Purposeful Policies for ORS Impact

CLIENT

ORS Impact

INDUSTRY

Social Impact and Non-Profit

LOCATION

Seattle, WA

SIZE

<50

PRIORITIES

Employee Relations, Policy and Process Development, Retention

About ORS Impact

ORS Impact partners with a wide range of philanthropic, non-profit, and government clients to accelerate social change. ORS Impact’s strategic support and leading-edge measurement and evaluation techniques help social innovators activate meaningful change and improve outcomes in fields like health, education, and public policy. The organization’s team of experienced consultants has earned a global reputation for leadership, insight, and innovation.

The Need

ORS Impact had been working with another outsourced HR organization for several years, but with a fairly minimal level of support primarily focused on compliance. They wanted to “level up” with more specialized expertise and customized support as they navigated the challenges that accompany rapid growth.

“When a company is smaller, it’s easier to have an informal, more relationship-based, one-on-one approach. But as we grew we knew we needed to have more structure around our policies.” Sarah Stachowiak, CEO, ORS Impact

Key HR policies and processes were already in place, but ORS Impact wanted to evolve them to be the very best they could be, to fully support the team and reflect the company’s  inspiring mission. 

One important priority was to elevate diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to actively question “the way things are always done” to ensure they had the very best policies in place. The team was willing to do the deep work necessary to ensure their policies were equitable, acknowledging that equitable is not necessarily the same as equal.  

With a clear commitment to helping impact-focused organizations and their people thrive and a similar business model structured around a team of experienced consultants, Resourceful was a natural fit for this next phase of deeper HR support.

“Resourceful’s values align with ours. They are different from other HR companies in that they understand what it means to be an impact-oriented organization, so it’s easier to be in sync about priorities.” Sarah 

“ORS prides themselves on how they work with their clients, and they want that kind of close partnership with their HR team as well. They lead with heart. They want their people to be passionate about their work, and be able to be their authentic selves at all times.”  Phoebe Ingraham, HR Consultant, Resourceful

Resourceful Response

After an initial in-person kick-off, the team prioritized desired projects, starting with an analysis of the employee handbook. Resourceful’s lead consultant Phoebe Ingraham partnered closely with the ORS Impact team to take a close look at things like hiring practices, work-from-home policies, flexible work schedules, dress code, and benefit structure. Their goal was to ensure each policy was thoughtfully crafted to be positive and empowering for all employees. Many new staff members were younger and more diverse, and the team wanted to be mindful about avoiding inadvertent negative repercussions.

“As we reviewed the handbook, we questioned: How can we ensure that we are aligning this with the company culture? How do we make sure we are capturing the expectations of not just the executives, but also the employees?” Phoebe

As the timing worked out, new work-from-home policies (developed collaboratively to ensure broad buy-in with additional expert input from Resourceful consultant Andrea Allard) were finalized just a few weeks before the real-world Covid-19 crisis unfolded, which helped the team transition quickly and proactively to working remotely.

Another priority was the performance review process, which ORS Impact calls their “professional development blueprint.” They wanted to make sure their process was deeply grounded in feedback, both giving and receiving. Resourceful helped facilitate and keep two-way communication active throughout the process, involving the staff to share ideas and best practices. 

“We wanted to make sure the review process was grounded in feedback, both giving and receiving. I had facilitated this type of work before, but for ORS we elevated collaboration. ORS is a group of highly educated professionals; they all deserved and wanted to participate in the process.” Phoebe

Meaningful Results

This partnership is still in its early stages, but it has already produced a number of carefully crafted policies that make all employees feel respected and valued for what they bring to the table. The professional development blueprint, built around meaningful two-way feedback, will help ORS Impact further strengthen their culture and retain top talent. 

“Our employees appreciate that things feel more professional, more consistent and reliable. That inspires confidence, and helps employees feel a stronger bond with the company.” Sarah

Like any successful partnership, the growth and learning go both ways. This deep work has helped the Resourceful team expand their knowledge and thinking around diversity and equity. Phoebe adjusted her content delivery techniques to incorporate ORS Impact’s specific expertise in facilitation and information delivery, to be sure the new information aligned with how they work and would be well received by the team. 

“They are highly trained around facilitation techniques, so I was able to learn from their training and do my job even better.” Phoebe

The core team approaches each interaction with honesty and care, and a shared desire to achieve the best possible result.