Monday, October 31, 2011

AAP Hints:

Good Faith Efforts - Understate and Over Perform 
When writing good faith efforts for the narrative portion of the Affirmative Action Program, commit to action items you know you will complete.  If there’s any doubt about completing any good faith efforts don’t list them in the AAP.  You can always over perform during the AAP year and present your extra efforts to the OFCCP if and when you get audited. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

How We Can Help You Save Money

(A) Take the total number of managers (or supervisors) in your office, team, division, or department:.

(B) Estimate the average hourly pay for those managers.

(C) Assume those managers grapple with preventable managerial problems for an hour each day, so the total daily cost is:

(A) x (B) = $_____________

Take that amount and multiply it by 22 for 22 working days per month and you'll get the total monthly cost.

Now multiply that amount by 12 for the total annual cost.

Compare that figure - or even half of it - with the cost of guidance from Sanders Wade Rodarte and you can see why the right advice at the right time can make a huge difference.

It's simple:
Preventing problems saves money.
And we don't just prevent problems. We develop people.
See how we can help you.
(800) 788-7753

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Manage Your Applicant Pool to Minimize Your Risk of Adverse Impact (Discrimination) Findings

When you peel back the adverse impact analysis process, the one conducted on the applicant/selection data as part of your Affirmative Action Program obligations, you’ll see it’s strictly a numbers game.  If you stand back far enough you’ll see that if you reduce the applicant pool numbers you can minimize the statistical significance of the applicant/selection data, and with that you’re playing the game at an advanced level.  Some years ago there was a survey of companies that were audited by the OFCCP and the findings showed that around 90% of the contentious issues between the OFCCP and the audited companies revolved around the applicant/selection data.  If you look further at the cases where there were legal challenges you’ll also see that applicant/selection analysis is at the core of the majority of the cases. And if you look even deeper you’ll see that the most vulnerable positions in the challenges are the entry level jobs. These are the positions where there are limited minimum qualifications and large volumes of applicants. It’s no secret the OFCCP knows this and they target these areas in an audit. The higher the applicant pool numbers the more likely you can conclude statistical significance.
It isn’t rocket science to minimize the applicant pool. Here are six things you can do immediately:
1.   Review your positions and focus your attention on your entry level positions.
2.   Use legitimate minimum job qualification requirements to limit the pool.
3.   Target specific application form sections that you must have completed and consistently use and document the practice to weed out applicants who skimp on completing the application form (You may also just eliminate those applicants who don’t follow directions).
4.   Limit the time an opening is posted; if you don’t get qualified applicants start over by reposting the position.
5.   If you have a large group of applicants don’t review all of them, take a random sample and make that your applicant pool.
6.   If your departments select the applicants for further processing, such as interviews, make sure they take a sample diverse group to review; don’t review the entire group.
Bottom line; limit your applicant pool and you will minimize the chance and value of any statistical significance findings in adverse impact.  One final point to keep in mind, one of the four internet applicant rules says that an applicant has to be considered to be included in the applicant pool;  so this can’t be any clearer, don’t consider all the applicants.

(Contact me if you need assistance with your applicant analysis or AAP. Lou Rodarte at

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Chance to Surface Issues and Questions in an Informal Setting

We are exploring the possibility of having informal sessions for clients and seminar attendees. The sessions will be 1 1/2 to two hours long and will cover a variety of employee relations topics, such as motivation, dealing with difficult employees, communication, time management, managing change, and decision making. The attendee-driven sessions will respond to questions raised by the audience. In order to permit individual attention, there will be a maximum of 12 participants per session. The sessions will be facilitated by Michael Wade.

Also under consideration are similar sessions focusing on key virtues - courage, loyalty, fairness, respect, honesty, pursuit of excellence, and caring - that are vital for a successful professional and personal life.

If you would like to be notified of when and where these sessions will be held, e-mail or call 800-788-7753.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

EEO Management

The latest book by Michael Wade, a partner at Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc., is now available in paperback.

EEO Management: How to Advance Equal Opportunity without Using Quotas or Singing Kumbaya, is a blunt, occasionally humorous, and practical look at the management of EEO, Affirmative Action, and Diversity programs.

