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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ronald McDonald House is Not What You Think

Recently I visited the Nashville Ronald McDonald House, along with Tami Heim and Dawn Stanton, to tour their facility and receive their thanks for last year's sponsorship of their telethon. What I found there surprised me.

Most of us think that McDonalds supports Ronald McDonald House via the coin boxes under their drive-in windows and probably some corporate help since the houses bear the corporation's name. Actually, that's not at all the case.

For the naming rights to the RMH facilities, McDonalds leverages their vendor relationships to get free or drastically reduced cost materials and equipment to open each house. That does not even begin to cover the capital expense of opening a house, but it certainly helps. McDonalds also passes along customer generosity from their coin drops, but again that doesn't even cover a fraction of each house's operating expenses. Each RMH is a free standing, self-funded charitable entity that relies on financial support and volunteer staffing to perform their merciful and sometimes miraculous work.

The Nashville RMH has some paid staff, but the majority of those who help are volunteers. They accept volunteers to cook meals in their kitchens or to cater-in meals for the families of children being treated for cancer in local hospitals, mostly Vanderbilt. The employees of Dollar General purchase the majority of their laundry supplies for their extensive basement Laundromat. Financial support is needed to keep the 32 bed facility open year-round for the parents, grandparents, and siblings of critically ill children.

RMH's 2006 Calls for Kids Telecast is in March, but Myra Yeatman and her team in Nashville are always in need of volunteers. Some of these parents are very young couples growing up fast while dealing with one of the worst situations a family can face. Some these siblings have essentially lost their parents while they devote full time and effort to helping one of their other children fight cancer. If you're looking for a cause and a place to spend your time, there's a lot of money going to causes and organizations that pale by comparison in the good that they do for families and our society. RHM in Nashville is at 2144 Fairfax Ave. and can be reached by phone at (615) 343-4000.

Jim

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Dangers of a Moralistic Approach to Compensation

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/19/business/businessspecial2/19generations.html?ex=1290056400&en=86f77923f88aeb4b&ei=5089&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss


This article in today's on-line NYT ties in eerily with an experience of mine several years ago and another earlier this week.

If you read about halfway down the first page you'll see that while the article says "GM", it's really discussing drastic cutbacks in employment, wages, and benefits at the GM subsidiary Delphi. One of it's largest divisions is Delphi Packard Electric, which is direct competitor with one of my former employers.

In 1996 I had an altercation with an engineering manager who was losing an Engineering Technician to Delphi Packard. His tech was making $7.50 an hour for us and left to work at a nearby DPE plant for $15.15 an hour. It was one of those conversations that you get used to when managing compensation, with the manager taking the moral high ground that the corporation was abusing and underpaying our people. Our industry was moving off-shore or to Mexico for cheap labor, and Delphi was raising their starting wage in the face of that trend. We couldn't make this manager understand that as a company we would be totally irresponsible to match Delphi's irresponsibility. GM and Delphi didn't respond, or couldn't' respond because of their culture and unions, and now all that has come home to roost. Last year, my old company hit the half billion dollar mark in revenues. This year, as the article shows, Delphi is caught up in bankruptcy and is cutting jobs, cutting the wages of those jobs it retains, and cutting retiree benefits not only for future retirees, but for those already retired.

This past week I received an email from one of our managers about the resignation of a staff member, leaving for more money. The manager wants me to conduct the exit interview personally so I can hear first hand what the market is like. This isn't a common occurrence since our avoidable turnover is trending at only a little over 6% for the year, but it sometimes happens. When it does, there's always someone at some level of the organization that takes the moral high ground that we should have paid more. And, since our corporate initiative to develop and recruit World Class Talent began, there is an erroneous and dangerous assumption on the part of many that WCT means world class wages (as if money was anywhere near the top motivator for employees in any study since the 1950's).

Point being, I believe in the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Communion of the Saints, Resurrection, and the Business Cycle. While I'm confident that Mike Hyatt and our Executive Leadership Team have us on the right track for growth, I'm equally confident that we'll have bad quarters, even bad years, on the way to an exciting future. When those bad times come, today's high minded moralism is tomorrow's loss of jobs. Conversely, today's controlled growth in salaries and overhead, is tomorrow's triumph when more moralistically managed competitors go under.

