To mark National Mentoring Day, which takes place on the 27th October, we caught up with Hilke Morison, Support Manager at Lexington Reception Services. Here she talks about her experience of mentoring.
Hilke joined Lexington in June 2015 as Reception Manager. New to the Business & Industry sector Hilke was keen to tap into the knowledge and experience of others to accelerate her impact within the business.
She signed up to the Lexington mentoring programme in June 2016. Hilke was matched with a Front of House Manager at a much larger site, who had been working in the sector for some time and managed over 50 reception staff.
Mentors can support mentees through times of change
The work changed slightly within Hilke’s client site and the client needed more support with events, which is not something Hilke had experience of managing.
Hilke said, “The mentoring scheme gave me invaluable support at a crucial time when I needed someone to talk to about my ideas. My mentor had a great deal of experience working front of house and managed over 50 staff – she was able to help me ask myself some pertinent questions, and also give me some new ideas that I hadn’t thought of.”
A mentor can provide a huge amount of support and stability during a time of change. They can not only provide guidance on areas you are unfamiliar with but also act as a sounding board, which can help alleviate concerns, reduce stress and support the change process.
Mentors provide unbiased guidance
A mentor is an independent voice, one step removed from your direct sphere of activity. This enables you to bounce ideas around and talk about concerns without the fear of come back.
Hilke said, “Having access to support from someone who understood the industry and organisation completely but who was one stepped removed from the day to day was invaluable. My mentor helped me look at things in a different way and provided some invaluable and unbiased advice, which supported my development.”
Mentoring really is something that can benefit everyone. As well as helping the mentee develop and advance through their career, the mentor can gain extra skills and understanding from the partnership.
Mentoring can widen your professional network
Hilke managed two people and was client based, which meant it was difficult to get out to other clients sites. Taking part in the mentoring programme provides a fantastic opportunity to meet other people across the Lexington business see how they do things.
Hilke said, “My client was very different to many others and quite traditional in the way it did things. It was fantastic to have exposure to different cultures and share what works for each. It was freshing to see how others works and sparked ideas about how we could change things.”
Hilke said her mentor really opened her eyes to how other people thing. She said, “It was fantastic to see how other people do things but also how others think. The process helped me identify areas I could improve and ways to get buy-in from key stakeholders. It made me think about where I want to go within the organisation and action I need to take to get there.”
What is next for Hilke?
Hilke is due to return to work after maternity leave. She will be moving into a support role and is incredibly excited about the move
She said, “I am really looking forward to the challenge. It will be very different to what I have done previously so I will definitely me looking for guidance from my mentor during this period of change. The support a mentor can provide is invaluable.”