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Mar 19

Reaping the many benefits of mentoring

Posted: 18 March 2019

Kerry Richards, registered manager at Kare Plus in Weybridge talks about how accessing support from a mentor has helped her service retain its values as it grows. Kerry has taken advantage of the mentoring benefit as part of her registered manager membership of Skills for Care.

This is the first time I’ve been a registered manager and I feel very passionate about my role and the responsibility I have in setting the culture and quality of our service. We’re a fairly new service, but we’ve been growing steadily, so I want to ensure that we maintain our values. It’s easy for me to ensure everyone shares our values when I have three staff, but I want us to have the knowledge and systems in place to ensure that, as our workforce grows, we retain those values.

The reason I was looking to access support from another registered manager was to find out if they had any advice and guidance in setting and retaining values, so I asked for support from a mentor, which is one of the many benefits of being a registered manager member of Skills for Care. I was matched with a mentor who has been trained in the skills of mentoring and is also a fellow member.

It’s been incredibly beneficial for me to be able to make use of my mentor’s extensive experience. He’s been able to signpost me to some great articles published on values-based companies. He’s given me good advice about talking to staff and customers to determine six core values that are most important to them. We’ve used these values to define everything we do from recruitment to customer reviews, staff meetings, training and supervisions. As a result, my team now have a shared goal and these values are integrated into every part of our service.

Throughout the mentoring process I’ve felt supported and understood in what can sometimes be a demanding and daunting job. It’s really helped me to develop my self-awareness to think, yes, I’m doing this the right way. I’ve been surprised that it has given me more confidence in my abilities and to trust my own knowledge and experiences.

What I’ve learnt is that it’s important to take responsibility as the mentee to have a specific developmental area or issue you’d like to be mentored in and be the one who sets the agenda for meetings and discussions. This is a great way to develop your confidence in your own abilities and find your own leadership style. It’s not always easy to find the time to set aside for the mentoring process, but it’s really important, so set a timetable and some agreed objectives to stay on target.

As well as accessing support from mentoring, I’ve been involved in establishing a registered managers’ network in my area specifically for managers of home care services. I’m the network chair and we get together every quarter to discuss issues that are pertinent to us. I wanted to be involved in the network because I know that the role of registered manager can be isolating, and I wanted to create a confidential and nurturing group where managers can support each other.

Find out more

  • Become a registered manager member of Skills for Care to access mentoring support or become a mentor here.
  • Find out where your local registered manager network is here.
  • This month we’re focusing on the importance of developing and valuing staff to retain them. Find out more and follow the campaign on social media using #CareToRetain.