Make your own free website on
Putting Action into Affirmative Action
Center for Increasing Representation
The Professional Guide
The TPG is a 10 Step process designed and developed by Human Resource professionals to assist in increasing the representation of minorities and women in your organization. It is suggested you first examine our hypothetical organization chart to gain a clearer understanding of what and how we are going to accomplish our goals. With this overview, you will be able to adjust your actions to fit within your particular situation and needs. We look forward to reading about your successes in Time and the Wall Street Journal. For reference purposes, we will refer to you as The Captain throughout the TPG, a fitting title for one charting the true course of Affirmative Action.
1)   Pick out a target individual (The Target) in the organization where you'd like to place a minority and or women. Don't worry if your planned replacement is qualified. While this method can work for dumping anyone, it's probably best to use it on older white males because no doubt, there are a lot of them anyway and the concept here is diversity. If you have a lot to choose from, pick a target that has a woman for a boss (The Boss). In fact, this method works even better where the Target's boss has a persecution complex and you (The Captain) would like more control over them.

2)   Now pick out a disgruntled employee (The Helper) working for the targeted individual. Usually the laziest one in the person's group is a good choice especially if the Target is one who has high performance expectations. You could also choose someone that might have been just reprimanded by the Target or one whose staff is slated for huge cutbacks as that has a tendency to increase compliance. Now do not get hung up on possible retaliation charges, this is The Professional Guide and we will get you right around that nonsense. While it is hard to believe you could not find someone meeting some or all of those requirements, if all else fails, pick out the most timid of the Target's staff and threaten them with their job.

3)   Now you want The Helper to write a memo (Sample 3) saying how lousy the Target is. Should be maybe a page long, two at the top. Again, it is not important what they write, anything negative will do. Target doesn't have staff meetings, no one likes him, he keeps different hours, he's too witty (but use sarcastic instead) that sort of stuff. We said this was easy and it is. At this point you may be asking, what if it is not true or what if something happened years ago. Doesn't matter. In fact, if you have some dirt from years ago that may have applied elsewhere, but was close to the target, great! That is really all  we want, just one or two juicy morsels. You can paraphrase a National Enquirer headline if need be.

 We have found in our experience, that some obscene phrases work best. Ask The Helper employee if he has ever heard an obscene term, like "f.... bitch" or "f... woman" from anyone. It is not required the Target uses phrases like that or not. Get The Helper to put that in his statement. Something like "Target referred to boss as f.... something." Don't bother with putting a date or place or circumstance, it is not important for our purposes. It would also help for effect, if we can get some possible sexual harassment in. This is easier than it sounds and really speeds the process. What has worked for us in the past was in an area where one of Target's employees was pregnant. Have The Helper write "Target referred to unit as f... breeding factory." But, and this is an important but, add in the phrase that "the comment has caused me much concern and I regret to this day that I did not say something when it occurred." By adding that key phrase, we have established the potential for some future sexual harassment charge against the Target. Harassment charges always raise eyebrows and legitimizes a lot of actions. We said it was easy. Note that we have avoided using dates or anything specific for a reason. We do not want to get hung up on details. If we suggested you incorporate a date in your charge, you would have to research the date to make sure the Target was not on vacation, on leave and so on and that is not our purpose. In one case where we used breeding factory, it turned out no one had been pregnant for four years, but because we did not use any time frames, we were fine. Our purpose is to make this easy so skip dates and specifics. See Sample 3

 Key point, don't have The Helper employee date the statement yet. Just keep it handy.

4)   If you are in a rush to improve your representation, you can skip this section and move to the next one. While we emphasize easy, we also like to think complete. This step adds some polish to the procedure and assures cleanliness. We call it the Sterile Version. Do not have The Boss do performance appraisals, at least,  not do them on time. That probably made you wonder and take a step back, but as always, there is a reason. In fact there are several. They take time to do, people  ask more questions about them if they are on time and by not doing them, you can time your actions much better. There is also a chance you might learn something more after the appraisal is due and you can slip that in. Our recommendation is you can have The Boss start doing the Target's appraisal after you have your Helper start his statement against the Target.

