Overview

Since 1986 our principals have pioneered the flexible and inclusive workplace practices that engage employees and fuel business innovation. We partnered with our best practice clients to integrate women into previously hostile environments; to unleash the power of telework and fully remote work; and to secure knowledge transfer and systematic mentoring through thoughtfully designed phased retirement initiatives.

As companies the world over scramble to understand and integrate the enormous disruption and potential of near-universal work from home and the intense talent challenges looming after COVID-19, we possess the knowledge, experience, analytic skills and design acumen to create the mutually respectful cultures that will mark the business winners in the years ahead. We focus on three domains.

Inclusion
The meaning of true inclusion expands daily. In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, employer DE&I initiatives have gained strength and prominence. As other forces and trends have shaken the workplace – from the migration of women out of the workforce to the mass adoption of remote work as standard and the explosion of the gig workforce – the meaning of diversity has broadened from who is working to how we are willing to work.

ROD provides the research, diagnostic and strategic tools that enable our clients to understand what their current and prospective workforces need and the changes that they must make to remain competitive in the intense search for talent in the years ahead. For three decades we have recognized that we are exiting the industrial era and must reap the full potential of transformed ways of working. We relish partnering with fearless clients who are prepared to drop the exclusive, discriminatory habits of old and treat their employees with the respect and full inclusion they expect and deserve.

 

Always connected. Top view of confident mature businessman working on digital tablet while sitting on the bench near his bicycle outdoors.

Retiring
We lead in the mobilization and engagement of our aging workforce. It has been a habit of employers for decades to treat workers 55 and older as approaching or already past a “sell-by” date. Denied ongoing training and the flexibility they need, in times of severe retrenchment and cost-cutting, longer tenured and higher salaried employees offer tempting targets for dismissal. Times have changed. Historically low birth rates, the end of limitless immigration and the persistence of basic and operational skill shortages have combined to make aging workers an invaluable cohort.

While surveys show 60% of 55+ workers want to continue working and ease into retirement, only 5% of employers offer such options. Our firm pioneered the mutually respectful phased retirement systems that add value in multiple ways: the retention of mature contributors on reduced schedules, the capture and transfer of vital knowledge, and the creation of long sought-after intergenerational development pathways. The mainstreaming of part-time schedules open up similar possibilities for other populations, while the defeat of age bias strengthens such success with other forms of discrimination. Our proven models and tools virtually eliminate the risk that discourages many employers from pursuing this option.

 

Upskilling
The terms “skills gap”, “skills deficits” and “skills mismatch” have been regularly used to describe a problem that leaves millions of jobs unfilled and a less than ideal fit between new hires and the requirements of their positions. As we struggle to recover from COVID, this challenge has become more acute, intensified by the decisions of millions of the unemployed to seek new positions for which they are not adequately trained or to confront the challenges of working remotely. Furthermore, it is difficult to adequately address this problem when there is little shared perception of the nature, breadth and depth of the skills that need to be developed and upgraded. Further compounding the dilemma is an ongoing failure to determine who is responsible for defining and delivering the essential skillset cultivation.

While a mixture of public entities and private employers will inevitably share in the delivery of skills ranging from STEM components to a range of operational capabilities, the transformational process we are undergoing demands the provision of core interactive skills that enable a truly inclusive workplace. Our public and private institutions fail to cultivate the deep communication, conflict resolution and collaboration capabilities that are essential for diverse, team-centric, remote and goal-driven workforces. Our Mutual Respect framework is a live, habit-oriented transformational regimen that provides a foundation for all forms of operational skills development. It requires and represents a serious investment of private capital in the social capital necessary for success in the post-industrial workplace.

These priorities have not diminished, and in fact have only intensified in the wake of the pandemic. According to a September, 2021 study by Donald Sull and Charles Sull in MIT Sloan Management Review, the most crucial factor in a positive employee experience is that leaders, managers, and peers treat employees with respect. The study points out:

“…the single best predictor of a company’s culture score is whether employees feel respected at work. Respect is not only the most important factor; it stands head and shoulders above other cultural elements in terms of its importance. Respect is nearly 18 times as important as the typical feature in our model in predicting a company’s overall culture rating.”

Client Kudos

Your phased retirement expertise helped more than you might realize. Our enrollment is very high and we continue to get great feedback. Your support was critical.

Phased Retirement Initiative Abbvie

We continue to be pleased with the thoroughness and attention to detail you delivered on all of our “Freedom to Work” program design and materials. We haven’t run into any big issues we hadn’t anticipated.

Phased Retirement Retention Program Abbott

I have attended a lot of training here focusing on bias awareness, communication, etc. The Mutual Respect process goes far beyond those with a focus on confronting and overriding bad habits.

Strengthening Respectful Behavior International Monetary Fund

Rupert & Company has been co-creator and co-champion of our innovative Managing through Cancer initiative. Working with our diverse membership and user base, they consistently overcame challenges in ways that served everyone. We all won.

Managing through Chronic Conditions Cosmetic Executive Women/Cancer and Careers

Rupert’s web-based tools are a wonderful platform for making decisions and training users. Their business-based view of flexibility’s role in engaging talent and enhancing productivity enabled our senior leadership to buy in to our Flexibility Initiative.

Flexibility Initiative for Global Retention Amgen

Rupert & Company has worked with Sodexo for several years, helping us design and implement highly strategic and effective formal Flexible Work Arrangements as well as a consistent approach to informal flexibility.

Comprehensive Formal/Informal Flexibility Sodexo

The Mutual Respect process has opened up the dialogue between very diverse management & staff, greatly increasing our ability to work together across our many differences. Patient flow, staff satisfaction and patient and family feedback are greatly improved.

Hospital-wide Mutual Respect Initiative St. John’s Hospital Queens