In July 2021, Reagan Nuss, Learning and Organizational Development Specialist at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), applied to join the Matching Initiative as a skilled volunteer. The CMA is a national association of physicians advocating for better health, health care and a strong health workforce. Addressing the social determinants of health is an essential part of the CMA’s mandate. As the CMA is a Sponsor of the Matching Initiative, Reagan wanted to get involved. With an extensive and diverse background in human resources (HR), Reagan wanted to share her HR expertise with a charity that would benefit from her time and inspire others at the CMA to volunteer with the Matching Initiative.
Reagan was matched with the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation (CCLF), the only national charity dedicated exclusively to children’s early literacy. CEO Ariel Siller’s goal in applying to the Matching Initiative was to ensure the CCLF had a strong foundation for sustainable growth. She needed an HR professional to help establish best-in-class hiring, performance management, and talent development practices that were equitable, inclusive, and reflective of the CCLF’s values and ambitions.
Reagan began by reviewing existing job descriptions, performance plans, current HR policies and onboarding procedures and made a conscious effort to understand the CCLF and its goals. “I wanted to create a strong foundation and framework for the organization’s HR practices,” explained Reagan. “Considering they are still in the start-up phase, there is so much opportunity for growth.”
Ariel and her team met with Reagan every two weeks to discuss progress, give feedback, and determine current priorities. These meetings helped Reagan tackle the CCLF’s goals item by item and allowed Ariel to begin using the new tools as they were developed. Reagan’s volunteer work allowed the CCLF to allocate its existing resources to other strategic goals, such as program growth and expansion.
The CCLF has already begun a new round of hiring and is extremely happy with the results of the match. It was a classic win-win. “I wanted to do a trial run of the Matching Initiative for our organization,” explained Reagan. “We have so many employees who would love to get involved, and I wanted to be able to have the insight to answer any questions they may have.”
In fact, the experience was so positive that Reagan plans to continue volunteering with the Matching Initiative.