There is the odd generational difference — she likes pen and paper, while he prefers digital devices — but, overall, this mother-and-son team are finding plenty of common ground.
It has been almost a year since Caro Wedding, who is CrestClean’s Auckland West Regional Manager, employed her son Chris as her administration support person, and the pair couldn’t be happier.
“We laugh about all sorts of things. It’s a nice, relaxed way to work because you can be serious about what you’re doing but not so serious about yourself and we’re really enjoying that,” says Caro.
“I felt like I need a change, something a little bit different. Dad was selling and Mum’s administration person was moving on, so it lined up perfectly. I always wanted to go into sales, I just didn’t know what type of sales,” says Chris.
“Going from being in the heavy commercial trade to administration and sales was a very big change. When people ask me where I’ve come from career-wise they’re surprised that I came from a trade, because of how freely I’m able to talk to people.”
Caro agrees that Chris is a skilled communicator.
“He can sit at the table and have a really nice conversation with someone – I’m a great believer you’re not selling, you’re having a conversation, and Chris can articulate CrestClean’s features and benefits while having a nice conversation. That’s a gift which a lot of people don’t have,” she says.
He is also very adept with numbers and technology, she adds.
“He’s very good at reconciling tricky invoices and the financial stuff. And, what surprised me from day one, when we were out doing surveys for new sites, was his ability to do everything with one hand! He can have a laser machine and a phone and click them both at the same time and get all the measurements and all the information we need without writing down one single thing.
“He’s definitely ‘new school’. Everything is technology-based. He’s got a logistical brain, whereas for years my forte has been in new business development. I can teach him all that and add modern technology to it. Together, we’ve got a nice recipe.”
“I like efficiency. In my old job I did a lot of problem solving, and it’s the same in this job. That’s one of my strong points, it feels natural to me,” says Chris.
“And the diversity is great, I love it. I get to work with people from lots of different backgrounds and ethnicities, which I really enjoy.”
Caro says she’s a great believer in supporting and mentoring people to reach their potential. The fact that she can mentor her son is even more rewarding.
“Working with a family member, you really do get to know them on a different level and as a mentor and a coach I can really see where Chris’ strengths are, and I am developing his training and development towards those strengths. I’m part of his education path really… call it the university of Mum.
“I feel so lucky to have Chris working with me because I went back to work when he was 2 ½ years old and he went into fulltime care. I feel like I’ve got my son back and I’m rapt that I’ve got the opportunity to help him on a piece of his journey.”