The value of passing on experience

17th of June 2022
The value of passing on experience

The value of mentoring others should never be underestimated, says UK reporter Lynn Webster.

At a recent networking event I attended with some eminent and influential cleaning industry colleagues, we realised that between what was only a fairly small group we actually have hundreds of years of valuable experience between us. This was a gathering that also welcomed some relatively junior team members and what could be described as ‘raw’ recruits to the wider world of the cleaning and FM industries.

As they observed us it was apparent they were relishing the stories, experiences and expertise we were sharing. How to capture this for the future generations of cleaning experts was therefore something to reflect on.

When investigated further we find there are opportunities for mentoring others but do we each recognise how much we are able to give? Some suggested they would love to be engaged in such plans but didn’t have the time, or couldn’t make time; others expressed concerned they perhaps didn’t have the ability to help. Hopefully from the initial discussions further developments will evolve.

Perhaps for some this is seen with a degree of reticence as it may appear we are potentially sharing our business intellectual property or giving away the secrets of the trade to our competition.  A colleague recently described how they had reached out to a little-known contact in the USA to discuss best practice and some strategic ideas as they felt there was never the opportunity for them to have such dialogue with UK colleagues. Again there is the perceived fear of sharing key knowledge with a possible competitor. And the result - a thoroughly enjoyable experience for both of them.

Another industry associate currently supporting a colleague through a course of professional study has experienced a personal sense of achievement for themselves as they see their ‘student’ gaining confidence and greater understanding through their sessions together.

The value of mentoring others should not be undervalued. Encouraging others to maximise their own potential, develop their skills and improve performance is two-way and can be as much benefit for the mentor as the mentee. It can certainly sharpen your own leadership, decision-making and critical thinking skills.

Mentorship programmes can provide a range of options from developing new skills; providing an independent perspective and identifying opportunities both in current roles and for setting future career goals.

Returning to our normal working environment, being out of the workplace for a period of time whilst working from home, maybe looking to raise our visibility in a current role or source new opportunities - we may all welcome a strong mentor in our support network with individual issues to overcome and to take us forward.

As we all recognise, it is our people who provide the greatest contribution to our business success. Is it not our duty to identify the next generation of new talent? To recognise those individuals who are making a significant impact, those junior managers demonstrating their potential. And for us to mentor them whether it be formally or otherwise so they are able to shine as the stars of the future.



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