I have always viewed the workplace as the land of opportunity – not only for me but for everyone. To me, the ideal workplace has respect at its core, embraces differences and encourages a variety of opinions, contributions and learning. Although the ideal is not always reality, the good news is there still are opportunities to take advantage of at your workplace today. Here’s more good news: Workplaces are dynamic, they change all the time – more opportunities are heading your way!

I learned a valuable lesson many years ago about workplace opportunities. A female executive who was open to sharing gave me great career advice. She told me to always look at the best people in your company. Watch what they do, see how they conduct themselves. And then, do that.

What she was telling me, in effect, was you have a great opportunity to learn from others. I never was disappointed in finding great people at work to learn from. My definition of the best is a person of character, intelligence, courage, strategy, and purpose. The best are usually identifiable in your company as people who are doing the right things the right way.

Learning from others can take on another meaning if you participate in mentoring. As a mentor and job coach I’ve learned many things about the business and about myself. It’s a two-way learning process – both the mentee and mentor learn from the experience. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for? Opportunity is knocking.

Here, we believe in treating all people with dignity and respect. That’s part of our mission and we take it seriously. Our efforts around this mission begin with our president, are supported by the company’s leadership and are becoming part of our DNA. Our efforts include recognition programs that celebrate inclusion champions, taking a pledge, mapping our journey of departmental events and community partnerships. We offer cultural competency training to our employees who have customer contact. We are committed to the well-being of our employees, and we provide health coaches and onsite wellness clinics. We see ourselves on a journey to ensure our employees, our customers and our community partners are in the best place to work, get excellent services, and receive dignity and respect.