"To be frank, when I was brought on to lead the start-up of Legacy Restaurant Partners, I was not convinced about the validity and value of workstyle assessments. Four years later, after vetting over 100 final candidates to fill/replace 50 manager and executive positions, I am a believer. In fact, every time that we’ve ignored the warnings revealed in the assessments, we’ve reaped the problems that were predicted. On the flip side, our annual manager turnover rate is now just 19% compared with an industry average of 50% or higher.
Fernald & Co. is a trusted, entrepreneurial human resource partner to our rapidly expanding restaurant group. Sara and her coaches play a central role in our core management development programs: on-boarding as well as team and leadership development."
"Our leadership team comprises seasoned hospitality professionals who have received some of the “best of the best” management training under the major hotel brands. The tools and programs of Fernald & Co. complement and augment our existing bench-strength. This added framework has allowed us to place our best practices into our talent development programs. From pre-employment screening to ongoing professional development, we draw direct connections between our managers’ styles and their unique paths to upholding our hospitality standards. Most importantly, Fernald & Co. helps us hone their skills at adapting their approach to bring out the best of the individuals on their teams."
"Arbor is a senior living management company with 21 communities in nine states. In our commitment to excellence, we set very high standards for the leaders we hire and for the people who support them. The workstyle reports provided by Fernald & Co. are a critical part of our pre-employment screening as well as our leadership on-boarding process. With the foundation of the workstyle reports, new leaders spend time with an experienced Fernald & Co. coach to identify practical ways to leverage their strengths and avoid communication problems. This is followed by a team session to discuss how specific members can contribute best to the team’s effectiveness. With the formal team agreements that emerge from these sessions, we find that we’re much more able to resolve the inevitable challenges of working together with insight, sensitivity, intelligence, and humor."
"As an HR executive at a global industrial minerals company, I have worked closely with Sara Fernald for the past two years. We have used Fernald & Co.’s workstyle assessments in a number of areas, including pre-employment screening, employee on-boarding, executive coaching, and leadership team development. With Sara’s close involvement and careful guidance, we have also instituted a robust 360 feedback program for high-potential and top-level leaders.
Sara is brilliant at what she does. One of her most notable talents is that she is able to foster the active engagement of a reluctant audience, primarily scientists and business leaders, in the workstyle assessment program. Beginning with the end in mind (strategic professional development), Sara leads the individual to where he or she is missing the mark, and then provides valuable insight into how to obtain different results. She delivers the message in a way that the individual can accept—sometimes direct and challenging, other times with humor or a softer touch. Sara always emphasizes the positive and helps the individual to address their weaknesses by building from their strengths."
"We initially engaged Fernald & Co. to assist us with hiring a paralegal. It became immediately apparent that Ms. Fernald’s talents and tools could have a significant positive impact on the integration of our newly formed law firm team. Over the past year she has become a trusted advisor to us, stewarding us through some of the more delicate gateways to gelling as a purposeful and productive enterprise. In short, Sara has helped us to do what we do best: provide excellent counsel and trusted service to our clients."
"As a 32-year veteran in commercial real estate, my longevity speaks to my ability to interface with clients and co-workers as well as to evaluate new business opportunities. But like all of us, there are times when objective business coaching can be indispensable. I’ve come to rely on Fernald & Co. to guide me through times when my judgment is clouded and the proper course of action is elusive. In 2006, their workstyle assessments and executive coaching helped the team that I led work through a range of communication issues. As a consequence, we came to embrace our differences, developed greater respect for individual contributions, and increased our productivity in working collaboratively.
During the recent recession and slow economic recovery, I began questioning business pursuits that were consuming great amounts of time with little payback. It’s difficult for me to say no to challenging opportunities that come my way. A re-engagement with Fernald & Co. guided me through this period and reaffirmed the skills that serve me well in providing real estate-based business solutions. I’ve found new and more promising business assignments to replace the pursuits I needed to let go of. While I think I would have gotten to this point on my own, I also know that it would have taken much longer and at a much higher cost in terms of wasted time and effort."
"Sara has advised me through a very pivotal point in my life, helping me to initiate and carry out a major relocation while honing in on my true passion for nonprofit work. Her thoughtful questions, business-focused strategy, and forwarding-thinking approach have kept me on track with targeted goals despite my heavy workload and existing commitments. Sara has personally invested in my success, and coached me through elements that are typically outside my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have made the progress that I have without her continual support and advice!"
"I first engaged Sara as a coach in 1995 when I held a well-regarded and well-compensated leadership role. Given this apparent success,
I needed to explore the reasons for my underlying discontent. With Sara’s tools, guidance, and wisdom, I not only created a way to reshape my career, but also reclaim my childhood passion for playing musical instruments. Over the years, I have reengaged Sara at a number of significant junctures in my personal and professional life to benefit from her ever-expanding insight and expertise."