Transforming culture towards a positive and profitable organisation.
Changing a workplace culture takes time. It takes persistence and resilience. It also takes visionary leadership, an optimistic outlook for success and tools that instil this attitude at all levels of the organisation.
Our partnership with Camp Quality, a not-for-profit organisation helping children living with cancer, has helped transform them from an organisation in emotional despair and financial jeopardy to an optimistic, flourishing organisation that embraces laughter as the best medicine. This turnaround has demonstrated the power positive psychology interventions can have on organisational culture – and the bottom line.
The initiative has dramatically reduced sick leave and absenteeism, decreased turnover, increased income generation, raised profile and increased registrations from families and volunteers, along with the many improvements in culture.
Camp Quality are now one of the top children’s charities in Australia and command an enviable reputation. Their culture of fun and optimism now defines who they are and draws people, donations and sponsorship to them like a magnet.
Working with the Langley Group has had a major impact on our organisation. They have helped us transform our culture. The changes have had direct results on our bottom line.
– Simon Rountree, CEO, Camp Quality
- Reduction in sick leave and absenteeism by 40%
- Increased annual income from $2.5 million to $14 million
- Increased pro-bono support from less than $250 k to over $4 million
- Increased attraction, engagement and funding by top corporate sponsors Arnott’s Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Newman’s Own Foundation and the NRL Bulldogs
- Increased volunteers from 1,500 to 6,000
- Increased family registrations by 1,000 to 6,000 (now reaching 1 in 3 Australian children living with cancer and their families)
- Voted in top 5 most trusted charities in Australia by Readers Digest
- PwC Transparency Award for NFP Sector 2010
- Australasian Reporting Awards 2011 for Best Annual Report
- Australian Charities Fund Inaugural Workplace Giving Award for Workplace Giving partnership 2011 in collaboration with corporate partner AHL
- Clear purpose, vision and values
- People who choose a positive attitude and look at the glass half full not empty
- People who are resilient and support each other through traumatic experiences
- Positive influence on other organisations’ attitude towards culture
- Improved ability by staff to support families and children
- Evidence-based approaches and positive messages built into all programs
We saw our role as collaborators, educators and inspirers of a new way of thinking and being. We acted as facilitators to stimulate the creativity of the organisation and the people in it to create ongoing learning and success that builds on itself. The change journey lasted five years and is still building and growing. From initial interventions, it developed into a systemic overhaul of culture, brand, systems and procedures, and grew into a movement that spread beyond the organisations to their clients and sponsors.
Each intervention, tool and technique we provided was based on the science of positive psychology. These ranged from:
- Positive psychology programs for staff
- Resilience sessions and toolkits
- Strengths-based 360 assessment, recruitment and performance management processes
- Application sessions for managers and staff to design their own tools and daily habits
- Branding consultation to maximise positive messages
- Alignment of policies and procedures with positive language
- Co-authorship of two children’s books based on positive psychology
- Research advice for positively assessing outcomes for children and parents
- Train-the-trainer program to embed values and positive psychology strategies
We continue to support Camp Quality in training key people to embed positive psychology (through our Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing), onboard new staff across the business and live their positive values daily.
What impact has the Langley Group had on culture at Camp Quality?
Simon Rountree, CEO at Camp Quality, explains.
“Working with the Langley Group has had a major impact on our organisation. They have helped us transform our culture. It has enhanced our people around their emotional intelligence, their understanding of how to communicate with others, particularly their team members and externally. And that has had a very positive impact. It’s certainly made communication flow a lot better, and relationships be a lot stronger in our organisation.
“The changes have had direct results on our bottom line.”
Looking back, Rountree says of the journey: “We needed to uncover what we stood for (our soul) and develop a credo that we would live every day.” He believes they have achieved that and more.
“Imagine working for an organisation where fun therapy and optimism drives the culture and you are given a daily opportunity to bring happiness to the lives of children and families affected by cancer?
“There is mounting evidence to show that people with an optimistic outlook have greater happiness and success than those who view the world pessimistically. Optimism is a fundamental part of our culture. We see possibilities and opportunities in our challenges.
“We are committed to the continual development of optimistic behaviours in our staff, volunteers and programs.”
How do Camp Quality’s sponsors benefit from their positive culture?
Michelle Lawlor, Director of Communications, Johnson & Johnson Medical, shares her perspective.
“We love Camp Quality’s positive attitude and absolute determination to make a real difference to children and their families. At Johnson & Johnson Medical we are guided by a philosophy of restoring the joys of life and we have found a kindred spirit at Camp Quality.”