple with a fast-moving future, millennial mentors, as many companies call them, have emerged as a hot accessory for executives. Young workers, some just out of college, are being pulled into formal corporate programs to give advice to the top ranks of their companies.
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Millennial mentorship programs represent a formalized, mildly absurdist version of the advice junior workers have been giving their older colleagues for ages. Some executives want the views of young people on catering to new markets and developing new products, while others seek glorified tech support — Snapchat 101, Twitter tutorials and emoji lessons.
These programs are not just a departure from the business world's traditional top-down management style. They are also a sign of just how perplexed some executives are by the young people in their midst.