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Acumen in Action

What specifically does Acumen do?  What does Acumen not do?
Industrial and organizational psychology is a broad field which deals with the science of behavior in an organizational setting.  Basically, we deal with human capital.  Below are some potential, real-world examples of client needs and how Acumen can help:

Accounting and Quality Control Issues

The expense of mistakes

Scenario: Your fabrication business has lost money due to multiple accounting errors and poor quality control oversight.  Your employees are losing confidence in the abilities of your leadership team and are becoming anxious about the potential for lay-offs. You are at risk of losing clients vital to the success of your business, and your leadership team has become divided, skeptical, and even bitter about other members of management.

What we cannot do: Acumen can not provide bookkeeping or accounting services, nor can Acumen serve as quality control specialists in fabrication.

What Acumen can do:  Conduct a thorough analysis to determine why frequent errors are being made.  The problem could be that employees have too many responsibilities to invest enough attention to detail, employees lack the skills to perform the requirements of the job, low employee motivation has led to lax performance, employees have not been properly trained to perform the demands of their position, or a host of other issues related to organizational behavior.  Based on the results of the analysis, we may recommend training additional personnel, leadership development for current employees, restructuring your workforce, editing operational policies, changing how performance is evaluated, or reallocating responsibilities to more-qualified staff. 

Discrimination Claims

Employees accused of cultural incompetence

Scenario: The HR department of your large medical corporation has received numerous complaints from customers and co-workers alleging that employees, mostly in entry-level positions, in various departments have behaved in ways which reflect discriminatory attitudes.  A nurse has been accused of showing contempt towards individuals who receive Medicaid.  A custodian has referred to a transgender co-worker as a "drag queen" and a "he/she."  A cafeteria worker has repeatedly served Muslim staff members foods which contain pork ingredients.  A woman has filed a sexual harassment claim with the EEOC alleging male co-workers have repeatedly made sexual advances towards her.  Multiple reports have been made regarding discriminatory language towards Black clients and co-workers.  Several employees have been reported for aggressively evangelizing to patients and co-workers or asking intrusive questions about the religious beliefs of others.

What we cannot do: Acumen does not provide legal counsel, nor do we serve as a liaison between your organization and regulatory bodies like the EEOC, the DOL, and the Federal Office of Civil Rights.

What Acumen can do:  We can conduct an anonymous survey of all employees to determine attitudes towards various protected groups.  We will collect quantitative data but also provide for the opportunity for employees to share their qualitative experiences and private thoughts regarding protected classes.  Acumen can synthesize the data, analyze it, and present it to your HR and leadership teams.  Based on the data, we can work with your organization to provide comprehensive cultural competence training and intervention which reflects the commitment of leadership to diversity and inclusion.  Most diversity initiatives fail to reach their objectives or even have the opposite impact and facilitate greater divides and increased hostility; however, a thoughtful approach which observes industry best practices can improve organizational operations, increase productivity and employee morale, and boost profits.  Diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion is Acumen's specialization, and we are committed to helping your organization navigate the complexities of a culturally diverse workplace.

Low Employee Motivation, High Turn-Around

Difficulty maintaining a quality workforce

Scenario: Your family-owned restaurant was initially very successful; however, you have had a difficult time keeping quality employees and management staff.  The employees you do have lack experience and dedication, your executive chef refuses to comply with your directives and has been bad-mouthing you to other employees, and you are regularly short-staffed due to employee absenteeism.  Your managers are unable to accomplish their duties because they are always training new staff.  Recently, a string of bad reviews on social media have caused business to slow. 

What Acumen cannot do: Acumen can not train employees in food preparation or restaurant operation.

What Acumen can do:  We can conduct an analysis to determine what factors in the workplace climate are negatively impacting dedication, morale, and motivation levels. Based on the results of the analysis, we can work with your management and leadership to reinvigorate motivation levels and foster increased dedication to the success of the restaurant.  Furthermore, Acumen can help you launch initiatives to improve customer satisfaction and raise social media ratings by analyzing the menu in relation to the preferences of your customer base, participating in exciting industry best practices to drive traffic to your establishment, expanding your appeal to a more diverse customer base, and incorporating special promotions aimed at improving social media ratings.  If necessary, Acumen can help you transition as you hire new staff members. 

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