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Case Study

CBEM

California based CBEM serves individuals with developmental disabilities providing services, education, resources and support to empower people to lead safe and healthy lives through innovative social services.

CHALLENGE

A for-profit service provider for individuals with mental and developmental disabilities, CBEM has offices and service centers distributed throughout California.
Leadership Team was challenged with managing conflicts related to cultural and individual differences between care providers and clients, and wanted to develop authentic and meaningful responses to racial inequities spotlighted since George Floyd’s murder in 2020. Sensing that the stakes were high, the company wanted
guidance on how to respond in ways that fostered community and company culture.

While ERG’s were established, there was a general lack of confidence in the Leadership Team’s response to racial injustices beyond training and workshops, including delivering sincere communication responses to the whole organization.

APPROACH

  • Met with the Leadership Team to understand their goals and set expectations for both workshop outcomes and deeper outcomes of integrating DEIB values into organizational culture and strategic planning.
  • Conducted a company-wide survey to assess status of DEIB fluency, internal perceptions, and opportunity areas of growth and learning focus.
  • Facilitated a daylong Leadership Offsite titled ”The Voices of CBEM” which included interactive virtual experiences, or “Curiosity Conversations,” with the
    Leadership Team and middle management as well as breakout room discussions and a collaborative, co-visioning of an inclusive and diverse company culture.
  • Produced and facilitated a series of DEIB 2-hour workshops that included teaching, group sharing, role playing, breakout room discussions, and a
    companion workbook for participants. Workshops were attended by over 100 employees and included topics such as “Conscious Allyship” and “Unconscious Bias.” Provided follow up facilitation guide for their monthly DEIB employee group to continue the conversation, embed learning, and
    foster engagement.
  • Virtual workshop experience included: 1) Creating a Safe Zone within the CBEM community to be vulnerable, share personal stories, and be present
    with each other; 2) Engagement was experienced on multiple levels, from leadership team to employees providing a venue for all layers of the organization to come together.

KEY OUTCOMES

By the second workshop, half of the participants opted to share their preferred pronouns, demonstrating awareness and comfort with this practice to create a visibly inclusive workplace.

  • Cohesive Leadership Team with renewed appreciation for the value of DEIB learning and education and its impact on quality of service delivery, culture, relationships, and team collaboration
  • Organized HR program response to external conditions influencing leader, team, and organizational well-being.
  • Culture and employees are more engaged and alive around the organization’s mission, vision and values.
  • Zoom interactions provided opportunities for real, authentic connections that translated to richer in-person working relationships.

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