One of the most important responsibilities of a business or organization is making sure that you surround yourself with other individuals to share in your vision. This shared goal or aspiration will keep your team united, and ultimately it will help them support the team and you in the long run. While this may seem difficult at first, it’s possible to achieve this by keeping a few things in mind.
First, you want to start with something compelling but practical. Your vision creates something bigger than yourself, something that others can believe in and relate to. In establishing your mission, it’s easy to dream big, but it should still be grounded in reality. Be honest with yourself when you answer guiding questions like, “What are my core values, and does this company represent them well?” or “what is this organization’s primary purpose?” Think about the practical next steps to take, and then articulate those goals so that others can see it too.
The next step is to foster vision ambassadors. These are people who have more of a personal connection to your cause than most that will help to further your mission. As your business grows, you will come to learn that you can’t be in multiple places at once, so your ambassadors have the responsibility of cultivating buy-in and enthusiasm when you can’t do it yourself. In addition, they help to keep the team focused on your long-term goals. Your team of vision ambassadors can take many forms, but ultimately they will be the folks who ended up relating to and believing in what you’re doing.
If you’re starting a business or organization, you are probably aware of the barriers that exist. Something that can help to prevent problems in the future is taking the time to create a resilient and dynamic organizational structure that can respond effectively to challenges. Consider your organization’s structure and communication plans; Forbes has a list of a few more ideas for your consideration, as well. Ultimately, this is a way to keep people invested in your cause. Ideally, the environment you create is one that welcomes and responds to feedback from every level of the organization.
Mentorship was much more common in the last generation. A boss often viewed his or her employees as their protege and because of that wanted to pass on as much wisdom as possible, helping to steer their career. As that mindset has become a thing of the past, new companies are seeking ways to form meaningful connections with their workers. One of the key factors in a successful workplace is the employee’s purpose aligning with that of the company’s. When everyone’s on the same page business can thrive.
Studies have shown that the effects of mentorship resonate throughout a company. It increases job satisfaction, which in turn increases productivity. Not only are the mentees reaping benefits, but the mentors themselves, who also become more likely to receive raises and promotions.
A mentorship is defined as a period of time when an individual receives guidance from someone else with more experience in a common field. For mentoring to be successful in the workplace the relationship should feel personal, not like something that human resources is requiring of everyone. Some companies allow mentee’s to have input into who they would like mentoring them, ensuring it’s a good match.
It’s important that the expectations are clear. It is not a way to get fast tracked for promotion. Rather both the mentee and the mentor will gain further personal and professional development, helping them to achieve personal goals, and instilling better insight into whatever their position entails.
Mentorship in the workplace is on the rise with more than half of Fortune 500 companies having some sort of program in place. To retain employees and bring out the best in them more organizations should look into building programs that allow coworkers to form mentee/mentor relationships, allowing them to grow personally and professionally.
Workplace diversity programs may want to take notes on what these mentorship programs are getting right. A study conducted by Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations showed evidence that the retention and promotion rates of minority groups and women drastically improved within the mentoring program, versus the non-mentored. It also boosted the representation of minorities at the management levels. Mentorship’s help both of the parties involved to develop professionally, gaining the confidence to reach higher levels of performance.
Having a mentor to help show you the reins, answer questions, and overall encourage growth may be a key factor in employees gaining the willingness to strive for more. Everyone needs to be seen and heard and these programs are doing just that. The value of mentoring in the workplace is undeniable.
It is so easy to get into a new job and think that your day is done. You have managed to bring yourself to the finish line in terms of getting a job, right? Why should you even care about what happens next?
That is what a lot of people think when they finally land somewhere that is providing a consistent paycheck for them. This is a particularly appealing way to think when the company that is employing this individual is not asking them to put in the extra effort. Just because it is not being asked of them, does not mean that it is not important though.
There are skills that one can work on that may help them grow into another job in the future should they move or decide to change industries. Most people change jobs on a regular basis nowadays, so it is not all that weird for people to move from job to job. Having some strong professional skills can make those transitions a little bit easier.
The good news for those who find the rest of this advice rather daunting is the fact that developing one’s professional skills has really never been easier than it is in the modern day. It is mostly a matter of finding out where great conferences or other networking opportunities are available around you. Plugging into those can be a highly effective way to pick up some new skills and even make some new friends in your industry.