 Have the Target's appraisal done when you are ready. Isn't that the whole idea of management anyway, to control the situation. When you do complete appraisals though, remember, do not get specific and always include at least one "below expectation" grade. Getting specific takes time and requires some research which does not have our interest. We suggest something simply along the lines of, "you do not know when to stop discussing things with me" be inserted somewhere in the appraisal. This works great for two reasons, it is general in nature and it is enough to justify a "below expectation" mark on the appraisal. You can put it under "people skills" or "interpersonal relations" depending on the form you use. The "below expectation" is what makes our procedure foolproof (not that we would think of you as a fool :-)). See Sample 4

5)   If you haven't selected a minority and or woman replacement (The Replacement) yet, now is the time.  Obviously they should have a rank less than the Target as the whole concept is to move them ahead in the organization. Most places have categories for management, like levels 12 through 19. You should probably figure at least a two level promotion. It looks better and you could always just do a self justified reclassification for a single level jump. We suggest you take the Target's level and subtract 2. So if the Target is a level 16, choose a minority and or women that is a level 14 or less. Since the Replacement must be doing something in your organization, you'll need them to clear their calendar and workload for their next promotion. You can tell them something is about to happen and they should be prepared. They'll be happy.

 You might be asking "what if the Replacement is not experienced in the Target's area or is not qualified?" Don't worry, this is The Professional Guide. Just take each step in order and you are going to be fine. You might even get national recognition for your efforts to promote minorities and shatter glass ceilings..

6)   Now that the Replacement has been chosen and you have your allegations ready from The Helper and if you are following our Sterile Version, have the Boss finish writing out the Target's performance appraisal. This is a good time to look crossed eyed at the Boss and sternly tell them they should have done the appraisal on time. In our theory, confusion and conflict represent the highest art form of management. Do not allow the Boss to give the Target his appraisal just yet, tell them to wait till you (The Captain) are ready.

 Some general notes on doing appraisals, they are a nice touch but you should, of course, not have staff spend a lot of time on them. A bunch of sentences on random items the person has done. It's better to keep to items done within the official review period, but it doesn't matter all that much. What you strive for however, is write mostly positive stuff, you did this real good, that was a nice job, that sort. Just remember to have the appraiser slip in that one below expectation in people skills or interpersonal relations or whatever equivalent your appraisal form has. That's the "you should learn when to stop discussing things with me" phrase or something similar. Again, don't let them go into details, stop with the single sentence. If The Boss is feeling good, you can allow them to throw in a second below expectation anywhere. What is important here is we do not want to get the appraisee (or Target in our case)  pissed off. In fact, the concept is you will want them to just take the appraisal and put it in their desk. Some tact is required because, hey, they will be getting their appraisal 4, 5 or 6 months late. See Sample 4 (check last page this time)

 Within two weeks or so you can have your fait accompli. All the hard work is done at this point and you can move whenever you want to. Does it get any easier than this?

7)   So now you're just about ready to qualify and promote the Replacement. This is a five step review process that should be done in exactly this sequence, do not improvise, follow the sequence so everything goes as we planned:

