Honouring excellence in facilitation
As a professional association with members in more than 65 countries, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) is well placed to recognize the power of facilitation worldwide. For more than 20 years we have been strong advocates for the power of facilitation in helping organizations to address challenges and achieve results.
The Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA) honours organizations that have used facilitation to achieve a measurable and positive impact as well as the facilitator(s) who worked with them. CANES' own CEO Gord Gunning and our Facilitator, Jerry Mings of the Desk Consulting Group were awarded the Gold Award for their accomplishments. More on their achievements below.
Facilitated strategic planning sessions have led to the implementation of various pilot projects, processes and social enterprises to best use our available resources effectively. An overview of some of the key results achieved follows.
Implemented a mentorship program to boost employee engagement and morale. The senior management team has mentored 30 front line staff and 5 individuals, who completed the program, have since been promoted to leadership positions. Staff feedback on the program has been very positive.
Implemented the Call Claudia pilot—a social enterprise project designed to diversify funding sources—which generated an additional $40,000 in revenue that is being used to fund our frontline activities.
To better meet the needs of our clients, adopted a more clinical model of care including a medication management program, bi-weekly RPN vital health checks under our Community Outreach program and staff training in palliative care which 50% of our frontline staff have completed. We are also planning to launch of a Foot Care program and pilot project on Dementia Care with 20 clients.
Established three new partnerships that have expanded our programs and services and helped to expand our operating budget, generating an additional $2.5 million.
Implemented major changes to the organization’s training program to better meet the needs of staff for in-depth training twice a year rather than once a year. Feedback from staff has been positive.
Implemented an electronic work scheduling system. The Client Services team can now manage all schedules electronically in real time on mobile devices and frontline staff can access their schedules electronically and communicate seamlessly with office staff in real time. The system has also made the payroll process more efficient, reduced phone tags and made it easier for staff to maintain the privacy of client records.
Context and challenges
CANES Community Care is a not-for-profit organization in Toronto that operates 14 different programs and services with over 210 full-time equivalent staff. CANES’ mission is to provide excellent care services for seniors to enable them to remain at home in their community safely and with dignity.
CANES has had a positive working relationship with external facilitator, Jerry Mings, for over five years. During this time, Jerry has been involved in the organization’s internal and external strategic planning sessions to help define and focus ideas, strategic frameworks and opportunities to meet the agency’s growth and expansion goals. CANES’ Board of Directors and senior management team frequently worked with Jerry to evaluate the organization’s strategic and operational plans to ensure an alignment of goals to the mission statement. Over the years, Jerry has worked with CANES’ Board and senior management team plus external community partners to evaluate the organization’s programs and services and ensure that they are current and relevant with environmental trends.
CANES’ senior management team has been committed to exploring alternate funding sources to meet the rising cost of operations in light of non-existent base funding increases from our funders to manage the increasing demand pressures for many of our core programs. The team has implemented various solutions over the years to continue to raise additional funds and maintain a smooth operation of our programs with limited sustainable funding.
The team continues to have ongoing brainstorming sessions to identify ways of increasing the organization’s level of efficiency i.e. leveraging technology to reduce our administration costs and using the Radical Efficiency Model developed in the UK to reduce administrative costs.
CANES Community Care has a Vision 2025 planning document that highlights the growth and expansion level we are targeting to achieve by 2025 which includes our goals to:
- serve a wider geographical area
- increase the scope of our programs and services and corresponding staff
- increase our operating budget
- assume the lead agency role for all our core programs.
The agency has already managed to meet some of the targeted accomplishments through an ongoing focus on the following objectives:
- Technology advancement and creating a culture of innovation.
- Exploring opportunities for partnership with key institutions in the agency’s service sector.
- Increasing employee engagement and lowering the retention rate.
- Reflecting and discussing alternate sources of funding in addition to our current government funding allocations.
CANES completed eight planning sessions with Jerry Mings, from The Desk Consulting Group Inc., in the past 24 months to maintain an ongoing review of the agency’s goals and priorities, resource development strategies for growth and expansion and ensure that the organizational structure is current and effective.
During these discussions, Jerry worked with a small group of CANES’ senior management team and outlined reflective questions to set the stage for the conversation. The questions were used to guide the discussion considering trends in the external environment as well as feedback and recommendations from the agency’s clients, caregivers and stakeholders that is collected during various focus groups.
The facilitation included a variation of breakout sessions and group brainstorming discussions. Towards the end of the planning sessions, Jerry worked with the senior management team to outline some short term and long term next steps based on all the presented material and identified key themes.