Finally, we need to have a celebration this February 3rd. That will be the third anniversary of the last Reduction in Force that Thomas Nelson experienced. That's the main benefit of solid compensation management; job security for the workforce.

Jim

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Mid Year Health Insurance Update

September is mid-year for our healthcare plan. We are fully insured with United Health Care (UHC). We moved to a fully-insured plan two years ago after many years of more-or-less paying our own medical claims. In being quasi "self-insured" we saved the cost of insurance, paying only actual claims and administrative fees (about 16% of annual cost). The bad news was that we were on the hook for almost all the medical expense. This program lost us money for years, as an employee group this small cannot spread the risk over a large enough group of people to absorb a catastrophic health claim such as might arise from a terminal cancer, severe auto accident, or heart surgery.

With the move to full insurance, we track financial performance through "claims to premium" ratio. This is short-hand for how much in medical claims UHC pays as a percentage of the monthly premium we pay them. At mid-year, our paid claims were 81% of our premium. Add to that about 16% administrative fees, and UHC is paying 97 cents in claims + salary & overhead costs for every $1 we're paying them. So far, that's good but what does it mean for next year's premiums?

When a company renews health coverage the premiums for the following year are roughly a combination of claims experience (the 81%) plus administrative fees (the 16%) plus the anticipated trend line. Trend line is what the underwriters at the insurance company believe will be the increase in medical claims cost next year. We believe next year's trend line will be about 8 - 9 %.

Last year we were 92% claims to premium, and UHC's initial renewal quote was a 30% increase. We fought that hard and came in at about an 8% increase. UHC's renewal quotes were outrageous, and many of their customers didn't challenge them. As a result, UHC's corporate profits this year are expected to be about $2 billion; an amount so obscene that even they are embarrassed by it, according to some industry insiders. Still, we anticipate UHC will ask for double digit increases and we'll start negotiations downward from there.

In short, the plan seems to be working well, and as-designed should be stable into next year with a good probability of single digit increases again for fiscal '07. We may also have a design change or two that might help keep that in check. More as we know it, but for now it doesn't appear that a major price increase for you and your families is on the horizon at renewal in six months.

Jim

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

HR Automation

Over the past five years we've made great progress from mostly a pencil & paper system to something that resembles modern automation. This year we're working hard on two initiatives that we believe will make our work more efficient and help turn about one position from clerical work to more value-added work such as training administration. Our two projects, both on the verge of full implementation, are the Rrecruiting and Automated Employment system (RAE) and ADP iPay.

RAE is a home-grown, full-blown recruiting solution written by Ray Ritz, an outside programmer, under the direction of Nick VanMaarth in IT. The project was shepherded in HR by Jack Leichty and Kristie Cantrell who do the majority of the company's recruiting. Several months in development, the system quietly went live last Friday. We're cleaning up data from the conversion of our old database to the new system, but soon applicants using our on-line employment application will see pre-screening questions and receive automated responses within 24 hours acknowledging their application and telling them if they qualify for more screening or not. The screening questions are customized for each opening, and free recruiters to more thoroughly screen fewer and more qualified applicants. Qualified applicants' applications are emailed through the system to the hiring supervisors for review, and the successful candidate's new-hire information, captured during the screening process, is automatically uploaded into ADP payroll, eliminating a time-consuming manual data entry task. Unsuccessful candidates deemed unemployable are archived in a non-active archive; and candidates deemed employable for some future position are maintained in an active archive. Managers and candidates will see more of RAE as we move forward.

ADP iPay is our automated payroll system that makes direct deposit more robust by eliminating all paper from the payroll process. Employees signed up for direct deposit can designate "paperless option" through iPay and never receive a paper check or check stub again. Instead, you'll receive an email at noon each Thursday of pay week letting you know that your pay information is available on-line from ADP's secure server. Imagine, no more lost checks, checks waiting for you after vacation or a long business trip, and deduction or W-2 information available to you or your spouse 24/7. Once fully implemented, not only will direct deposit and iPay improve the flow of payroll information to employees and their families, but it will also free up 20 hours of staff time per month used to handle and distribute paper checks and check stubs.

