Success Story: Improving Communication Effectiveness
NCPHSBusiness Challenge:
To improve the communication effectiveness of managers and supervisors at a large nonprofit organization

A nonprofit retirement living and senior services organization conducted an employee satisfaction survey to learn more about employees’ perceptions of the workplace and the quality of their work life. One of the key survey findings was that employees felt their managers did a poor job of communicating with them. Employees reported that they often did not know what was expected of them, were not recognized for good work, and did not receive information in a timely manner.

NCPHS The senior management team recognized the important value-added role that managers and supervisors play towards ensuring high quality service to customers and building employee loyalty to the organization. They asked their in-house director of training and development to find a program that would enhance the communication skills of managers—and they wanted it up and running within two months. The scope and short turn around time for this project exceeded the resources and available time of the training director, so she turned to Robinson & Associates, specialists in communication skills training and coaching, to partner with her on this project.

Our Approach:
Design a program that leverages a relatively small amount of classroom time to make a big workplace impact

In order to create buy-in from all of the managers, Kathleen Robinson and her training team worked closely with the training manager to develop a list of potential topics from which the managers were asked to choose those of greatest interest or need. These selected topics were then developed into a customized series of eight 1-hour modules designed to help managers communicate more effectively. A dedicated trainer/facilitator met with each of the three intact management teams once a month over eight months as part of their regularly scheduled management team meetings. During each session, the trainer presented information and management tools related to the topic and engaged the group in skill practice and discussion so they would be able to transfer what they learned to the workplace. As the trainer got to know the group, she was able to link and leverage the content from one session to the next and provide group coaching on real workplace issues related to the topics.

The Results:
Positive improvements in working relationships, increased trust and greater inter-departmental cooperation

Each team reported that they saw positive improvements in their working relationships with their management peer group and with their staffs. The monthly facilitated teambuilding conversations and group learning improved team trust and communication and generated a higher degree of inter-departmental cooperation among the staff.
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