Welkin Health Invests in Leaders to Fuel Its Social Mission

Welkin Health was founded in 2013 to address the lack of software health organizations could use to deliver patient-centered care. It became their mission and led to the development of its patient relationship management software.

The solution soon catapulted the company in the marketplace. Its team doubled in size, and newly promoted managers lacked experience and struggled to adequately support their teams. In addition, the results of the company’s first engagement and inclusion survey found that just 66% of employees rated Welkin’s management favorably. This prompted Olivia Williams, Welkin’s director of people, to reach out to Sounding Board to help them establish an enduring leadership culture—a set of collective values that inform leadership attitudes and choices across an organization.

The Strategy

Welkin partnered with Sounding Board to improve engagement and to offer one-on-one support to its new leaders. Sounding Board would help managers build three core skills:

  1. Communicating a consistent, unified vision.
  2. Delivering performance-enhancing feedback to direct reports.
  3. Fostering inclusion, diversity, and well-being at the team level.

The Solution

Sounding Board’s used its proprietary 1:1 matching technology to expertly match leaders with their ideal coach—a person who could relate to the coachee and challenge them to approach issues from new perspectives.

Coaches first worked with coachees to master core leadership competencies—skills such as communication, delegation, feedback, performance improvement, and more. Next, they helped leaders consider how best to embody the company’s values of inclusion, diversity, and well-being, a process that eventually led to the development of a formal list of leadership values, separate from those of the broader company, to support its leadership culture in the years to come.

The Sounding Board platform gave Olivia and the rest of her team complete visibility into the progress and engagement of coachees. These metrics tracked their progress and documented the value of coaching while keeping individual coaching discussions private. This functionality enabled Olivia to demonstrate the ROI of coaching early to get sustained buy-in and to scale the program.

“I managed the process throughout our coaching pilot, and I was so impressed by Sounding Board. The platform made my job easier. I could see at a glance where people were in their engagement, and what skills they were tackling with their coaches. The matching technology also made things so simple; there was never a mismatch in terms of coachees. I found it remarkable how quickly people found value in their coaching sessions. Now that I’m a coachee myself, it’s no mystery why. I love my coach. She grasps all the nuances of our culture, and it’s clear she personalizes her approach just for me.”

The Result

Welkin saw radical improvement In the company’s Q4 2018 Engagement & Inclusion survey across the board:

Coachees’ self-ratings also improved radically over the initial six-month period. On average, they felt over 70% better at communicating their vision and giving direction. They also rated themselves 50% more capable of inspiring and motivating their team, their self-awareness and authenticity ratings improved by 60%, and their ratings for empathy, trust, and interpersonal skills improved by 77%.

Today, the company has integrated coaching into its onboarding program for new leaders. It’s become a selling point for recruiting new managers, offering them unparalleled support as they move into their roles. The company also holds weekly management huddles to discuss issues and reaffirm leadership values.

Looking ahead, Welkin plans to invest heavily in senior  leadership, leaning confidently on its partnership with Sounding Board to drive results.

Headquarters location:
San Francisco, CA

Founded: 2013

Welkin provides software to healthcare organizations that want to empower their teams to build strong, meaningful relationships with their patients.

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Tommy is at his best helping clients think through complex challenges in order to create a positive impact on their organizations. He thrives when interacting with others whether helping his team succeed or working with clients to build long-term partnerships. He has extensive experience consulting with organizations on driving their employee experience, guiding organizations through change, and working to ensure organizations are moving the needle when it comes to their results.

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Before GP Strategies, Tommy spent several years with TTEC Digital (formerly rogenSI) where he led the sales team,  eventually becoming the regional Learning & Performance practice leader for North America. While managing the P&L and sales team he also led the largest global relationship for the firm (Deloitte Globally). During his time at TTEC, he focused on delivering blended learning solutions that incorporate technology and hands-on training. Before TTEC Digital, he spent several years dedicated to strength-based leadership disrupting the business landscape regarding performance management and employee engagement with thought leader Marcus Buckingham at The Marcus Buckingham Company / TMBC (now ADP).

Tommy has had the privilege of working with some of the most well-known global brands in professional services, retail, technology, and healthcare including Deloitte, Facebook, Microsoft, Bank of America, Novartis, Gap Inc., lululemon, and Intel. Several projects he led for Deloitte were Global GNPS, New Partner Pivot, NextGen Partner Program Deloitte China, Present to Win, the RPM project on performance management, and Unconscious Bias.

Tommy holds a BS in Health Sciences from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Universidad del CEMA.

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Lori Mazan is the Co-Founder and Chief Coaching Officer of Sounding Board, the preeminent global leadership development enterprise platform changing the face of leadership development through innovative technology for leaders at all levels of an organization. Lori is a seasoned executive coach who has guided hundreds of corporate executives through 1:1 coaching focused on business outcomes and developing critical leadership skills. Client companies advanced by Lori’s expertise include Fortune titans such as Chevron and Sprint as well as high growth and public companies like Intellikine, and Tapjoy, plus 10XGenomics, which became a public company in 2019 while top executives worked with Lori and the Sounding Board team.
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Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board, a Silicon Valley startup redefining how organizations are developing their leaders. Her extraordinarily rapid career growth to executive management in the media, mobile and tech sectors of Silicon Valley became her inspiration for founding Sounding Board. As she began to manage larger teams and be responsible for growing revenues, it became clear that she needed a “sounding board” to coach her on the development of her leadership skills. That’s where her Sounding Board co-founder, Lori Mazan came on the scene. A seasoned executive coach focused on leadership development, Lori coached Christine on real-world leadership skills that had a direct impact on business outcomes. Based on her positive and impactful experience with leadership development, Christine was driven to make leadership development coaching accessible to people at all levels of the organization.
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