Here's a prediction (not an announcement); we'll be 100% on direct deposit and 50% on paperless iPay by the end of this fiscal year. Only 45 employees still receive live checks, and 30 of those are in the warehouse. We're set up already to pay employees without bank accounts via rechargeable debit card, and the warehouse participation in direct deposit is increasing rapidly. Call you Payroll section and see how your life improves with direct deposit and iPay.

Once automation of these processes is complete, we believe that 3/4 - 1 HR position can be converted from clerical work to that of Training Coordinator. This position will champion company training for all positions, schedule training sessions, secure trainers and materials, reserve rooms, and update employee files once training has occurred. We may also revive on-line organizational charts as part of this position's responsibilities.

So, there you have it. We continue to innovate and try to return more value for the same or less overhead money each year. You can help by agreeing with us that your affection for a paper paycheck is not as important as improving our skills and competitiveness across the workforce through better training. Call or email Robin Amon or Amy Lindsey to kick the paper habit.

Jim

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We Need Craftspersons

Last Friday we held a joint reception to both graduate our first ever class of Nelson Leadership University (NLU), our accelerated development program for high-potential staff, and to welcome and kickoff our second NLU group. The first group started as a class of 40 selected from 67 applicants, of whom we graduated 24. This year's group consists of 24 participants, six of whom were carried over from NLU 1 since they started late as alternates to the program. That meant that we had only 18 new slots available, so the competition to get in was tougher this year. As a result, I've spent much of this week meeting with both people who made it into the program, and people who didn't get in, to talk about their futures.

Through these discussions a theme has emerged that I hope you'll agree is worth sharing. Namely, before you can be a leader in a work group, you have to understand the profession represented in that group. In other words, you need to be a knowledge leader, or a resource person (i.e. "go to" person) in your field before you can expect to manage or lead that group. So, while we can teach people how to manage others, inspire others, motivate others, discipline others, etc... there is not substitute for having the credibility of knowing your craft when it comes to leading.

So, for those of you in NLU, good for you! You'll learn much this year that we hope will help you along the way. For those of you who didn't, take this year to learn your craft. Nothing makes next year's nomination more compelling than multiple nominations from satisfied internal customers and admiring managers saying that you're the guru who needs developing. Let's be professionals first, experts second, and managers third; then the career ambitions will take care of themselves.

Jim

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Impressed by Samaritan's Purse

This has been a day like none other in my working life. Literally from the moment I walked into the office we've been focused on disaster relief and formulating our collective response to the needs of our fellow man in the Gulf region. In no other post during my working life have I seen a corporation literally drop what it was doing to help others with no expected return on investment. It was a day that makes you proud of where you work.

I have no desire to critical of anyone who is trying to do good work for those in need, but I'll let the facts speak for themselves as to how we ended the day as partners with Samaritan's Purse in our efforts.

We started the day with a meeting requested by some of our employees with ideas on how they could help those in need. Within a matter of minutes after that meeting, Mike Hyatt called in response to our mutual correspondence of the day before on various response options. His direction was clear: investigate all options (including sending bibles to those in need), assemble a committee, and make recommendations today.

Our people want to send direct material aid. This is in large part due to concerns over how little of post 9/11 monetary aid sent to the Red Cross actually ever made it to people in need (about 30%). We began looking for a distribution partner in the region and started with the Salvation Army. Their response was that they were still assessing the situation, and would we please call them back next Tuesday or Wednesday and they should know what they could do. Not thinking we should wait when people are hungry and homeless, we turned next to Samaritan's Purse and the Red Cross.

Calling the local Red Cross office in Nashville, the national help line, and literally every number we could find for them in the region, we actually spoke to only two live people. The national aid line said they could only accept monetary donations and our request to speak to a supervisor was unsuccessful. The Austin, Texas office was very helpful and gave us numbers to call at their Houston Astrodome response center that as of midnight are still giving us voice mail. In fairness, I'm sure they're busy.

During the mid afternoon period we received a call back from Samaritan's Purse. They have a disaster relief team with two semi trailers of aid and supplies in Mobile already, along with members of the Rapid Response Team from Billy Graham Ministries. They would gladly help us administer our employee matching contribution program, and called back again within 10 minutes to say that they would gladly distribute our bibles provided we could deliver all 100,000 in stages as they requested. They seemed delighted, as the bibles would aid their focus to minister to people's physical needs, and when appropriate speak to them about whose name in which they meet those needs.

