Note from Rob Sullivan: RIFProofing For Businesses
At Last, A Resource That Makes It Clear To Employees That Professional Development Is Ultimately THEIR Responsibility And, At The Same Time, Helps Companies Get a Better Handle On The Talent That Already Exists Within The Organization.
Dear Executive: I have a few questions that require thoughtful and honest answers:
- Have you ever noticed how employee productivity and morale often tanks the moment layoff rumors surface?
- Are you facing the possibility of a Reduction In Force (RIF) but uncertain how to assess the relative strengths of your team?
- Do you wish the employees themselves did a better job communicating their skills, experience, and potential so you would know who the real performers are?
- Are you concerned about the impact a layoff will have on the morale and performance of the people left behind?
- Do you struggle with the notion that any restructuring is going to have a wider-than anticipated impact as the remaining employees begin exploring their options?
- Do you ever wonder what it would be like to deal with restructuring in a way that would inspire other companies to view it as a best practice?
- Do you wish you had a better method for capturing and tracking the intellectual firepower that walks out of your office every night?
- Are you interested in a way to handle performance reviews that would be more fruitful and empowering in any economy?
If you answered "YES" to even one of these questions, you've come to the right place.
Since you are probably wondering what an eBook written for employees can possibly do for your company, let's start there. With all of the negativity in today's world, you will be happy to know this is not a corporate-bashing guide designed to spark even more frustration and dissatisfaction. Quite the opposite.
It would be easy to look at all of the high-powered talent impacted by a layoff and blame the company for a flawed and inefficient process. And, I confess, I used to think that myself to some degree. But my thinking has changed.
It may be convenient to blame the companies. But it wouldn't be fair. While it's true that most companies, including some of best-run companies in America, have almost NO IDEA who is on their team, the companies bear only a small part of the blame. After coaching employees, outplaced employees, and other job hunters over the past 18 years, it is clear that the ultimate responsibility for the perceived unfairness of the process rests, as it always has, with the employees themselves.To properly address this issue, it will take a few smart, proactive companies to help establish a new standard for employee performance measurement and accountability. That's what RIFProofingSM is all about. Employees often think they are doing a good job tracking accomplishments, but most of the time they aren't. The story below is a good example of this:
|When forced to cut payroll expenses by 40% across all
departments, one large Fortune 500 company simply started with the
people who were making the most money. In the bloodbath that followed,
one of the people jettisoned was Andrea, a woman who, when asked about
her accomplishments, insisted, "I just did the job I was paid to do."
That's how she saw it. Unfortunately, that's how the company saw it as
But the truth was a bit different.
By using the RIFProofingSM strategies, we were able to uncover the gold in Andrea's background. For example, we demonstrated how, in her eight years at the company, Andrea had saved $1 million by coming in at or under budget on all of her projects. She was shocked when she discovered that her average annual savings of $125,000 worked out to be $50,000 more than her salary. In other words, Andrea was an INVESTMENT not an EXPENSE.
But guess what? Neither Andrea, nor the company, had any idea she had done that. Why? Because didn't know how to quantify or communicate her accomplishments in a meaningful way.
Now here's the really important question:
Do you think the company would have eliminated Andrea's position if they had known that?
Of course not. It would be too much of a risk. Armed with this information, Andrea would probably be snapped up by the company's biggest competitor. What company wants to see that happen?
This is just one of many cases where companies would almost certainly have made better decisions with more complete information. In this case, the blame clearly rests with Andrea. If she wasn't aware of her own contributions, how could she possibly expect the company to have any idea?
Helping your employees find ways to quantify accomplishments is only part of the story. They also need to know how to communicate this track record while avoiding the pitfalls so many people seem to fall into when layoffs become a possibility.That's what RIFProofingSM Your Career is all about. In it, they will learn:
- The 3-part RIFProofingSM Process and how it could either save their jobs or help them compete more effectively for the next one.
- The 4 biggest mistakes people make when layoff rumors begin circulating.
- The 5 steps it takes to create a compelling track record.
- A tool to communicate employee experiences that is so powerful, it caused a hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company to exclaim, "I am going to my internal recruiters and telling them, 'No more résumés. THIS is what I want!" This, by the way, is a GREAT tool to help employees communicate the depth and breadth of their experience as part of a formal or informal performance review.
- How employees unknowingly help the company determine their fate in a layoff.
- Why it's dangerous to view colleagues as competitors in the game of corporate musical chairs-and steps that can be taken to avoid this.
- The 3 most valuable qualities employees should be demonstrating at all times, but especially when layoffs are being considered. More specifically, they will learn what these qualities are, why they are important, and how they can demonstrate them.
- Why companies unintentionally fail to acknowledge the impact of accomplishments-and what employees can do to keep that from happening.
