RA Clark Consulting

Volume 2, Issue 3       December, 2008


Mentoring: An Important Strategy for Employee Retention

The uncertainty that we all face in our current economy, makes retention of high achievers a higher priority than ever before.  The economy will recover and we all need to have the right people in the right place.

Today's employers are looking for innovative and creative ways to attract and keep talented employMentoring - Employee Retentionees.  Traditional recruitment and retention approaches focus on offering attractive pay and benefitspackages.  Yet, those well-intentioned efforts are falling short.  In their ground breaking work, "First, Break All the Rules," Buckingham and Coffman have found that once an employee's basic financial needs are met,talented employees want more.  They want to know how their job impacts the overall good of the organization.  They want to feel a part of the organization and they want opportunities to grow and develop their skills.

A successful mentoring relationship will help employees meet these vital developmental needs. 

Employed properly, mentors create a safe environment for employees to discover (or rediscover) why their work matters as well as gives them a sense of belonging.

Successful mentors:

  • Share the "big picture" of the organization and why their work matters.

  • Openly discuss the unwritten rules and strategies for overcoming common pitfalls.

  • Help mentorees see things from a different point of view.

  • Consistently ask thought-provoking questions so mentorees can learn through self-discovery.

  • Suggest developmental opportunities that give mentorees a chance to stretch outside their comfort zone.

Why is mentoring an important strategy for employee retention?

Never before has it been so important to attract and retain talented employees.  Mentoring fosters important working relationships and gives employees a sense of "belonging."  Employees who feel they "belong" and who have an employer who is interested in their development...will stay longer!

Retain your good employees. Mentor them to success!

Sharpen Your Vision to Create a Competitive Edge

If you can keep your head when all about you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too.           
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting...
... Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it...!

Excerpt from "IF", by Rudyard Kipling.


Whether you are an entrepreneur, company executive, or employee, economic uncertainty may have you tied in knots.  The remedy, TAKE CONTROL.  When we feel powerless, we become victims.  And if you're reading this, you probably don't care to play that role!  Operating from positions of fear or scarcity takes a heavy toll on people and organizations. 

The media keeps the economy on everyone's minds.  Not only do we watch the Dow and S&P, we now keep tabs on markets around the world.  There is uncertainty and volatility. Global markets are becoming more and more complex and ambiguity abounds.  What are we to do?  The answer:  strategically determine how to outperform the competition.

Throughout history there have always been winners, even in the direst of times.  There is no better time than the present to step back and assess where you are, where you want to be, and determine what it takes to get there. 

As usual, solutions are not always easy to implement, but they are easy to understand.

Strategic Planning-Specific goals are not enough.  High performing people and organizations are disciplined.  They have a systematic process for regular strategic thinking and business planning.  They determine where they are going and how to get there.  Do you have a plan with clear objectives?  How well is it communicated to those who help you do what you do?  To what degree, if any, do day-to-day operations mirror your plan?

Winners are proactive, not reactive.  I was recently with a few hundred highly successful women entrepreneurs from across the country...Presidents of businesses generating between $2 million and $200 million or more in revenues.  The theme was innovation.  It was loud and clear that these women, these winners, were preparing for tomorrow.  In fact, many are allocating more resources toward planning and innovation to ensure they are winners at the other end of this economic cycle.

In his book "The Dip", Seth Godin asserts that the difference between great success and mediocrity lies in knowing what you want and determining whether it's time to quit or forge ahead.  Are you doing the right things?  Success is as much about what you stop doing as it is about doing the right things.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.  When it gets hard, we see the differences between superstars and others.  Odds are most people will quit.  People and organizations that thrive in adversity are scarce; therefore, they become more valuable.

Several years ago, I read the autobiography of Richard Branson, entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Airlines. What struck me was his philosophy on dealing with adversity...rather than contract when faced with harsh conditions, expand out of it.

The fearful contract...they tighten their belts and look for every opportunity to cut costs.  I call this managing the business one paper clip at a time.  While competitors are searching under desks for paper clips and carefully returning each one to the supply closet, you can be thinking, planning, expanding and acting...moving forward and crafting your own success.

Sharpen your vision to create your competitive edge.  It takes highly focused strategic thinking, intense business planning, and complete concentration on aligning everything in your organization toward clear, specific objectives.  It will help to consider the following:

  •  Do you need to review, refine or even develop your vision for the future? 
  •  What are you good at?  Why do you do what you do?  Are you passionate about it?
  • Is the road you're currently on the one most likely to carry you to your ultimate vision?
  •  What assumptions was your current business plan based on?  To what degree does the price of gasoline, interest rates, food costs, and other economic, market or social changes impact your ability to achieve your objectives? 
  • Are your business goals still valid? 
  • What 3 to 5 things are most critical to your accomplishments?  Do you need to develop different behaviors, attitudes and habits for success in those critical areas? 
  •  Are you/your organization aligned to make maximum benefit of the people and processes necessary to create and retain loyal customers?

There Are Always Winners, No Matter What The Conditions...Will It Be You?

Benefits Of Planning


Whatever your role is in an organization the benefits of planning your work and working your plan is always critical to success.  By now budgeting has been completed and 2008 is wrapping up, it is time to focus on next year.

The Benefits of planning are many. Planning helps to prioritize your activities. You already know that you will be wearing several "hats" and that the functions you'll perform under each are different. It is easy to get bogged down in the seemingly urgent activities and overlook important, even critical ones. Planning helps you to see beyond the immediate issues and focus on the desired outcome. This will help to ensure that the day to day activities are in line with the long-range objectives and vision. It will help you to avoid getting involved in seemingly endless crises, and even prevent crisis-stimulated activities that seem to be important and necessary, but in fact many not be either. With this understanding, you are better able to focus your energies on getting where you want to go. A comprehensive plan is the most important tool you can utilize to build a successful business.

  • Do you have your plan ready for next year?

  • Does everyone in your company know the top 5 goals for the coming year?

  • Are all of your goals written down and tracked?

  • Need help creating a competitive edge for next year?

3101 Tower Creek Parkway Suite 420 Atlanta, GA 30339 Phone:(770) 857-0002