We're still hoping to hear from the Red Cross on Friday and coordinate direct material aid. More on that as we know it.

So, if anyone wonders why we're partnering with Samaritan's Purse in our disaster response efforts, I offer the facts to speak for themselves. My first experience with this group has been more than impressive.

Jim

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Life Insurance Strategies for Older Employees

Thomas Nelson has more long-serving employees than most companies I've seen, and certainly more than any where I've worked previously. Our avoidable turnover last year was 6.6%, down from 7.4% the year before. These are excellent numbers for which we can be understandably proud, but it leads to an emerging need to emphasize benefits for older workers. This post focuses on life insurance issues for our older employees, and strategies for those (like me!) who are getting there.

Our basic life insurance benefit, 100% paid by the company, is 2 times base salary. You can also purchase supplemental life insurance ("supp life"), and the combined base and supplemental cannot exceed $1 million or 5 times base salary. But beware of limitations based upon eligibility, income, and age.

First of all, you can only elect to purchase supp life when you are first eligible for benefits. You have 31 days after you become eligible to elect , then after that you can "buy-up" additional supp life. If you don't elect, you cannot ever purchase supp life without proof of insurability (which can be anything from a questionnaire to a physician's examination), and you are not guaranteed coverage. So, if you have supp life, don't drop it. If you're about to be eligible, elect it even if only the very smallest amount possible as you want the option to purchase more if needed.

Now that you have both basic and supp life, your combined benefit of both cannot exceed $625,000 without proof of insurability, and coverage is not guaranteed. You can purchase up to $30,000 additional supp life each year at Open Enrollment and have guaranteed coverage, but more than that in any one year and you must show proof of insurability.

As you grow older, your life benefits will not stay the same. At age 70 your benefit goes to 65% of whatever coverage you had when you attained age 70. At 75 your benefit drops to 50%.

So, if you want the maximum possible life insurance benefit, and never have to answer insurability questions, you will need $625,000 in coverage when you hit age 70. The age reduction schedule will drop your coverage to $406,250 at age 70, and to $312,500 by age 75. That is the maximum you can have at age 75 under our group life plan. Remember, once you start the age reduction schedule at age 70 you can no longer purchase additional supp life.

So, if you want to hit this maximum number, and you've already elected some supp life, here's a simple set of formulas for you to consider to help you buy-up to the maximum allowable coverage:

1. $625,000 - (salary x 2) = supp life gap

2. Age 70 - current age = remaining "buy-up" years

3. supp life gap/buy-up years = annual supp life buy-up

So an employee making $45,000 at age 35 would have the following buy-up needs:

$625,000 - ($45,000 x 2) = 535,000
age 70 - age 35 = 35 years
$535,000 / 35 = $15,285

Since supp life must be purchased in increments of $10,000, this employee should purchase an additional $20,000 in supp life each Open Enrollment from now on.

Now the more mathematical of you have probably already spotted that you can't get to $625,000 in benefits from $45,000 base salary, because the 5 times salary cap would kick in at $225,000. Mathematically you are correct. However, who knows what this employee may be making in 35 years. Your premiums will be rejected at more than five times base salary, so plan your buy-up as if you'll be eligible for the $625,000 benefit by age 70.

Give me a call at ext. 1400 if you'd like to go through the math for your particular situation. Otherwise, plan now to maximize your benefits later.

Jim

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Speak the Truth With Love

When you tell your child that "you shouldn't have done that", did you really mean, "I hate you"? When you tell a co-worker or someone you supervise, "Don't do that", do you really mean, "I don't like your kind around here and you should quit"? Our culture is redefining any unwelcome instruction as hate speech. We can't buy into that as parents, supervisors, or people interested in the direction of our culture.

Like many Catholics, I watched with great interest as we buried one great Pope and watched the College of Cardinals elect another. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as I'm sure you've heard, is now Pope Benedict XVI. None of that was really surprising, but the reaction from the far left in our church was astounding, and the farther left, the more hysterical the reaction. Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force referred to Benedicts' "unrelenting venomous hatred" of gays and lesbians. Steve Weinstein, Editor of the New York Blade, said the former Cardinal "preaches hate". Locally, Fr. Breen of St. Edwards in Nashville expressed his "disappointment that we didn't get someone more inclusive". From all the hysteria, you'd expect something really radical to have been said, right?

