Diana Martinez Lucio, MBA ‘21
Monterey One Water (M1W) is a public wastewater treatment provider in northern Monterey County established in 1972 in order to meet the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act. The company is driven by its mission to turn the area’s wastewaters into safe, resilient water solutions for the community and the environment. In addition to protecting public health and the environment by safely treating wastewater, M1W also recovers valuable resources throughout the process. This includes generating green energy onsite from a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process, creating ground covering from the treated biosolids, reducing ocean discharge by producing recycled water for the irrigation of food crops and advanced purified water for the replenishment of a critical drinking water basin. Every day, Monterey One Water is responsible for cleaning approximately 17 million gallons of used water before safely reintroducing it into the environment.
M1W embodies its commitment of being a responsible business by caring for its employees’ well-being in every aspect: financially, professionally, and personal well-being. Writing for Entrepreneur, R. Michael Anderson noted, “a conscious leader recognizes the value of caring for its stakeholders and making it a priority.”
M1W offers competitive salaries that are higher than most agencies in the same industry. Additionally, while COVID-19 affected the bottom line of many organizations causing them to face layoffs or shutter, M1W board members waived their compensation and executives and staff members delayed their salary increases to avoid laying off temporary employees and interns. Their priority during these difficult times was to ensure all staff remained employed.
Further, M1W offers multiple opportunities for training and development. The Agency pays for all related work certifications and offers tuition assistance for those pursuing further education. Existing programs such as succession planning and on-the-job training are two reasons why many employees are able to develop new skills and be considered for promotions.
M1W covers 100% of the employee’s medical, dental, and vision benefits. M1W believes it is their responsibility to offer medical benefits at no cost to its employees. To improve employees’ health and well-being, the Agency currently offers several wellness programs such as onsite gyms, exercise challenges, wellness fairs, flu shots, and learning lunches with healthcare professionals. In addition to providing employees multiple opportunities and tools towards a healthy physical life, M1W offers counseling services through a third party at no cost.
There are multiple benefits of M1W’s practice of caring for its people. Not only does it provide a benefit for employees, but also for the organization, customers, and community. A good combination of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators is a recipe for longer retention. Having a good retention rate can save an organization time and money. Professional development is something many employees, especially millennials, are seeking for which makes it easier to attract and retain talent. By tapping into their talents and providing them the necessary tools to further develop can result in a win-win situation.
Creating a culture that values employee health can be an investment as it can lead to happier employees, better customer service, higher level of productivity, and better relationships in the workplace. With its current practices and dedication towards caring for its employees M1W has created a shared value for employees, organization, and community. In the process, it has gained a competitive advantage and can be a model for other businesses seeking to become a responsible business.
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- Retrieved on July 1, 2021 from montereyonewater.org/185/History
- Retrieved on July 1, 2021 from linkedin.com/company/m1w
- Retrieved on July 1, 2021 from montereyonewater.org/161/Benefits
- Retrieved on July 1, 2021 from entrepreneur.com/article/246478
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- Fallon, T. (2009). Retain and motivate the next generation: 7 ways to get the most out of your millenial workers. Supervision, 70(5), 5.
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