Care for People & Animals Drives Improvement at San Diego Humane Society

Hosts Tracy O’Rourke and Elisabeth Swan interview Audrey Lang (Sr. Vice President of Organizational Development) and Tina Nguyen (VP of Employee Engagement) from the San Diego Humane Society. It’s an open-admission private nonprofit animal shelter in the San Diego County area to care for over 50,000 animals.

They describe how their care-centered culture improves their ability to rehabilitate animals while simultaneously driving improvement efforts with employee “bliss.”

They worked on improving their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to better reflect the local community through changes in hiring practices, book clubs, and development of diverse workgroups.

Process improvement is done within different departments by attending training classes in Lean, implementing improvements in their personal lives in addition to their work processes, and working on a 2-day kaizen event.

  • Kitten Tracks was one project that improved the tracking of kitten weights to make sure they are growing at the right pace. The team developed a spreadsheet to better track their weights, and it increased the chance of survival for many animals.
  • Guest relations did an improvement with non-English speaking guests to make it easier to find someone to help translate languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Polish, and American Sign language.

Respect for People was also exhibited during the COVID-19 pandemic with a quick transition to virtual processes like adoption, as well as flexible time-off and work schedules to accommodate the needs of their workers and volunteers.

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