- 3 questions employees can ask themselves everyday that will help make a positive impression and impact from their first day on the job.
- 10 questions employees need to ask themselves every month to make sure they are adequately capturing their experiences, skills, and accomplishments.
- 23 questions employees should ask themselves to better capture the scope of their projects.
- 9 questions employees need to address at least annually to maximize the value of performance reviews.
- How tracking experiences from previous employers as well as their personal lives can directly impact future projects and opportunities.
- 3 ways to communicate accomplishments without coming across like they are bragging.
Bringing RIFProofingSM To Your CompanyAs you know, different people learn in different ways. Some employees will be able to read the eBook and immediately implement the strategies. Others learn better in a workshop environment with the opportunity to ask questions and get on-the-spot coaching. With this in mind, there are four primary ways to bring RIFProofingSM to your company.
- Licensing For companies that would like to provide the eBook,
RIFProofingSM Your Career, to employees, the licensing fee
is determined by the number of employees. The licensing fee includes
the option to create a special edition cover with your company logo as
a well as a forward from the company. In this case, a letter from one
of the company executives emphasizing the value and importance of this
initiative is recommended.
Per Copy Price Discount < 25
$119.96 20% 26 -50
$112.46 25% 51 - 100
101 - 500
500+ $74.98 50%
All workshops, which are customized to meet the specific needs of the company, are delivered in-person or via webinar. Depending on the needs of your company and the number of participants, the workshops typically run a full day. The approach, which is more motivational than "lecture", includes a combination of exercises and on-the-spot coaching to illustrate the principles.
Over the years, a number of clients have come to me and said:"Rob, I don't have the discipline to work through this on my own. I need your help.
Can we sit down and work through this together?"
My answer is always, "Absolutely!" I love working with people one-on-one. It's what got me excited about career and professional development in the first place. One-on-one coaching can take place in-person or via phone. Small group coaching is also an option.4. Workshops & Coaching
Companies And Organizations That Would NOT BenefitIn the spirit of full disclosure, it is important to point out that some companies and organizations will NOT realize the maximum benefits of RIFProofingSM.
More specifically, RIFProofingSM will not achieve its full potential in any organization in which raises and promotions are driven by tenure and/or union guidelines. Under these circumstances, the process would still help the organization develop a better understanding of the depth and breadth of talent, but the insights wouldn't always be actionable. For example, rules outside of your control might force you to keep a non-performing employee simply because they have tenure. Nevertheless, there may still be opportunities to leverage the unseen and unknown talent that already exists on your team.
If you would like to talk more about your situation and explore the options, feel free to contact me. Does Your Company Need RIFProofingSM? RIFProofingSM isn't just about managing RIFs and performance reviews more effectively; it's also about managing talent and saving money.
A few years back, I did workshops and follow-up coaching for the IT department of a Fortune 500 company. What upset employees most was the company's habit of hiring contractors to work on projects the employees themselves wanted the opportunity to handle. Whenever the topic came up, I asked employees the same two questions:
- Does the company have any idea you can do this?
- Does anyone in management know this is an area of interest for you?
I'm sure you can imagine the responses. Some employees suddenly realized they had never communicated any of this before. Seeing the situation from the company's perspective, they immediately recognized the opportunity. They weren't always sure the best way to fix it (we worked on that next), but they knew it was their responsibility. Other people on the team adopted a slightly more defensive posture saying things like, "Yeah, but the company should have at least asked." Nice idea, but you and I both know it doesn't happen that way-especially when the projects are confidential or mission critical.
The situation described above is noteworthy because it represents a legitimate opportunity to save money and improve morale at the same time. After all, when employees have the opportunity to do more of what they find energizing, morale is likely to improve along with productivity.Even if you aren't wasting money on redundant contractors, there are other opportunities to use RIFProofingSM to improve productivity and performance. When I do professional development workshops, I often ask the groups:
But for that to happen there must be a strategy and process for
communication. That's what RIFProofingSM is all about.
How many of you have a skill that could benefit the company and that you would like to use on the job, but haven't had the opportunity?
If the managers are not present, two-thirds of the hands will typically go up when I ask this question. Whenever I see that, I am immediately struck by what an enormous missed opportunity it represents. If all of these people found a way to communicate the skills that energize and inspire them, think of the impact it could have on company productivity and employee morale. After all, work is either energizing or its draining. There is no middle ground. So the goal, in simplest terms, is to help employees do more of what energizes them and less of what drains them.
If you are ready to get this area of your business under control and help employees to communicate the skills, interests, and accomplishments most will NEVER reveal-or even fully understand-the eBooks, workshops, and coaching could be the best investment you make.
Give me a call. You'll be glad you did.
Rob SullivanP.S. Given my current speaking and writing commitments, I can only take on 2 new corporate clients per month. Contact me today to start the conversation.