Team Development for a Government Establishment

Summary: This case study shows how Purple Orange helped improve the professionalism and behavioural awareness of the graduate intake through a high impact team programme.

This case study was written using feedback given in an independent interview with our client, the establishment’s senior graduate development specialist. We respect the strict confidentiality agreement we signed for this client so we have kept the case study anonymous.

The client’s challenge:

“We wanted to review and improve the team aspects of our graduate development programme. It wasn’t really married with the workplace before – just a fun residential, removed from the reality of everyday working. The graduates didn’t come out of it understanding why what they’d learned was so important in their working environment.

We have over 100 graduates on our programme, mainly in the scientific and engineering fields. I wanted a tailored team development programme that met our core and technical competencies.”

I wanted it to improve how they worked together as a team and to be designed in such a way that they could take what they learned back into the workplace so that behaviours would change.

“I engaged Purple Orange to help me deliver a course that was firmly integrated in the workplace.”

The learning and development solution

“With their help we now have a programme that is achieving our objectives.

We train the line managers prior to the residential. They are fully involved in the process, setting objectives with each graduate before they go away, with review sessions on their return to update personal development plans and identify opportunties for practising new skills and ongoing feedback.

The Interpersonal Skills and Team Working Programme includes:

  • Stage 1 – Line Manager Orientation
  • Stage 2 – Graduate Orientation
  • Stage 3 – 3 day Residential Experience in the Forest of Dean
  • Stage 4 – Objectives Review Workshop
  • Stage 5 – 360 Degree Feedback
  • Stage 6 – Embedding Behaviours Workshop

The six stages take place over a five month period allowing our graduates to practice new skills and reflect on the experience back in the workplace. It’s very interactive with a strong focus on real working situations.”

The benefits

It’s all joined up and linked to the reality of the working environment. That’s what I wanted – a programme that is fully integrated and has a real impact back in the workplace.

“And it is having an impact. The programme has been running for 2 years and there’s been a real difference in behaviour. Our graduates are now far more professional. We observe these differences at the final review and promotions board at the end of the programme – there’s a huge change in quality and professionalism. Their comments and understanding of their development is much better too.

We’ve noticed a difference in retention. We have 132 graduates and their retention rate is 100%. They only stay with us if they see they are getting benefit.

All of this has to do with the experience they’re getting. Team working is such a huge part of this, helping us drive the programme and develop our graduates personally and professionally. They really enjoy the team aspects and are happy to integrate what they’ve learned back into the workplace. They learn self-awareness for example, but they also understand how this relates to workplace performance too.”

Feedback on Purple Orange

“As a contract holder they are very customer focused. Claire took my requirements on board, and really gives it her all, even meeting me in her own time to make sure it’s all working alright. She’ll drive things forward and I trust her. I know that she and her team will deliver.

It never stands still with Purple Orange. They’re always looking for ways to improve and build on the programme for the business. They don’t cut corners. They’re always positive and down-to-earth, advising me gently through the process. I feel we have a real partnership – a very good working relationship.

I have no hesitation in recommending Claire and Purple Orange. They’re great – positive, professional, knowledgeable with great ideas – team development experts delivering programmes that make an impact and meet your business objectives.”

Senior graduate development specialist at this government establishment, November 2009.

Further case studies

  • Here’s another Purple Orange case study, showing how we helped Sodexo turn around a division of their business with a bespoke learning and development programme: Sodexo case study
  • Is this you? Find out about other scenarios we have helped our clients to solve recently.