March 2, 2013

What Environment Have You Created?

Doug Lawrence

Mentor Sign

The importance of creating a work environment that is attractive and appealing to current and future employees is the challenge that organizations face today and in the future. Maybe taking some time to view website could be the answer to creating a more productive workplace. As they say, a clean house is a happy house. No matter where you are, keeping your space clean and from less distractions is very important for a positive environment.

Failure to recognize this and then respond to it in a positive manner will result in high turnover rates and an organizational culture that is a breeding ground for negativity and disengagement. This also spills over into family owned businesses where the owner is trying to engage a son or daughter to continue the family legacy and wonders why no one is engaging in the process. Creating that environment that appeals to the younger generation is important and understanding that their motivators may not be the same as yours is also very important.

Just the other day I met with someone that I have developed a mentoring relationship with. The story that I was told was one of potential disengagement and negativity all of which could be directly attributed to the environment in which they were immersed in. The sad part is that disengagement has likely become acceptable in this particular environment so my young colleague has an uphill journey. There is little doubt that this particular work environment will not be part of a long term career strategy. I am projecting the tenure in this organization or work environment at one year. That is not good for building a work environment that has a positive image from a recruiting and for that matter retention perspective. There is little doubt that this particular organization will experience high turnover rates or it will see the high performers moving on to better work environments because they can.

I was going through some emails from webinar participants earlier today and came across one from a person who was moving forward with creating a mentoring culture. They felt that they had tried the mentor program approach and it did not change the environment to the extent that they needed so they were tackling the more daunting task of creating a mentoring culture. They recognized the value of doing so – the business value of doing so. When we look at family owned businesses the approach is no different. We need to create that mentoring culture in order to create that environment where potential successors (sons and/or daughters) want to stay to be part of the organization and we have modified our leadership style to meet their needs.

Creating the proper environment is crucial going forward for any organization. Leveraging the “power of mentoring” to create that environment is the proper step to take. The business value strongly supports the effort required to create this environment. Think of the outcome should we not create the proper environment. After all, “can you afford not to?”

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