Training Top 125 Best Practice: Operating Principles Rollout at Specialist Staffing Group

After crafting the three new pillars of principled values, the firm needed to embed them into the fabric of the 32- year-old company. In response, the global L&D team constructed a rollout plan that would ensure the participants (every employee) would understand, spend time with, and benefit from each new Operating Principle.

Specialist Staffing Group, the U.S. division of SThree, PLC, which consists of a family of 10 niche recruitment brands focusing on STEM industries (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), recently underwent an intense rollout of its new Operating Principles. Coming as a result of an 18-month internal audit of its former values and culture, these Principles are:

1. Build Trust

2. Care then Act 

3. Be Clear then Aim High

Specialist Staffing Group’s global corporate goal and purpose is to “Bring skilled people together to build the future.” This mission is underpinned by its Operating Principles, which are underpinned by its Leadership Principles (Know Me, Care for Me, Develop Me, Focus Me, Include Me). These have been embedded into the firm’s management team. 

After crafting the three pillars of principled values, the firm needed to embed them into the fabric of the 32- year-old company, which often is the hardest part of a values change.

The global L&D team constructed a rollout plan that would ensure the participants (every employee) would understand, spend time with, and benefit from each Principle. 

Program Details

Each Principle received its own 3-hour blended training module. The L&D team utilized classroom training with video, role-plays, case studies, and simulations built to help each participant learn the theory and experiment with the principle at hand. The program kicked off with a two-day train-the-trainer session with all VPs in attendance in order to lead facilitation of the training sessions. The VPs then led a series of workshops in each of their respective regions. Attendance was taken by the Training team, with the intention of having every employee across the globe take part. There were multiple virtual make-up sessions for those who couldn’t attend the classroom sessions.

Since the initial rollout in summer 2017, Specialist Staffing Group’s Operating Principles have been reinforced in various ways. One way was at the U.S. region Annual General Meeting in January 2018. The theme for the one-day event was around the Operating Principles. Multiple speakers emphasized of importance of living each of the Operating Principles. The firm also implemented a monthly Operating Principles Champion in each U.S. office. Employees are nominated by recognition from peers for embodying one or multiple Operating Principles, and the winners receive gift cards to spend on what they wish. The firm also has reinforced these Principles through internal marketing. Each promotion given and any visual company merchandise throughout physical offices includes the words and meanings of the Operating Principles and overall company purpose.

Results

The firm implemented this initiative for ongoing future success and a positive culture shift into the future. As such, one way to loosely measure its impact is through attrition. Specialist Staffing Group’s 12-month rolling attrition is 36 percent across all functions, lower than that of the previous two years. This shows that the Operating Principles initiative has had a positive impact, as one of its main objectives was to retain staff and keep people proud of and impressed with the company they work for.

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