 i.   Have the Boss give the Target his appraisal (sample 4), the one that is several months overdue, wait a week or two, then;
 ii.   Get The Helper to date his statement (sample 3) two weeks after the appraisal and put it in your drawer, wait another week;
 iii.   Have Replacement's future Boss write out a plan of learning for the Replacement-like what they should be watching (not necessarily doing) in the Target's area. One page is good. See Sample  7 iii
 iv.   Also have Boss write out a set of instructions the Target should follow henceforth. Like hold staff meetings, put in for vacation requests, have Replacement attend all his meetings, that stuff. It really doesn't matter if Target has already been doing this stuff, just repeat it. The reasoning will become clear later. You might also want to include that Target should attend counselling with one of your staff. The purpose isn't all that important and the target will probably need counselling anyway. Besides, it keeps your counsellor busy. One page tops. You should have the Boss rest for a couple of days before the next step. See Sample 7 iv
 v.   Have Boss write a letter of warning to the Target mentioning the profanities we specified in section 3 (and yes, we did say WARNING, nothing more and you'll see why later and do not use The Helper's name in the WARNING). Include that effective immediately, the Replacement will be reviewing the Target's area. And include somewhere in there "Any act of retaliation on your part will be grounds for immediate termination for cause." Hold the letter. See Sample 7 v

 vi.   Now and only now, have Target's boss tell him to come to YOUR office in two days for a meeting on a personnel matter with you and Boss. Do not tell him what it is about. That is important as we want to create a certain atmosphere and we do not want this to be anything but civilized. There is no telling what the Target may do if he knows what the meeting is about and remember, we control the proceedings. If Target should ask, have Boss just simply tell him "you'll find out when you get there." No more than that, heck, he used a bad term to refer to her.

8)   The Meeting and where your true diplomatic skills can shine. This is why you are referred to as The Captain. Our goal in this section is actually to have the Target stay and do his job for a few months. Once the Target is comfortably seated in your office and pliable enough after waiting two days for what is about to happen to him, offer him a soda or coffee to set the tone. Now gently say, "we have had a number of your staff voluntarily approach us and we are alarmed. Your Boss will now give you a WARNING letter you should read." Have Boss hand prepared letter, learning plan and instructions (items 7  iii, iv, v.) to Target. After routine denial from Target, repeat the part about a "number of your staff" and then say in soft voice using Target's first name "Target, we have unsolicited statements confirming this, you can see them if you like." This is the reason we wanted to put in the retaliation clause. If Target looks at Helper's memo, he'll know who alleged what. At that point, if Target even looks cross eyed at your Helper, bingo, throw him out for retaliating and pocket whatever severance package you may have. It's really not what we want though at this time. It hurts making The Replacement qualified. Add in that his performance appraisals have shown he has done a great job and that's why you're not tossing him out the door immediately (see why we did not want to get carried away on the appraisal, a little stroking). Now is also a good time to tell Target he is an alcoholic, racist and or drug addict saying there are strong suggestions to that effect. Suggest that Target might consider checking into a rehab center and follow up on counselling. Give him the rest of the day off and help him out of your office.

 If you have been doing a good job in Human Resources, you have control over the counsellor. He/she will be a good source of information on Target's mental state, he/she can reinforce his being screwed over without recourse and he/she can help to usher him out the door. That's why we included it in his instruction sheet. This is after all, The Professional Guide.

9)   This is really an anti climax to our efforts to date and should occur a couple of  months after the meeting. Have the Boss terminate the target using the WARNING letter material and now throw in performance issues. And we mean performance issues, all of them. Have the Boss make every grade a "below expectation" for good measure. The Target has had a few months to recuperate and we want to make sure he is out the door. As usual, we don't care if the issues make sense or even if they are outright lies, doesn't matter. A good time to do this, if you can coordinate it, is at the time performance appraisals actually are due, like April or May. We know we said don't do performance appraisals on time, but this is really a good exception to the rule. When you do actually terminate though, you should follow whatever normal procedures you have. See Sample 9

10)   Finally, congratulate and appoint Replacement into Target's higher level, but now absent position. Replacement is trained and qualified as they have been in the Target's area for several months. Congratulate yourself for a job well done.

This concludes The Professional Guide. We hope you appreciate our efforts to increase minority and women's representation in the American workforce. Please feel free to share our methods with your colleagues and together, we can build a better tomorrow free of legal and constitutional barriers and impediments.
| about | home | faq | email | other | links |