Charting a Course for G.R.E.A.T.ness – Positioning Community Living Hamilton for a Sustainable Future
Looking back five years from now, it is our belief that 2019/20 will stand out as a defining year for Community Living Hamilton (CLH) as an organization.
This past year we took decisive steps to strengthen our position as a leader in our sector. With our eye on the horizon, we set our sights on evolving into a stronger organization and positioning our agency to meet the current and future needs of our community and the people we support.
Fresh off refining our Mission, Vision and Values and adopting a new Strategic Plan that set a new direction for the organization the year before, the CLH senior leadership team began the year designing and implementing a new performance management system known as a Balanced Score Card.
If in 2018/19 we calibrated our compass and established our position, then in 2019/20 we plotted our course and set sail on a multi-year journey to our destination.
CLH’s new Balanced Score Card tracks organizational performance across five dimensions:
- Health and Safety;
- Quality of Service;
- Employee Development, Engagement and Culture;
- Financial Responsibility; and
- Operational Excellence.
Within each dimension, we identified a number of Key Performance Indicators that link our big picture goals to the agency’s day-to-day activities and set stretch targets supported by Master Plan projects to drive continuous improvement.
Like using a spyglass to observe one’s surroundings, the senior leadership team used daily “huddles” to closely monitor performance and discuss emerging issues, and weekly and monthly meetings to review the status of projects and progress against targets.
Once we collected sufficient data to establish trends, we began sharing monthly Balanced Score Card Performance Reports with our staff to ensure transparency and ensure they were able to see firsthand how we are performing as an organization.
With the Balanced Score Card approach being uncharted waters for our organization, some challenges along the way were to be expected. Changing conditions forced us to adjust our ambitious schedule and dictated that only four of the eight Master Plan projects that were on deck to begin this year got underway. Even with certain projects pushed back, we made measurable gains across a number of key performance indicators.
As the saying goes, ‘Calm seas never made a skilled sailor.’ The headwinds we faced provided invaluable experience that will be essential as we manage the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We know that attracting, motivating, developing and retaining the very best talent is a critical enabler of our success. For that reason, CLH also made a significant investment in leadership development this past year. Working with an industry expert, we built a customized six-month leadership skills training program for all managers within the organization to guide and support their development. This investment will pay dividends for years to come as our core team members are better equipped to lead us into the future.
To better meet the needs of our clients, CLH also relocated our Employment Access and Supported Independent Living Programs to the Goodwill building at 225 King William St. this past October. The new space is located in a fully accessible building situated in the downtown core of the city, central to where we know a large number of our clients live. The building is near to most major bus routes and also serves as a community hub and is home of several other agencies and organizations that provide complementary services.
These are but a few of the highlights from this past year. While our work continues, and we know much of our journey lies ahead, we are proud of the course we have charted and all that we have accomplished together.
We invite you to navigate through this report and learn more about the impact our programs and services have made on the lives of people we support. The stories and information found within these pages are just a small sample, but know they represent a much greater number of people we have touched as we work to fulfill our promise of Helping Build Great Lives.
We hope you enjoy learning more about Community Living Hamilton and encourage you to visit our website and follow our journey on social media.