Client Success Story #2:

Low Morale in a Non-Profit Organization

The client:

A successful, well known mid-sized non-profit had nearly doubled in size in the past year to well over 100 employees, and had gone through significant leadership changes. They struggled with low morale and a lack of confidence and support of the new Executive Director (who replaced a well liked, but ineffective ED). They were also experiencing numerous employee relations issues seriously affecting the organization’s effectiveness in the community.

The issue:

I was brought in by the Board of Directors’ Personnel Committee to discuss the issues brought forward by numerous employees and from the Executive Director. Recent changes in leadership and the expanded direction of the organization, coupled with little communication made employees very unhappy. There were several apparent issues we identified: increased turnover; lack of good communication channels, coupled with misinformation and gossip; young, inexperienced managers making uninformed decisions and appearing to play favorites; and virtually no skilled onsite Human Resources staff or support of the organization.

How we helped:

  1. We met with the Board’s Personnel Committee, Executive Director, as well as several key managers to understand the company culture, practices and the President’s pay philosophy, and clarify issues.
  2. We reviewed trends in turnover over the past several years, as well as other indicators available.
  3. We customized an Employee Climate Survey (and process) to be given online which assured anonymity to the participants.
  4. We evaluated and reported the responses (both quantifiable and qualitative comments) in an easily understood format.
  5. We communicated the results honestly to the Senior Management, Board, Managers, and entire staff.
  6. Together, we created a plan of action with all stakeholders giving clear metrics. Action was taken on high priority items.


For the next 6 years, each annual Employee Climate Survey has shown improvement in several areas.

Improvement in morale, as reflected in lower unwanted turnover, reduced absenteeism, and fewer serious employee relations issues.

Hiring a full time Human Resources professional has helped create a more open and trusting environment. (This is also seen in a higher percentage of survey participants completing the survey year over year.)

Supervisory and staff training for key areas has improved the managers’ effectiveness and confidence in working with their staff.

Learn how we helped a client deal with a poorly performing employee.

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