Michael has over 30 years of experience in the field and his insider's view of what EEO professionals must do to fashion a credible and effective program is must reading for anyone with EEO, Affirmative Action, or Diversity Management responsibilities.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of obtaining Michael's assistance as a consultant, trainer or coach, call 800-788-7753 or email him at

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Psychology of Workshop Marketing

The shape and timing of a workshop can be as important as its content. We experimented with two-hour briefings a few years ago. Our reasoning was that with tight schedules, people would appreciate the chance to get some quick and substantive management advice in a mere two hours.

It didn't work.

What we discovered was that managers and employees would rather block out a half-day or a full-day for a class, but two hours created complications. Would they be expected to return to work if the class was from 1 to 3 in the afternoon? They preferred not having to deal with that question. There was also, of course, the hidden question of whether enough substance could be conveyed in a mere two hours. [Little did many of them know how much meat we pack into our classes!]

As a result, we've gone back to half or full days.

Right now, we are experimenting with two open enrollment Harassment Prevention workshops in the Phoenix area for July. Each session is three and 1/2 hours and is priced to please the tightest budget. We know that many employers offer that subject on an in-house basis and yet employees come and go and there's always someone who could use the training. With that in mind, we decided to offer the open enrollments.

Will the format, price, and timing work? We have no idea. Most of our training is done on an in-house basis and this particular subject has been a great success in that arena. When you are dealing with a subject as sensitive as harassment, nothing beats getting people into a room with an experienced trainer and discussing how to handle specific case examples. On the other hand, on-line training is no substutute for an instructor who can pick up the vibrations and in-person sessions that drag on and on are counter-productive.

You want the attendees to leave with knowledge of the danger zones and the confidence that if certain steps are taken, major problems can be avoided. You don't want them to leave scared or cynical. The half-day sessions neatly meet those criteria. The training has to be fast-paced. It must convey practical information that is easily understood and which can be put to immediate use.

I''l let you know how they go.*

[*For additional info, contact]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Presentations: When Smooth Isn't Possible

Have you ever given a speech or made a presentation and everything seemed to go wrong?
Despite my reputation as a preparation freak, I've had some days when an army of gremlins was present. Room and audio/visual glitches are the usual culprits but so long as people are involved, new twists are practically guaranteed. One vivid memory is of a workshop that began in a room filled with 45 firefighters. An alarm bell for a major fire began to ring and, one minute later, I was the only person in the room.

You learn to roll with the punches and if I can offer one bit of advice to any new speakers who have not yet had a rendezvous with chaos, it is this: Barring a major problem that completely ends the possibility of continuing with your presentation (such as a five-alarm fire), be ready to give a fantastic presentation with minimal support.

Here's an example. Around a year ago, I was scheduled to teach a How to Make Presentations to Councils and Boards workshop in Tucson. I had carefully proofed the workbooks and dropped off a hard copy with the training broker to avoid glitches in any electronic transmission. The broker had proofed the workbooks again, then had them reproduced. The hotel was part of a major chain so there were trained audio/visual people on hand to help with those needs. The room was comfortable. I was fired up. The attendees came early and were friendly and enthusiastic.

Everything appeared to be in place for a good session.

And then I opened the box with the workbooks.

All of the workbooks were there. On the surface, they looked fine, until I thumbed through one of the books and a gremlin popped out. Although I'd given the broker a hard copy for reproduction, they'd scanned and transmitted it via an e-mail to their printer. During that transmission process, strange things had happened to the text. Random letters were turned into dollar signs and question marks. Few pages were unaffected.

It was clear that I was not going to be able to give a class on presentations with a flawed workbook. The Felix Ungers in the room would have had a seizure, perhaps shortly after my own. So I remembered one of my rules:

If something in your presentation is not going to work, don't work around it, scrap it entirely.

And that's what I did. After making sure that each class member had a note pad, I explained what had happened, apologized, and promised that each of them would receive a copy of my paperback book on How to Make Presentations to Councils and Boards. I then promised them that despite the problem, they were going receive a marvelous class.

They took it well. The class was moving right along. Great questions. Great interactions. We seemed to have gotten past the speed bump and then a thunderstorm literally rolled in.

