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CASE STUDY 1

Organizational Coaching for a Non-Profit Organization 

Situation:

Rhonda was contacted by a non-profit faith-based housing ministry, which serves 4 states across Central Appalachia and draws 13,000+ volunteers annually from across the country. The CEO and CFO had two years earlier worked with the Board to create a 5-year strategy, but in the last year an employee survey had revealed several issues. The strategy was not understood or fully accepted and implementation had not been carried out effectively. The relatively new CEO had assembled an Executive Management Team (EMT) to focus on the strategic direction of the organization, with 2 of the 5 roles being newly created roles and new hires. But the members of the EMT and the Directors lacked clarity about role distinction, segregation of duties, or ways they could collaboratively work together. Staff were unclear about expectations. Under-performance was not being effectively addressed. Major organizational goals were not being achieved and finger-pointing and blaming for missed targets or employee conflicts were common. Furthermore, there were complaints from the younger staff regarding lack of development opportunities, as well as from the older staff charging favoritism of the young staffers. As a result, morale and trust were low and negatively affecting collaboration.


Intervention:  

A comprehensive program was designed to coach the Board, Executive Team, Directors, Managers, and Staff to:

  • Learn improved interpersonal skills, influencing, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Learn a system for Performance Management, which included creation and communication of Performance Standards for every role.
  • Involve all staff in definition of Interpersonal Behavior Standards, in alignment with the organization’s values, which the entire organization agreed to observe and have performance evaluated against.
  • Update, clarify and commit to a more compelling definition of vision and desired strategic outcomes in alignment with the organization’s mission.
  • Create and implement strategy implementation and management systems, including Balanced Scorecard tools for every management level of the organization; a process for monthly, quarterly, and annual strategic management reviews; and a process for regular Board-level reviews as well as the annual budget planning process.
  • Improve customer-service focus and relationships with employees, volunteers, donors, community contacts and families served.
  • Implement a regular, one-on-one, 2-way feedback process between each manager and staff member.
  • Implement a regular team process for surfacing and addressing team issues.
  • Implement an Annual Goal Setting & Performance Review Process (incorporating a merit-based pay system).
  • Implement an Annual Employee Satisfaction Survey & Corrective Action Follow-up process.

Results: 

The client met all monthly, quarterly and annual timelines and milestones, conducted their first official Performance Review and Merit Pay Increase process, collected new Employee Satisfaction Survey data and responded to it as part of the annual renewal of the Strategic Objectives & Management System, clarified the strategic and tactical working relationship between the Executive Management Team and Directors, improved the professionalism and skills of every member of the organization’s staff, gained a common definition across the organization for the standards of excellence every employee has agreed to work toward, weathered a major budget-reduction due to economic recession conditions, and is enjoying a much improved level of overall employee satisfaction, increased numbers of volunteers, and increased major-donor giving.

Following are some specific comments from members of the Board and Executive Management Team:

“[Our organization] is a great organization, but we lacked focus. We had all this energy and passion, but we didn't really know where we were going. We had a mission statement, but it wasn't missional. Rhonda came in, immediately related to the staff, the Board, and our clients, and helped us find the words we needed to move forward. She took our raw passion and shaped it into something that was not only inspiring, it was challenging and visionary.” – Rev. Dr. Brian Erickson, Board Member

"Rhonda’s work has changed the landscape of our organization. She has helped our Executive Team and Board create a dynamic vision for the organization and has led training for our entire staff, which has introduced us to a common language and helped each employee understand how his/her specific job helps the organization reach its overall goals. Rhonda’s work with us did not include just a presentation of theory, but her active walk with us through implementation and beyond. Rhonda is a delight to work with, a great storyteller, entertaining presenter, and a consultant who really knows her stuff!”Susan Crow, President & CEO.

“Rhonda is an exceptionally talented individual who spends the right amount of time getting to know her clients and understanding their mission and vision. She has helped [our organization] foster a greater commitment to performance management and outcomes with our programs. If you're looking for someone with experience and knowledge to help you transform your organizational culture, hire Rhonda. Top qualities: Great Results, Good Value, High Integrity”David Bryant, Chief Philanthropy Officer.

“Rhonda led us through sessions whereby she helped us to brainstorm ideas and solutions to our problems. She is deeply committed and excels as a facilitator. She can relate to all people, is compassionate, but at the same time can maintain everyone’s attention and interest, while serving as a strong motivator.” – Bob Shurr, Chief Operations Officer


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