MVP Seminars Blogs
Harassment in the workplace is a critical issue and all organizations must be careful in making sure they have appropriate processes and procedures in place to avoid significant problems. It is also important that all employees have a thorough understanding as to what kinds of things might constitute ‘harassment’ and what kinds of impact that might have.
Harassment in the workplace can come in various shapes and forms. However, in general it is about treating everyone the same way (i.e., fairly) no matter who the individual might be and how different he/she might be from others. As we all know, employees can be different from each other in many different ways. That is why it is critical to make sure they are all treated fairly and similarly.
If an organization is not able to maintain a well-established approach in this regard, it may have to deal with difficult situations that might be significantly unproductive for the organization. First of all it creates a negative environment that contributes to under-achievement as a company. It can also be damaging financially if the victim decides to fight back in terms of a lawsuit. In general, it can cause several different outcomes that are typically negative for the company.
That is why training in this area is critical for all employees. It is important for all organizations to have appropriate processes and procedures in place so that difficult situations can be handled through a well-established framework.
Payroll, accounting, IT, human resources, internal audit, or legal. All of these groups and more, correctly or incorrectly, frequently get lumped as cost centers by executives.
And once you get to the C-Suite inside of a Fortune 500 company, they tend to view their organizational groups in two ways: “Either you are generating revenue for me, or you are not. If you are, I will invest in you in every way and will demand direct visibility to your organization. If you are not, I will minimize my investment, and I will bury you in my org chart.”
Here’s the quick litmus test: where does procurement eventually report in your organization?
Let me guess: Finance, Operations, Manufacturing, or in end user business units. I have even seen procurement reporting in HR! The HR VP justified to me “well, we buy people, so we should buy everything else too.”
Some of you will comment that “that’s not the way it is in my company. We have a CPO that reports directly to the CEO/COO.” I’m glad that’s true, but it’s not the norm, and it may not stay that way either – frequently, the CEO decides they don’t see the value and shove procurement back under an obscure function.
In working with large companies all over the world for almost 25 years now, the one gripe Chief Purchasing Officers have more than any other is that they are not valued by the company.
To add fuel to the fire, the sales counterparts that you are negotiating with have better systems, more staff, more discretionary funds, better data, and more resources than you. In addition, they spend up to 20% of their time in training, while your procurement group only spends up to 2% of their time in training.
How could that be? It’s because Sales is a REVENUE generating function, and CEOs invest in those.
But executives on the “revenue generator bandwagon” are wrong. All of them.
The problem is that they should not be differentiating between revenue generators and non-revenue generators. They should be differentiating between PROFIT generators and NON-PROFIT generators.
Isn’t profitability the goal of every company? Or is the goal to maximize revenue, and to heck with whether or not we are profitable? I don’t have to tell you the answer. It’s Business 101, page 2.
And procurement keeps trying to justify it’s worth with cost savings metrics. Those metrics don’t work. The reason? Simple: the executive will simply say “OK, if you saved me $195M last year, great, then show it to me, because it’s not in my budget. Where is all this money you keep telling me you’ve saved me?”
It’s interesting that part of the problem is that the saving go back to the end user group and they then end up using that money on something else! I’ve only seen one organization that measures costs savings by how much is left in the business unit budget, which then goes back to the CEO’s general fund. It was one of the oil & gas companies in Houston, Texas.
Not my favorite model, but it is one way to make sure the executive visibly sees what savings are coming from procurement strategies. Procurement departments the world over do a terrible job demonstrating their value, especially vertically within the corporation.
The reasons? There are many, but the biggest in my experience it goes back to the fact that we are trying to influence vertically with metrics that aren’t a part of the C-Suite’s language.
What is the C-Suite’s language? They care about the following metrics, which procurement directly influences but rarely tracks and reports: ROI in the procurement function (department savings ÷ department costs), as well as improvements in EBIT, EPS, and corporate profitability. That is how we should be communicating and influencing vertically.
Only then will executives start to see the value of procurement and can procurement be involved in critical planning cycles to drive upstream influence.
I invite you to watch an incredible video I’ve put together that really captures the essence of this transformation. This is not for the casual procurement professional who is looking to jump to another profession or has one foot out the door to retirement.
