Human Resources Case Study #1

How Exude, Inc. helped the Food Trust In Their Period of Growth!

Client Info

Founded in 1992, The Food Trust works to improve the health of children and adults, promote good nutrition, increase access to nutritious foods, and advocate for better public policy.

  • Non-profit agency based in Philadelphia, PA
  • Number of Staff: 104
  • Estimated budget for 2012-2013: $8.6 million


The Food Trust has experienced significant growth in the past 2-3 years. With growth comes increased need for more formalized HR systems and practices to support the employee, compliance, staffing, risk management, and management areas of the agency. Like many non-profit agencies, the formal HR and employment related systems and practices have not evolved at the same pace as the agency’s programs and initiatives.

Human Resources at The Food Trust was a one-person function. As with many non-profits, the HR person transitioned into the role after many years with the agency and continued to wear many “hats.” Due to the many daily transactional demands on the HR department, Human Resources at TFT was unable to operate at the strategic level necessary to meet the long-term infrastructure needs that would support the growth of the agency.


The Food Trusts’ leadership team understood and recognized the importance of creating and maintaining HR systems and practices to ensure a compliant, efficient, and fair work environment. Toward in the end of 2011, TFT engaged with eXude to conduct a comprehensive Human Resource Assessment to identify opportunities for improvement and prioritize action steps.

In response to the action items and recommendations identified in the HR Assessment report, TFT engaged with eXude to provide a dedicated on-site HR Consultant 3 days/week to lead, develop, and drive the implementation of the HR infrastructure changes and introduction of best practices.


  1. Develop, update, and revise the TFT Employee Handbook and other related policies and procedures to ensure consistent decision-making, fairness, and compliance.
  2. Develop formal employee training program, particularly supervisory focused, on risk management, management topics, soft-skill development, job-related topics, and leveraging external training opportunities
  3. Revise all job descriptions with ADA, OSHA, Workers’ Comp compliant language, and FLSA determination in a consistent format
  4. Review, audit, and maintain personnel files in accordance with recommended recordkeeping best practices
  5. Review and revise current performance management program to better reflect alignment with TFT’s strategic plan business goals and core competencies
  6. Create and implement a standard recruitment and new hire paperwork packet and forms to ensure consistent communication, documentation, maintenance, and approval of all employee changes, payroll data, and personal information
  7. Conduct a Risk Management assessment
  8. Explore opportunities to leverage technology to create more efficient, compliant, and accurate tracking, employee data, and general communication functions
  9. Work with Board of Directors to formalize performance evaluation and compensation policies and procedures for the Executive Director


During this past year, The Food Trust continued to experience growth both in number of staff (25%) and in programming, highlighting and reinforcing the importance and need for Human Resources infrastructure and practice development. Working closely with their dedicated eXude on-site HR Consultant, TFT leadership and HR staff was able to introduce and implement many key HR objectives in 2012.

Key Outcomes include:

  • Formalized processes, procedures, and documents to ensure compliance with risk management factors to include wage/hour, employment law, recruitment and selection, HR recordkeeping, employee safety, Board governance, and talent management
  • Broaden the knowledge, skills, and abilities of supervisory/management staff emphasizing key HR concepts resulting in increased consistency, compliance, fairness, and talent management when dealing with employee relation issues
  • Introduced HR processes to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and establish appropriate levels of authorization
  • Reduced non-seasonal employee turnover to 11%
  • Reduced “Time-to-Fill” by 75%
  • Improved Employee Communication
  • Introduced standard core competencies and established business goals at all levels linked to strategic plan
  • Formalized the review, salary, and performance measurement and Board oversight process for the Executive Director’s total compensation plan