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City of Santa Monica helps employees at all levels thrive in change

Industry Government
See City of Santa Monica's story
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    Instill a leadership mindset in a diverse employee base

    Santa Monica, with its famous pier and legendary natural beauty, is one of America's most iconic cities. To successfully serve its 93,000 residents and 8 million visitors per year, it takes a leadership mindset from city employees at all levels, from management to parking and sanitation.

    Lori Gentles, the Chief People Officer at the City of Santa Monica, believes in encouraging everyone to thrive, whether they work on the front lines or behind the scenes. In 2020, employees needed meaningful support as they navigated the stressors of serving the public through a constantly evolving landscape. To cultivate a culture of accountability, empowerment, and leadership, she sought a solution to cultivate the leader within every employee, not just those in managerial roles.

    Listen to the voices of our partners and members
    The most exciting thing that I have seen is just a change in disposition, a change in focus, a change in their own power.
    — Lori Gentles, Chief People Officer

    Evolve coaching approach to support more employees

    The BetterUp engagement began with offering personalized 1:1 coaching to a pilot group of employees. After 100% of the initial group reported that their engagement with a Certified Coach was a valuable use of their time, a second round of 1:1 coaching was initiated among a new group.

    Later, to reach even more employees, the City of Santa Monica offered group coaching, which provided employees the opportunity to connect across functions, from accounting to driving, and build new perspectives. Finally, BetterUp Care was made available to support employees’ mental fitness and increase resilience.


    Thriving employees motivate others to build a positive culture

    To inspire as a leader, one needs to thrive as a person. The BetterUp Whole Person™ component of emotional thriving demonstrates that when individuals exhibit self-compassion and regulate their emotions, they can show up with more empathy for colleagues and customers. Coached City of Santa Monica employees showed an astounding 44% increase in emotional thriving.

    Employees who can easily focus, plan strategically, and think on their feet exhibit cognitive thriving, another component of the Whole Person that can be addressed with BetterUp coaching. A 22% percent increase in growth mindset and a 28% increase in cognitive thriving demonstrates that coached employees are more equipped to adapt to evolving circumstances, whether that’s a new procedure or an unexpected emergency.

    On average, employees who worked with BetterUp experienced the following growth: 


    increase in Emotional Thriving

    increase in Cognitive Thriving
    increase in Motivating Others

    increase in Growth Mindset

    Positivity is contagious. When employees feel a sense of pride in their work, they are more likely to recognize others' good work. Coached employees showed a 29% increase in self-efficacy and an impressive 40% increase in motivating others. 

    By offering coaching to its employees, the City of Santa Monica is not only building a better workplace, but also a better city, where people come to work, relax, and enjoy its beachside beauty every day of the year.

    "I think people just felt better about themselves and their work, and they felt empowered because they had the tools to be able to positively address some of the challenges that were occurring personally and professionally. That has a tendency to be contagious."

    — Mark Brower, Deputy Director of Human Resources

    Companies that thrive are powered by employees and leaders that are rested, resilient, and in control of their missions.

    See how BetterUp® can take your team to the next level.
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