Perhaps you don’t have the funds to attend a networking event, but you may be able to convince your company to pay for this for you. If that doesn’t work out, then you can at least volunteer at some charities or non-profits that have relevant things for you to do and skills for you to learn. The only thing that you have to sacrifice in this instance is a little bit of your time. Most of us agree that we can set aside at least some time to help work on our goals of developing into a more well-rounded professional.
Take some time to consider all of the amazing benefits that can be bestowed upon you by taking charge of your professional development today and then act on it!
About Graham Zahoruiko
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS LEADER FOR GREATER CORPORATE SHAREHOLDER WEALTH, PUBLIC BENEFIT AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Graham Zahoruiko is a transformational growth leader with over 25 years of entrepreneurial C-Level leadership experience. His objective is to help companies unlock unprecedented growth and increase shareholder value, while delivering an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) that far exceeds the cost of any restructuring or reorganization. He does this by delivering a highly polished “game changing” solution strategy, executable materials, and team mentoring throughout the implementation phase.
The key foundational element of any organization is the right culture. When precisely positioned, the right company values and work environment lead to independent, empowered, self-reflective teams that have both the initiative and the capability to drive new revenue sources, generate higher profitability, and lower operational costs.
The assignments Graham Zahoruiko takes on vary widely based on the specific needs of the companies he works for, but some examples include: interim leadership; positioning and executing an initiative or project; cultural improvements; project and process management; leadership development; growth initiatives; cost efficiencies and improvements; personal career performance coaching; innovation modeling; entrepreneurship; and mentoring.
For a number of years, Graham Zahoruiko has contemplated how he can do the work that he loves but continue to add more purpose, meaning and value. Consultants tend to push harder and harder on the obsession for long-term value for clients.
Combining meaningful work and a meaningful “public benefit” certainly would be ideal. Near and dear to Graham Zahoruiko has always been family, children and disadvantaged. As a background in organizational effectiveness, change management and transformation ideally prepares one for leading through change, Graham is the Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation. Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation delivers high value project-based management consulting services for greater corporate shareholder wealth, public benefit and social responsibility. Organizational Effectiveness, Public Benefit Corporation’s own advocacy efforts focus on families, children and disadvantaged.
While working for a multi-billion dollar energy company, Graham proposed and led an effort to transform a $160 million dollar division with 750 employees and its 4th C-level leader in 5 years from a “cost center” into a “growth center”.
The implementation of this plan involved several key shifts, both in mindset and operation. The first step was the launch of a new culture through the development of a “Cultural Playbook”, which promoted a more innovative generation of employees empowered with the skills and ability to lead the company into a future of unprecedented growth. Graham Zahoruiko also conceptualized, developed, and implemented a QBR (Quarterly Business Review) program and accompanying materials for all senior leaders, resulting in a more consistent reporting format that improved corporate communication, business line health, and tracking mechanisms for leader reviews. This program increased shareholder value by $731 million. Graham also created a C-level leadership presentation for the CEO and Board on the subject of “game changing – change the lens/perspective of thinking” which outlined “the pitch, the proof and the value” of a $1 billion investment. This new thinking derived a 59% IRR, a significant impact on the organization’s P/E Ratio, and a $3.4 billion increase in shareholder value.
When working with a $250 million healthcare company, Graham Zahoruiko found the organization with a global business division comprised of over 350 hands-on IT professionals with expertise in cloud technologies, networking, applications hosting, storage, and disaster recovery. The $60 million division was facing declining revenue.
After rebuilding morale and mentoring the team on leadership and entrepreneurship, Graham helped improve gross margins by up to 40%, and net margins by 17% (12% to 29%) with the addition of $20 million in new revenue bookings. Operations were restructured through offshore centralization, and processes were formalized for the prevention of future revenue and cost leakages. The sales pipeline subsequently grew from $0 to $110M.
Graham Zahoruiko also led the formation a Cloud Software Services sub-business unit, and re-positioned aging software IP into a new offering centered on healthcare data access archiving, reducing ongoing client legacy software costs by 80%. The new release resulted in $15M in revenue opportunity and a recurring revenue stream. The company’s subsequent operating plan focused on continued margin improvement, better client value, innovation, and long-term sustainability of continued revenue growth.
Leveraging very early roots as a repeat start-up entrepreneur, Graham Zahoruiko is an independent management consultant helping leaders improve shareholder value through strategic improvements and transformations in culture, entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth. He has a talent for balancing the business and financial impact of decisions with the people side of the equation.
Northeastern University (Business Management): 1996
Saint John’s Preparatory (General Studies): 1990
Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout Award): 1987