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News Release


Mentoring Generation Y

Estates Gazette

​For a young graduate or emerging talent, entering into a large professional organisation can be a little overwhelming. It is hardly surprising that Generation Y and its growing army of professionals often pose such questions as: “How can I stand out?”, “What can I do to help the team grow?” and “Is my voice being heard?”

In an increasingly competitive professional landscape, it is vital to ask these questions, build a network of contacts and constantly challenge yourself. With young professionals increasingly less likely to satisfy themselves with a single employer across their career lifecycle, the value of mentoring and skills development has never been clearer for firms looking to keep their best talent and keep that talent fully engaged.

Professional and personal development

The Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) programme with structured training elements is available for young property professionals. The programme is supported by first-hand experience and mentoring.

There is enormous competition to join the JLL graduate programme, which provides structured training for both cognate and non-cognate graduates. As a business, JLL is also widening the talent pool through apprenticeship and a structured intern programme.

Mentoring within JLL is a formal process that features a half-day workshop for mentors and a structured development programme.
The firm’s best mentors have been officially recognised at a number of events in recent years, including JLL Live in 2014 and, most recently, at the JLL UK Platinum Awards in September 2015. The programme cuts across every business line and grade throughout the firm, with several categories voted for by the staff themselves, one of which is “most valuable mentor”. Mentoring is often an unsung and unnoticed role which can take a lot of additional time and effort, so it is fantastic that the business is recognising its true value.

The joy of mentoring

Since joining JLL’s project management team two years ago, I have had the opportunity to work on some iconic yet challenging London developments.

The experience I acquired has enabled me to act as a mentor to a new graduate at JLL in the property and asset management team – something that I think is really important. I took great satisfaction in discussing what I had learnt, knowing that I was able to help them move along the learning curve faster.

This process also helped me develop my own skills as a listener and adviser. I have shared the necessity for colleagues to build a network of contacts across the business that will be hugely beneficial in the future.

There is also value in exploring the concept of “reverse mentoring” where a younger employee exchanges knowledge and skills with a senior member. Technology and social media training are two areas that spring to mind. This concept, if implemented well, will help bridge the gap between the generations, upskill staff and benefit the business as a whole.

The Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a non-profit, research-based organisation that facilitates an open exchange of ideas, information and experience among industry leaders and policymakers, and offers a great example of a UK mentoring programme that has rapidly grown in size and success.
ULI has a strong international network of more than 37,000 members in 85 countries, with 2,500 in Europe and around 1,000 in the UK.

The Young Leaders programme is aimed at property professionals under the age of 35 and its mentoring programme has grown from six to over 100 mentees in the last few years. From lawyers to developers and investors to architects, it provides every single member with a valuable resource to engage with, one-to-one, on a regular basis.

Last year, I was mentored by a senior partner at one of the UK’s leading development firms. Working together, we were able to test my technical knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, my skill at dealing with a challenging project or difficult circumstance.
We explored my personal attributes as well as key areas I can improve on. I was also able to discuss at great length the emerging build-to-rent sector, a topic I have considerable personal and professional interest in. Discussing this with one of the UK’s foremost thought leaders on the topic was a valuable opportunity; one I might not have had if it wasn’t for the Young Leaders programme.

With this in mind, I am delighted that two JLL UK board members have joined the ULI Young Leaders mentoring programme this year, along with several others directors in the UK business, to share their career experiences with the next generation of real estate professionals.

Coaching future professionals

Mentors are one of the most valuable resources a young professional can tap into. Learning from leading figures who have already built a successful team or business serves to enhance skills and knowledge and generate greater awareness of some of the potential pitfalls within the industry.

As a young professional in the middle of Generation Y, I am intrigued by the differing approaches firms take to develop their next generation. I believe that young professionals today want to be coached, not managed, and value mentorship as part of their development.

Mentoring, whether formal or informal, provides an attractive proposition for both retaining young professionals and attracting new talent. It is great to see this finally being embraced across the real estate world.

Ashley Perry is a project manager in buildings and construction at JLL and a ULI Young Leaders committee member.

As featured in Estates Gazette, to read the full article click here (subscription required).