What the Cardinal said, in writing for Pope John Paul II, was a reiteration of the moral teachings of scripture followed by this admonition:

Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

Hardly hateful stuff. If you want to read some beautiful and heartfelt words from the new Pope, read his eulogy for JP II at http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_eng/text.html#1. Nobody with hate in their heart can write like this.

The point of this post is not Catholic politics or Gay and Lesbian politics. The point is that moral clarity on the job, in our families, or in our world is being redefined as hate speech or discrimination by those who don't agree. Whatever happened to respectful disagreement among people of good will? We can't inspire each other, much less the world, if we're afraid to speak the truth with love. Just know that, when you do, the name calling may start.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Tough Topic: Final Instructions

According to the Tennessee Organ Donor website, only 2% of people are ever "brain dead" or in a permanent vegetative state prior to death. Still, the sad headlines from Florida this week are proof that it can and does happen. We've already experienced an unexpected sudden death in our Nelson family this year, and we all run the gauntlet of Nashville commuter traffic daily. To spare your family unneeded grief, and to possibly save several lives, please consider thinking these issues through and act sooner rather than later. 1. Be an Organ Donor- If your life can't be saved, you can save many others by signing an organ donor card. 2. Make your wishes known- Terri Schiavo was only 26 when she became debilitated. Talk to your loved ones this week and put any final wishes or instructions in writing and in your lock box. 3. Execute a Living Will and/or Power of Attorney- The controversy over what you want done or who can make decisions for you is best settled ahead of time. 4. Know the Definition of Heroic Measures- Another problem in the Schiavo case was the controversy over heroic vs. ordinary measures. Are nutrition and hydration heroic when you cannot feed yourself? Or, are they ordinary measures and thus allowable if you direct that no "heroic" measures are to be taken to prolong your life? Your attorney, legal aid, or the legal advisor in our company EAP can help you define your specific intent and express it in clear language. 5. Know What Your Church Teaches- Your don't have to reinvent the wheel. Your church may have specific teachings on resuscitation that you should know before making these decisions. Clear direction, well-considered and informed by faith, is an act of kindness done now that continues on after you're gone. Contact your HR Representative, or call me, if you want more information about organ donation or legal assistance through your EAP.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Emergency Kit for the Over Committed

There's a lot of great time management, personal effectiveness, and personal organization material out there from books to gear. If you have that, and use it well, you don't need to read this post. This is an emergency kit for when it's all gone south and you have looming deadlines and impending doom on the near horizon. If you've gotten to that point, this is an emergency kit for the overcommitted staffer or student.

You can get back on top of any situation in four easy steps: 1. Clean up around you, 2. List everything, 3. Categorize everything as critical, social, or other, and 4. Get rid of everything that's not critical. I know it sounds simple and too good to be true, but it's so simple that many don't do it and so effective that everyone should. Read on, as salvation lies within:

1. Clean up Around You - You need cognitive peace and quiet, and you can't get it with stuff staring at you and yelling, "Put me away, clean me up, organize me!" You don't have time to do a major episode of "Clean Sweep" (I love that show), but you can simple put everything in it's place, and put everything without a place into one stack or preferably a box so you can't see it. Having all the unresolved stuff in one place, cued up to sort later, will give you clarity of thought for the organizing ahead. If you take more than 30 minutes to do this, you've done too much. We're talking desk or office or dorm room, not garage.

2. Make a Physical List - List all the stuff that's bugging you and anything else you can think of. Get it all out on a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet if that makes you think clearer.

3. Categorize what's Bugging You - Out to the side of each item on your list, write if it's critical (necessary to make a living, make a grade, etc...), social (you don't have time to meet so-and-so, but you promised...) and a catch-all category of "other".

4. Make it Go Away - Now, take every item that's not critical and make it go away. Reschedule everything so you don't feel so neglected and put upon (I'm not have any fun!), and call anyone who'll be disappointed by your absence and just beg off because work or school got in the way. Really, they'll understand or you don't want to know them anyway. Offer to reschedule, apologize, but then stick to your "no".