This is dense, and it’s 1 hour long. But here’s the deal, once you start, you can’t stop. The first 22 minutes of the video capture the heart of this transformation, and the rest take you to implementation. It’ll be the best 1 hour you’ve ever invested in your career.
Here it is, bookmark this link and watch this video: https://tinyurl.com/Procurement-Transformation
I will leave you with this final set of thoughts below (grab a mirror):
- Is your procurement department a value added center of profit? Are they also PERCEIVED as a value added center of profit?
- Are you taking costs out the supply chain or are you just shoving them back up the supply chain?
- Are you getting more and more sophisticated at compressing supplier profits, or are you leveraging investigative negotiation strategies to create value and make the pie bigger?
- Are you leveraging strategies to influence product and service costs to be streamlined for TCO, or are you just getting the best deal on what end users ask for?
- Are you buying goods and services or are you buying performance results? Hint: this is the biggest problem in procurement today that nobody is talking about.
And most of all, do you have a seat at the table with the C-Suite, or are you on the menu for lunch?
Go watch the video above and find out how to bridge the gap from good to world-class procurement.
Now go off and do something wonderful.
Be your best!
“THE Godfather of Negotiation Planning” ~ Intel Corp
Of the 90 percent of transgender workers who faced discrimination at work, about a fourth were forced to use restrooms that did not match their gender identity, were told to dress, act and present as a different gender from their own in order to keep their job, or had a boss or coworker share private information about their transgender status without their permission.
More than 70 percent of transgender respondents said they had to hide their gender identity, delay their transition, or quit their job due to fear of negative repercussions.
Moreover, over 50 percent of all LGBT people face lower wages, have difficulty finding jobs, are denied promotions, and are fired from jobs due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. According to FBI data, hate crimes increased this year. And LGBT people are more likely to be targets of a hate crime than any other minority group.
The study also showed that on average, “gay men earn from 10 to 32 percent less than similarly qualified heterosexual males,” and LGBT adults experience higher poverty rates than heterosexual people. And according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender people are three times as likely to be unemployed and twice as likely to live in poverty compared to general rates in the U.S.
- Keep in mind that all of us are human and mistakes, selfish acts, fear, betrayals, disappointments and such are all a normal part of the human experience. One cannot journey through life without ever offending or disappointing others. To forgive means to refrain from judgment and to make allowances for man's imperfections.
- Change your perception of the person or incident. Life isn't about truth and reality; it is about perception - how we choose to see others or the world. Perception is simply a thought. We choose a thought, either one that is kind or judgmental. So ask yourself, "Am I being fair in my assessment of this person or incident? Was there a misunderstanding? Am I over reacting to what happened?" Your thoughts create your feelings (refer to T~E~~C~O Magic*). Therefore, all one really needs to do to change how they feel is to change what they are thinking. See the offender through the eyes of kindness, understanding, and fairness.
- Realize that every experience that enters your life is a critical part of your life's journey. Each person and situation provides the opportunity for you to fulfill your Divine Destiny and to bring you into closer communion with God. Rather than find fault with or complain about what happened, find its value. Be grateful for the opportunity to further your spiritual development. Gratitude thwarts anger and bitterness.
- Pray. Prayer is a powerful form of communication with the Divine. It's like holding on to the hand of a fire fighter as he guides you out of a burning building to safety. Conversation with God provides us with guidance, comfort, and the strength to do God's Will rather than succumbing to our anger or desires, for our need for justice. Our first responsibility is always to abide by the Father's directives, not to surrender to our ego. "Align with the Divine" is a simple but powerful mantra to remind us that we must always respond to life from a spiritual perspective, in a way reflective of God's Love.
- Discuss with the other person what happened and why for the sole purpose of understanding their position. Clear up any misunderstandings. Discuss facts only. Refrain from blame or excuses. Accept responsibility for your part.
- Discuss how each person felt. This may be uncomfortable but is necessary to more fully understand the impact this incident has had on both parties.
- Decide what you both want to happen now. Do you want a reconciliation, a chance to rebuild your relationship, or would it be best to part ways, amicably? What can each party do to accomplish this?
- Focus on and remember everything good about the person. Remember, thoughts dictate feelings. One act of bad judgment does not erase all the good in someone.
