Social Services

Health Agency Embraces Harsh Feedback to Transform Relationships

Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS) connects Houston’s immigrant and refugee population to a range of social services. In 2017, thanks to a Listen for Good grant, the organization began regularly soliciting client feedback. Paula John, like many of ECHOs’ clients, was critical; She found the staff dismissive, the process confusing, and the wait times interminable.

ECHOS Executive Director Cathy Moore responded by analyzing and improving workflows. Now every day begins with a meeting led by a different staff member each day. That meeting is followed by regular meetings with clients. Moore now makes regular visits to the waiting area, where she makes a point of telling clients what they can expect from the organization and giving them the opportunity to ask questions.

These changes have transformed client attitudes. “They feel that they’re part of our team and partners with us,” Moore says. “They don’t feel that they’re just walking in the door, receive something, and walking out of the door. They’re part of something bigger.”

John agrees. “Now when I have to go, I feel good because I'm going to say ‘hello’ to the girls” who work there, she says. “It makes you feel comfortable.”

Listen to a companion podcast with Paul John.

The Power of Feedback
The Power of Feedback
In this multimedia series, sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, voices from the social sector will offer tactics, tools, and advice gleaned from the grassroots to encourage nonprofits and foundations to make listening to their constituents—and acting on what they hear—a smart norm for any organization committed to improvement.