Now look at what's left. It's a manageable list of truly important tasks that can be ordered by deadline and attacked one thing at a time. You can sleep well and think clearly and work your way out of dread and doom. Oh, and after the deadlines have passed go get yourself a good organizational method and a church. Keeping organized and keeping your life and what's important in perspective is the best immunization against another outbreak of freakout.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

So Your Company's Insurance Just Renewed...

This is the time of year that anyone in charge of HR dreads more than any other; time to renew group medical and other benefits. This year the trend in medical coverage seems to be an 8 - 14% increase in cost, while prescription drugs continue their meteoric rise at around 20%. Why do HR heads hate this process? Because of lack of control, lack of options, and the surety that both their employer and employees will be disappointed to downright outraged over the outcome. What makes for increased costs? Why do your premiums, co-pays, and deductibles continue to increase? Well, gentle reader, read on...

The formula for insurance costs is simple: premiums = plan design x utilization + administrative fees. The plan design is what benefits you get from your plan. Some plans allow you to pay $25 one time and the rest is free, while another may require a $2,000 deductible. The richer the plan, the greater the expense. The second component in the equation is utilization, or how often people use their plan. This is usually determined by two factors: the age of the workforce and the presence or absence of a deductible. The older you are, the more you go to the doctor and thus the more you use your plan. Also, older employees tend to have serious and therefore more expensive health conditions more often than younger employees. A deductible, which must be paid first before insurance kicks in, is a deterrent to utilization in healthier employees. Administrative fees, the last component, are typically the cost of processing claims, paying brokers, and the profit margin for the insurance carrier. It's your employer's job to negotiate the best outcome for this component.

So what can you, as an employee, do about increasing health costs. Sadly, not much in the short-run. Your premiums are a function of the plan design x utilization of the employee group in which you're lumped + the administrative fees of the carrier your employer has chosen. Not much you can do but swallow the increased cost. Long-term, however, there's much you can do. Everyone in your household should have a physical annually, and sexually active females should have a well-woman exam each year as well. Women with first generation history of breast or ovarian cancer should have their first mammograms at 30, even though you'll have to fight to get it (the conventional wisdom of some groups is to start at age 40). My wife has a first-generation history and received life-saving detection and surgery at 32. Work out, walk, lose weight, stay healthy. This decreases your utilization and thus your immediate health expenses, and helps lower the claims experience of your employment group. Until a national solution is found, this is the best advise to be found. That and, whatever you do, don't blame your HR guy.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What To Do When You Don't Agree

Something happened at work with which you don't agree, that you feel insults you, demeans you, upsets you, and shakes your confidence in the rationality of the universe and the existence of God. Its usually something earth shaking like not getting the promotion you wanted and deserved, or having someone younger or even (gasp) who you trained getting promoted over you. Or your title gets changed, you're moved to a smaller cubicle, or your mentor is fired and replaced by someone you don't know or, worst yet, know and don't like. Now What?

"Disagreeable" management decisions are inevitable; even good management staffs can't please everyone (including you). Coping with goofy decisions and thriving afterwards is a truly required skill for long-term corporate employment. I typically see two reactions; one common and career ending, and another less common but career making. Here's how they work.

Unfortunately, the most common response to adverse management decisions is aggression, either overt or (more commonly) passive. The most noticeable manifestations are tardiness, clock watching, gossip and/or complaining, doing only what is assigned and not one inch more (what my Japanese colleagues used to call Malicious Compliance). Sometimes the symptoms also include push back from assignments ("get it yourself") and missed deadlines. This reaction never leads to a good result. Disciplinary action leading to your resignation or getting fired is the usual result. The pity is that this all could have been avoided, and even turned to your favor.

Management wants to see loyalty and character in those who want to be promoted. Remember, the higher you rise, the more valuable are the assets at your disposal and the more costly your mistakes. Management wants a mature, steady, trustworthy pair of hands to handle valuable assets. There's not a better way to display trustworthiness than to take a figurative punch in the face and react with poise, loyalty, and character. You won't see an immediate payback. But my experience has been that 6 - 12 months down the line I start to hear admiring comments in private about the person who took one for the home team and kept their head up. And, if nothing else, it keeps you out of trouble while you look for another job! More times than not, reacting well pays off with your same employer. Learning to do this when things go wrong is an under appreciated career advancing skill.