Orange Sky: Balancing commitment to cause and well-being

Chelsea Gill*, Amy L Kenworthy, Catharina C. Jecklin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticleEducation


At the beginning of February 2024, Jo Senz, the senior manager of people and safety at the non-profit company Orange Sky Australia (Orange Sky), looked at her wall calendar in disbelief. She realized she only had a few days left before her meeting with the chief executive officer (CEO) to present a draft people strategy. Senz desperately needed to find new ways to both navigate the increasing pressures on her staff and improve well-being among the organization’s workforce. With 73 employees and roughly 3,000 volunteers spread throughout Australia and New Zealand, recent staff engagement data had indicated a decline in well-being metrics since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Although people loved working and volunteering with the company, being so purpose driven meant that often people would go above and beyond for the organization. Supporting team members had become a pressing issue for Senz, as was the fact that so many of the voluntary leadership positions at Orange Sky remained unfilled despite the organization’s hardworking and motivated volunteers.

From talking with countless employees and volunteers, she knew that the good news was that Orange Sky’s organizational culture was perceived as positive, strong, and appealing to many as a relatively new provider of much-needed services in the charitable sector. Those aspects of the culture were working to Senz’s advantage. Yet she wondered whether there were aspects of the organizational culture and espoused values that were not being fulfilled despite the best of intentions. Even with 20 years of experience as a human resources (HR) manager for large corporate organizations prior to her current role, she was grappling with new challenges as the broader HR landscape evolved to accommodate a focus on well-being. Plus, she had the added complexity of designing and managing the processes related to the thousands of volunteers that Orange Sky relied upon to deliver its services every week.

Senz laughed for a moment at the irony that one of her most pressing issues was the well-being of others, given the constant demands on her attention, including a never-ending list of urgent tasks at work and the inevitable chaos at home tied to being a mother of school-aged children.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Specialist publicationIvey Publishing [Case Studies]
PublisherIvey Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


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