Case Study

Message of Work / Life Integration During Time of Economic Upheaval

Situation:

Due to the economic crisis in the state budget and the upheaval in the financial markets, a prominent private university was forced to reduce the workforce for the first time in the university’s history. Navigating a sea of unprecedented financial and cultural change, managers at all levels were asked to do more with less while also living the university’s values of:

Commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership.

While the university’s senior leadership appreciated the effort being exhibited by managers, they remained concerned that during times of change, the commitment of every employee was in danger of being set adrift.

Challenge:

Present a message that specifically addressed the concerns of every manager affected by the layoffs, while also providing real world / practical strategies for securing commitment to the remaining employees and the university mission.

Solution:

Prior to the layoff notices being distributed, Hugh prepared extensively by interviewing a cross-section of key people. During the presentation, he created a direct link between commitment to the university mission and clarity around personal values, communicating how integrity is based on the small everyday choices each manager makes daily. Managers found the message insightful, uplifting and filled with practical ideas they could immediately put to use.

Feedback:

According to the Vice President of Human Resources: “Not only did Hugh’s dynamic presentation inspire and uplift those who heard it, but enlightened participants to their own sphere of influence and empowered them to transform personal lives through an intentional alignment of values and behavior.

In reflecting upon Hugh’s thought-provoking and challenging message, the university’s leaders are undoubtedly better equipped to lead and shape the vision and integrity of the university, while living out its mission of realizing lives of purpose, service and leadership.”