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04-Jul-2016  Düsseldorf / Germany

Reverse mentoring program at Henkel

“Impressions of my daily digital life”

Catching up on the latest tweets at breakfast, ordering a taxi via Uber, sharing a photo with friends from the concert via snapchat or finding the perfect room on Airbnb for the long-awaited trip to Barcelona: for some this may seem like a normal day, for others this digital world still remains unknown. Time for a new concept of mentoring – only this time, the roles are reversed.

Everyone talks about digitalization – but what does that actually mean in everyday life?

When talking about digitalization in the corporate context you will often hear buzzwords like e-commerce, big data or digital marketing. But digitalization especially penetrates our everyday life and trends emerge quickly. A good way to become familiar with these trends is through direct exchange with others, for example with colleagues. This is precisely where Henkel’s reverse mentoring program comes into place.

Henkel’s global reverse mentoring program at a glance

Exchange about digitalization in everyday life: Henkel’s global reverse mentoring program at a glance.

In recent weeks and months more than 160 digital talents worldwide slipped into the mentoring role and met up with more than 220 interested senior managers, their mentees. The program’s content was deliberately not related to digital projects at Henkel, but instead, should spark an inspirational exchange about digitalization from a different angle. In individual sessions, the digital talents shared insights into their daily digital lives. They demonstrated their individual user behavior, showed their favorite apps and discussed general trends on digitalization with the executives.

Another step towards a digital culture

The reverse mentoring program was offered in 17 different countries worldwide between November 2015 and May 2016 – a joint initiative of Human Resources and the Corporate Communications department. For Henkel, it is another step to further evolve a digital culture and the feedback received from the participants was very positive: nine out of ten participants would recommend the mentoring program to a colleague. And many of the tandems have already decided to meet on a regular basis to continue this inspirational exchange.

What did the participants say?

Germany

“I enjoyed being able to share my enthusiasm about cool digital devices and apps I use on a daily basis. Plus getting to know my mentee, who is from another department, was very insightful and a great opportunity to expand my network within Henkel.”
Mentor: Julia Weber,Purchasing, Finance

“It was very inspiring to see the different apps, devices & functions currently used inside and outside of Henkel. As there are so many developments daily it is important for all of us to share our knowledge and stay up to date.”'
Mentee: Martina Floegel,Controlling, Beauty Care

USA

“Mike and I had an excellent dialogue, exchanging ideas on how we use technology in both our personal and professional lives. The digital mentoring program was a great experience, and I appreciated meeting and getting to know Mike, someone whom I would otherwise not have the opportunity to interact with in a work capacity.”
Mentor: Christopher Lamb, General Industry, Adhesive Technologies

“Chris showed me how he uses technology throughout the day, and we had an open conversation about how digitalization is affecting all areas of our life from private to professional. And, Chris told me about a great app for learning languages. We will definitely keep in touch and exchange ideas going forward.”
Mentee: Mike Bott, Treasury & Order to Cash (OTC), Finance

South Korea

“It was a very good experience; we exchanged a lot of information about mobile apps and on the opportunities digitalization offers. I was very happy that my mentee was open and enthusiastic about the exchange.”
Mentor: Joanne Lee, Digital Marketing, Laundry & Home Care

“Such a great opportunity for me to get more familiar with mobile devices and a variety of apps. Also it helped me a lot to understand the mega trends of digitalization and the new digital media environment even better.”
Mentee: CS Kim, General Manager Korea, Laundry & Home Care

Additional Information