Training & Education

The Challenge

A Need for Management Skills

Ritchie Consulting Inc designed and delivered a management training program with a large social service non-profit organization in New York City. Shortly before the engagement, the organization experienced rapid growth due to an increase in government funding and the acquisition of a related smaller non-profit organization. During this period, many who had excelled in their technical positions were promoted into management-level positions. Consequently, many managers had little to no experience or training in managing teams and departments. As a result, these new managers were challenged to carry out their roles and management practices were inconsistent across the organization. The organization’s executive leadership wanted to develop a stronger tier of managers that employed evidenced-based practices, leveraged objective measures of performance, and ensured high quality services. In addition, they identified a concern that best practices were not being shared across the organization due to functional role isolation and lack of communication.

The Approach

Designing a Training that Mattered

To address these challenges, Ritchie Consulting Inc consultants custom-designed a management training program that would suit the organizational culture and satisfy the needs for individuals’ competency development. Ritchie Consulting Inc began by generating buy-in for the initiative by asking participants what skills they themselves felt were most needed to be addressed. From this, they developed and commenced a training program that consisted of 10 classroom sessions accompanied by small peer-based practicum groups that fostered real-time application of the classroom learning. These trainings incorporated both academically rigorous theory as well as real world examples drawn directly from the organization’s previous work. Towards the goal of building a richer information network, the small practice groups were constructed to include participants from all levels and functions in the organization. This was designed to encourage the previously isolated members to connect and share information and best practices.

The Results

Genuine Organizational Impact

At the end of the training, over 85% of participants described heir management and leadership skills as improved, and there was a deeper recognition from staff at all levels about using evidence-based practices. In addition, Human Resources and Executive staff reported significantly less variation in supervisory practices across the organization. Similarly, members at all levels reported an increase in communication across functional roles and synergy among departments due to the training program. Ritchie Consulting Inc was also happy to see that the smaller peer groups were formally maintained by the organization after the training was completed to continue to promote ongoing collaboration and learning.