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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