Marco Giordano's RHD is all about a 'values-based' organizational culture - Generocity Philly

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Jun. 14, 2017 12:56 pm

Marco Giordano’s RHD is all about a ‘values-based’ organizational culture

The interim CEO takes over for Dyann Roth in August. Here's why he thinks the social services nonprofit is so good at retaining high-level employees.

Marco Giordano.

(Courtesy photo)

Marco Giordano would describe the culture of Resources for Human Development with the following three words:

Open. Collaborative. Person-centered.

Giordano is taking over for outgoing CEO Dyann Roth in August after serving as the 47-year-old, $260 million human services nonprofit’s chief financial officer since 2013. In his 10 years total with RHD, he’d also been its chief accounting officer and worked alongside both its management and executive teams. (Technically, Giordano’s role will be interim CEO for the next year — but the intention is for him to take over permanently after that.)

It’s common for RHD to retain employees for such a long time: Roth spent almost the entirety of her professional career there, and she took over from founder and longtime CEO Bob Fishman (who’s also considered a cofounder of the social enterprise movement in Philadelphia). Giordano said that, when including Roth, the current executive team has something like 300 years total experience at the nonprofit — which means 300 years of institutional knowledge, valuable for continuing the work it knows it’s good at.

Why do people stick around?

It’s all about that aforementioned culture. Part of RHD’s five-year strategic plan even includes the objective of being an “employer of choice.”

“We’ve always been an organization that is very much driven by our values-based culture, and it is that culture that allows us to retain employees for longer periods of time than other organizations,” Giordano said.

That means offering employees professional development opportunities, both outside the organization and inside with its internal education program, Miniversity (which was a finalist for “Best Organizational Perk” at Generocity’s inaugural INTER/VIEW Shoutouts).

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It’s also about “continuing to acknowledge the organization is not run by one or two or three people,” Giordano said. “It is what it is by empowering all the people in our staff.”

In the next year and beyond, Giordano said he hopes to scale RHD’s successful programs throughout the country — the nonprofit currently operates 160 programs in 15 states — as well as diversify its revenue sources to rely less on government funding.

For him, the interim CEO role is “a chance to step out from behind the scenes” and get to know RHD’s programs better. Organizationally, though, values remain the same.

“We’re not changing course,” he said. “This was just a transition of leadership.”

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