- Separate the behavior from the individual. Behaviors are not who we are; they are outward expressions of our internal environment and issues. Remind yourself that this person is still a sacred child of God, deserving of love and forgiveness.
- Detach and let go of all negative feelings. Revisit the incident as an objective observer, not an active participant.
- Extract the value of the experience. Learn the lessons, be grateful, let go, and move forward.
- Have you let go of the need to discuss it? It has served its purpose and needs no more of your time or energy.
- Can you think about the offender without anger or animosity?
- If you came face-to-face with them, would you feel at ease?
- Are you at peace with what happened although not necessarily happy about it?
- Does the thought of the other party suffering for their offense cause you sadness?
- Can you be grateful for the experience and see how it has actually been a blessing in your life?
- Remember that everything that enters your life has purpose and value. The labels you assign determine their worth: good or bad are relevant terms on in the sense that they are dictated by your personal standards. Re evaluate their assessment, removing any derogatory notions and seek the meaning and importance of each. Once its significance is determined, one can find a way to use the experience for a greater good.
- Check your perception for accuracy. Many times our expectations of life are unrealistic, such as "my life should be what I want it to be". Unmet expectations lead to frustration(another root cause of anger), a sense of powerlessness, anger, and bitterness. Be honest and real with yourself about the unpredictability that life affords all of its participants.
- Try to view each situation from every perspective. By gaining a greater understanding of the cause and nature of the event, we are better able to make sense of it. This can lead to a willingness to accept that which we cannot change.
- Ask yourself, "What is this experience here to teach me?" Courage, determination, trust, self-confidence, forgiveness: life's most profound lessons are most often found in our most difficult happenings. This, too, adds greater value to what has transpired.
- Take control. Are there any changes that can be made to improve things for you and others who have been affected? If so, create a plan and begin putting forth effort. If not, acceptance of those things that we cannot change enables us to move beyond the occurrence with a peaceful determination to get on with our lives.
- Forgive those who contributed to what happened. People can be mean-spirited, thoughtless, careless, selfish, and more. Their actions are a reflection of their issues, they are not about you. Forgiving acknowledges mankind's imperfections and releases all judgments. It chooses to put to rest any anger, hatred, jealousy, thoughts of retaliation and so on. Again, learn the lesson, let go of the emotion attached to it, and move forward as a stronger better version of yourself.
- Accept responsibility for your role, if applicable. Vow to learn and not repeat the same behavior in the future. Forgive yourself as well.
Much attention is given to counter bullying in schools, workplaces and social media. The abuse is not always obvious, however, and many people feel quietly victimized and strategies for workplace injustice don’t give them a voice. Some people call it the “social death penalty”. Recent studies have concluded that the issue is social ostracism and does more damage to people’s mental and physical well-being than bullying. The bottom line for employers? Higher turnover (high rates of turnover lead to higher costs related to recruiting and training new employees), it reduces performance on difficult intellectual tasks, and can also contribute to aggression and poor impulse control, all of which affects the bottom line. As a mental health advocate, my attention is drawn to mental illness stigma as one of the reasons why someone may be ostracized. I’m concerned, too, with overall mental health because social rejection increases anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy and sadness. On one of my last jobs before retirement word got among fellow employees out that I had bipolar disorder. Several of my co-workers started treating me with a slight smirk and limited or avoided interaction with me. Ignorance, which is the basis for mental illness stigma, conditioned them to ostracize me and, to them, it was socially acceptable. I needed a friend or two on the job. People I liked and who liked me helped me look forward to going to work each day and doing my best instead of overwhelming feelings of paranoia. Ostracism is among the most devastating experiences we can endure whether on the playground or in the workplace. Not only can ostracism damage the brain; it is also more commonly directed at those who have cognitive and psychiatric challenges. I faced both with multiple sclerosis which affected my short-term memory and bipolar disorder where occasional mood swings became obvious. Professor Sandra Robinson of the University of British Columbia concluded in her study of the issue: “We’ve been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable — if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. But ostracism leads people to feel more helpless, like they’re not worthy of any attention at all.” British film director Derek Jarman best summarizes why every workplace should be reminded social exclusion is unacceptable: “Pain can be alleviated by morphine but the pain of social ostracism cannot be taken away.”