Building Workplace Relationships


One of my great pleasures is to see the positive results of work I have done with teams or leadership groups that demonstrate better communications, decision-making, and organizational development. Each program is specifically designed to meet the needs of that particular group.
Here are a few of the projects I have worked on.
Conducting the annual leadership retreat for the 45-member leadership team of a health care for-profit.
"Leadership" is a vast topic to explore in just half a day, so we developed this program based on a questionnaire I sent to participants about what they would like to learn. Based on their responses, the program was expanded to include those  topics the group was most interested in. The program concluded with a planning session on what ideas to implement in the immediate future at each site, in the short term, and in the long term, and what resources would be needed to support their decisions.
Improving the communications and decision-making process of the leadership team of a regional nonprofit.
This group provides superb care for its participants, but used its management time far less effectively than an organization of it stature should have. I observed the interactions of the group for about three hours, then shifted gears and interrupted the discussion each time I noticed a communication or dynamic that could be improved. I also suggested changes in their meeting structure that documented decisions and created more productive discussion. The team went from six-hour, face-to-face monthly meetings to one hour teleconferences with greater productivity and greater mutual trust.
Creating a team from a group of independent architects and engineers.
This department was in such disarray that they did not know each other's names when I began to work with them. Over the course of a full year, they developed agreements on how their meetings would be run, how to make decisions, and how to change department structures and processes to reduce the mistakes that had been costing them construction delays and fines, and to considerably increase trust among team members.
Identifying the problems that generated significantly low employee satisfaction scores in a national HR department of 50 people.
The employee satisfaction scores were below all internal and external benchmarks, but did not provide enough detail to know what actions were necessary to improve the scores. I conducted focus groups that included every department member, wrote the report and recommendations, and presented it to management. The recommendations, while difficult to make and even more difficult to hear, were begun in two weeks after the report was received, and most were implemented in just 120 days by a Vice President who was receptive to the information and willing to act. 

Maria Simpson, Ph.D. * Los Angeles, CA * Phone: 641-715-3900 x 1376932 Fax: 310-826-7440 *

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