MBA students Siddharth Dixit ’15, Will Joyce ’16, and Andrew Schuman ’16 joined forces last semester on a consulting project aimed at helping a global nonprofit figure out how to improve employee retention.
As part of our coursework for Professor James Baron’s Leading Mission-Driven Organizations course, we consulted for Love146, a New Haven-based, multinational nonprofit focused on the abolition of child sex trafficking.
As Love146 has grown, its management team has begun to plan for its future and identified employee retention as a top priority. Executive director Jim Ehrman tasked us with creating a series of proactive strategies. The only catch was that our proposals could not involve an increase in organizational expenses.
Our process involved preliminary research of seminal texts on retention and intrinsic motivation, an executive focus group, two employee focus groups, and an exit survey.
After gathering sufficient data, we conducted qualitative and quantitative analysis, crafted a series of recommendations, workshopped them with peers, and presented them to the executive team at Love146.
After our presentation, Ehrman requested that we present a subset of our recommendations to employees to help build the buy-in necessary for implementation, something we intend to do when we return in the fall.
Our experience with Love146 allowed us to practice the organizational strategies that we learned during class and manage a consulting project from start to finish. Chief among the skills we practiced were strategic thinking, project management, and data analysis. We also gained experience building trust and buy-in as outsiders.