Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland has relocated all employees from its five office locations to a remote workforce with the goal of providing greater support and opportunities for its members, volunteers, families and communities.
Through this shift, the organization will save an average of $156,000 annually on resources to maintain underused offices. Over the next year, the money will be reinvested to provide more programs, retail services and outdoor opportunities for girls, according to a Girl Scouts of Missouri Heartland news release.
Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland spans 67 counties in Central and Southern Missouri, Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma. It has offices in Jefferson City, Springfield, Joplin, Cape Girardeau and Dexter, Missouri.
In June, the organization’s Board of Directors voted to close the Jefferson City office at 230 Metro Drive and place it on the market within the next several months. It also voted to vacate leases for the offices in Joplin and Cape Girardeau.
The organization typically has 60-65 employees. Almost all employees have been working remotely for the past 16 months due to the
This new model will help employees get out into the communities they serve to better support girls, families and volunteers, said Wendy Whelan, the organization’s director of strategic development
“Without the geographical boundaries set by operating these office buildings, we’ve been able to meet our members where they’re at; we’re able to hire employees in different communities and really live and work in the communities where our members are, so we’ve launched this new service model to really get out there and be in the communities,” she said.
Whelan said the switch will allow the organization to provide more high-adventure outdoor activities girls may not typically get to do in their daily lives, such as canoeing and archery.
“We want to bring those experiences because when girls try new things, they develop that sense of confidence that we want to see in all of our girls,” she said.
Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland is also shifting its retail store presence from five physical offices and shops to the creation of new pop-up shops in more communities. Each of these pop-up shops will have items such as gear, badges and patches for sale.
Many of these pop-up shops will be collaborative efforts to also offer unique Girl Scout badge-earning program opportunities and training for volunteers, according to the news release.
The organization is also considering expanding its online retail options. The offices in Springfield and Dexter will operate their retail stores for the remainder of the summer.
“We’ve been working on this shift over the course of the pandemic, and we’ve laid a great foundation for enhanced customer service and our member support,” Whelan said. “We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from our members already, and we’re just really excited for this new direction.”