By working with Wipfli to identify the gaps between current culture and ideal culture and what tools it could use and actions it could take to close those gaps, Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois (CAPCIL) was able to:
- Increase its retention rate from 73% to 90%.
- Decrease the time it took to hire, place and onboard employees from 30-90 days to just 9 days.
At CAPCIL, leaders were committed to improving organizational culture and employee retention, but they were struggling with how to do so — including figuring out why their initial efforts weren’t bearing fruit.
Leaders wanted a deeper understanding of employees to identify where there was a disconnect between their ideal culture and their actual culture, as well as how to then go about aligning the two. Seeking an organizational performance methodology that had been tested and proven in the nonprofit industry, CAPCIL reached out to Wipfli.
Using the right tools was a critical part of the project. Wipfli recommended performing a culture survey to help CAPCIL measure, understand and shape its culture. The Wipfli team then used Human Synergistics’ organizational culture inventory (OCI), which quantifies current culture by measuring employee values and what employees believe is expected of them to maximize their effectiveness. The team also used the organizational effectiveness inventory (OEI), which measures the outcomes of the current culture — how effective it is — at individual, group and organizational levels.
In addition, Wipfli held focus groups and employee interviews to further provide insight into CAPCIL’s culture. Once they had the information they needed, the Wipfli team walked CAPCIL leadership through the results. Leaders learned that the ideal culture they wanted and the culture they had were actually the same, but only at the leadership level. The results revealed employees throughout the organization valued the same types of things leaders did, from working independently to developing critical-thinking skills to decentralizing the command philosophy.
Understanding what employees below the leadership level needed to find their roles fulfilling allowed CAPCIL to then work with Wipfli on developing a roadmap for change. On Wipfli’s recommendation, it began using talent optimization solutions from Predictive Index® (PI) to help design and execute its new strategy.
Having worked with Wipfli to gain an understanding of its cultural gaps and plan out ways to close those gaps, CAPCIL began to see incredible results. For example, using PI’s behavioral assessments helped CAPCIL learn that some employees were a great cultural fit for the organization but not for their particular position. CAPCIL was then able to transition these employees to positions that were a better fit for them, where they could better connect to the work they were doing.
Before bringing Wipfli on board, CAPCIL had been retaining around 73% of its employees. After completing the organizational performance project and implementing the action-planning roadmap, CAPCIL’s retention rate shot up to 90%.
CAPCIL was also able to streamline its hiring process by starting with a complete understanding of what each position’s requirements were in terms of both skills and personality. Before, CAPCIL took between 30 and 90 days to find candidates, place them and fulfill compliance requirements. Now that the organization is starting out with the knowledge of who would best fit a position and why, the average time has fallen to just nine days.
Communication has also improved. PI’s behavioral assessment for each employee reveals how that employee prefers to give and receive communication, which has been enormously helpful for everyone from managers to the HR department. Providing personalized communication has proved much more effective than past efforts.
Overall, Wipfli has helped CAPCIL understand the need for systematizing ideas to gain greater efficiency and effectiveness, and as a result, CAPCIL is fully prepared to continue improving its organizational culture and performance.
Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois’ mission is to empower persons with low income and the aged by creating and implementing poverty-fighting initiatives for those in crisis and those who endeavor a life of lasting independence.