When starting a new role, we all search for connectedness and need support – even more so when we’re starting in a new industry.
Providing novices with support from those that have gone before them is at the heart of the Flight Centre Travel Group’s mentoring program. We sat down with mentor Jayne O’Keefe, to learn more.
When I first started I didn’t have a team leader and a very small team but things got better with a change of area leader and new management in store. I learnt a lot from my new team leader Dana, who still works in Flight Centre as a consultant and I always learnt and lent of the support of my Area Leader, Cherie Baker. For years she was my rock when things were up and down and the fun environment of my team kept me in the job.
As a novice myself a long time ago I don’t even remember being contacted or supported outside my store by another consultant. The difference between the mentor program 5 years ago and today has developed a lot and things are made easier to track how your novice is going to ensure you as an outside contact and also support and be there for questions etc.
This Flight Centre Mentor Program creates a stronger relationship within the area you are in. It broadens the relationships between stores and allows the area to grow together. It also helps to get to know others in your area and makes for fun buzz nights knowing more people.
The benefits of a corporate mentoring program such as Flight Centre’s extend further than the business goals, to developing people and beyond. For Jayne, her goals were in leadership.
Around May of last year, I wanted to start stepping up in leadership within Flight Centre. I thought signing up to the Mentor program would help develop my leadership skills and be there for other consultants starting out in other stores and be there to support in other ways for them (hints and tips on developing their consultations).
I wanted to improve in my own career and development as well as helping others achieve their goals too. Now, I have been a mentor for nearly a year.
Extending opportunities to others is often a key driver for mentors to want to participate in a program, backed by the residual effects of developing the soft skills that they want to refine.
I want my mentees to feel supported, be able to reach their targets, push and succeed in their goals and by the end of the program, able to juggle their workload and keep consistent with their figures while delivering the customer service our clients deserve. I also want by the end of this mentorship, to develop a good ongoing relationship with my mentees so they can always come to me throughout their career
Keeping a mentoring relationship’s rhythm up is often a challenge for some. Jayne shares how she keeps her mentees engaged.
I have noticed that when I send my emails through to my mentees at the start of each month to ask how their month went, that by adding a good tip like my thank-you letter or my guide to travel letter etc, helps another person and reinforces that I’m good at my job and what I do. I love my job when I help the new fellow colleagues with those small things to improve their career it puts my mind at ease that they are going in the right direction.
Jayne goes on to tell us what she’s learnt about herself, her approach to work-life balance and the importance of mentoring women across all industries.
I have learnt myself, that I can continuously offer advice, support, direction and guidance while managing my own business workload, motherhood and the development of my career. Small things do help so even just touching base once a month they know I’m still there to help and that makes me feel good.
#MentorHer on International Women’s Day allows us to feel empowered and heard in everyday life. It’s a reminder that you can do anything you set your mind to and personally gives a reality check on how far I’ve come in my life and career.
As a mother in a sometimes stressful job giving that extra support and mentoring other woman and mothers that it is possible to juggle a career and be a good mum. Whether your a mum or not still being about to be there for another woman to push through the tough things in life is important to me as I know life can be rough and personally I want to be able to pat others on the back when they do well if someone else may not be.
I hope to stay in contact with my mentees after the program and they know, and I’ve told them before, that if they ever need anything I am only a chat, email or call away.
International Women’s Day
With International Women’s Day just gone by this month, now is the perfect time to think about how you could deploy a bespoke mentor program to better support your people. Get in touch with email@example.com if you’re interested in hearing more about our special IWD package.