Have Work Environment Needs Changed Much Since 1994?

Mark J. Komen, President
Kodyne, Inc.
Minneapolis, MN

I left my engineering career in 1999, transitioning from being an employee to having my own management consulting and business coaching company.  Recently, I was going through some old files and ran across something I had written in 1994 during my engineering days.  At that time, I was a senior-level design engineer working for a large electronics manufacturer, serving at various times as a designer, team lead or principal investigator.  For reasons I don’t recall now, I created a list entitled, “Things I Need From My Work Environment.” Here’s the list:

  • A cooperative, collaborative work environment
  • Meaningful value messages
  • A certain level of decision-making autonomy
  • The opportunity to take risks and an environment that supports it
  • Honest communication about my performance, priorities and plans
  • Visibility into my career and salary growth possibilities
  • The opportunity to do meaningful work
  • Tools to do the job properly
  • The ability to manage my own time
  • Working where management understands a person’s needs for renewal and having a personal life in balance with work

So from the vantage point of today vs. 1994, I’d like your thoughts on the following items:

  • Employees/Staff members – does anything on my list resonate with you? Is your organization addressing any of these items?  Is there anything not on my list that would be on yours if you created something similar?
  • Business Leaders – have your staff members been asking for any of these things? Are any of these still relevant to you and your organization? How are you addressing them?

Retention is still a hot issue for both employees and business leaders.  The organizational cost due to employee turnover is high in both dollars and productivity. Conversely, the times are long past where staff members stay on with an organization until they retire.  And, in case you were wondering, some of my reasons for leaving my former employer are implied in this list.

Your feedback is welcome.  Does my 1994 needs list appear relevant to today’s workplaces?

©2022 Mark J. Komen. All rights reserved worldwide.