Tucson is famed for its wild storms. Nature puts on a stunning performance as rain pours, lightning crackles and thunder booms. The fresh smell of wet creosote sweeps in from the desert.  If I'd had the freedom to sit on a porch and watch the pyrotechnic display over the mountains, I'd have done so. All of us could tell from the sound that a major storm was underway.

Since we were in a training room without windows, all went pitch black when the entire hotel lost its electricity. Fortunately, we were able to open an outside door at the back of the room and get some light. The electricity returned briefly and then departed again before eventually deciding to stay. We worked around the problem, laughed a lot, and adjusted the exercises so the class became a success. Through the good humor and patience of the class members, I was reminded of another truth:

The audience wants you to succeed.

In some respects, that workshop may have been better than it would have been had no glitches arisen. We all got to demonstrate how to handle some minor adversity and throughout it all, a major rule was illustrated:


Michael Wade

[P.S. I didn't forget to send the books.] 

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Consulting Case Example

Periodically, we will post examples of projects that we have handled for clients to give you a sense of the scope and nature of our work. We’ve had projects that were similar to the following one, but this case is one of the more memorable.

“The Case of the Dysfunctional Team”

Imagine this scenario: A team in a public works department is deeply divided. Factionalism, not unity, is the norm. Information is seldom shared. Gossip and conflict are common. As for the level of trust, let’s just say that it has not yet hit bottom but it’s close.

Our mission? To stop the disputes and bring the team together.

What happened? Michael Wade met with the team for a no-nonsense discussion of communication techniques and trust. Once those had been considered, he shifted the team’s focus to an identification of the specific areas of conflict and agreement. A series of discussions explored the sort of ground rules that the team would need to follow if it were to escape these problems and foster a climate of trust.

Easy? Not at all. There was resistance at first. Some team members thought this entire effort was a waste of time. An important turning point, however, was when the skeptics saw this wasn’t a paper exercise and started to get on board. Eventually, some of the best ideas came from some of the most resistant employees.

As the team and Michael candidly discussed the ground rules, it became apparent that the interactions among the team members were a symptom of a larger problem: Interference from an outside source. The members delved into ways to confront that issue. The team began to come together. It was clear that while the team needed the ground rules, those alone would be inadequate to correct the situation. The discussion and venting process was crucial. The team members had not recognized the nature of the problem until frank opinions and observations were given; ones that had previously been withheld.

The result? The interference was stopped. The ground rules were adopted. Every team member signed off on the rules. Within weeks, morale and performance had significantly improved.

Some important observations: Trust is the foundation for an effective workplace. It is impossible to have trust when there are factions. Conflict is not a problem if it is handled properly and is surfaced constructively.  The values that build trust will also strengthen teams and facilitate communication. With the adoption of the ground rules, each team member had a way to surface future concerns. Each one could point to the posted ground rules and ask, “Is that consistent with our rules?”  Management gained credibility when it acted to stop the interference and everyone benefited with the higher level of trust. In the end, the dysfunctional team had become a real team.

Does your group have a similar problem? Call us at 800-788-7753 or email

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick Overview

To help you obtain a quick overview of what we do and don’t do, here’s a quick guide:

Accounting audits: DON’T - ADA training: DO - Adverse impact analysis: DO - Affirmative Action Plans: DO - Applicant tracking procedures: DO - Coaching: DO - Change management: DO - Classification studies: DON’T – Council and Board Presentations: DO - Customer service training: DO - Dealing with difficult people training: DO - Diversity training: DO - EEO audits: DO - EEO investigations: DO - Employee handbooks: DO - Ethics training: DO - Executive coaching: DO - Harassment prevention training: DO - Interview skills training: DO - Labor relations: DON’T - Leadership coaching: DO - Leadership training: DO - Management and supervisory coaching: DO - Management studies: DO - Management and supervisory training: DO - Motivational speaking: DON’T - OFCCP Compliance: DO - Presentation skills training: DO – Records Management: DON’T - Six Sigma training: DON’T - Staff recruitment: DON’T – Supportive Associates training: DO - Team building: DO - TQM training: DON’T - Union avoidance: DON’T – Wellness Programs: DON’T – Workshops: DO .

In a nutshell we advise employers and individuals on:

Leadership, Ethics, and EEO/Affirmative Action.