Helping Sodexo turn around a business division

Summary: This case study shows how Purple Orange created a bespoke learning and development programme that delivered cultural change and helped a client turn around their division of the business.

Here’s the full story, in the words of our client, Sodexo Technical Services:

Daren’s business challenge:

“I took over the running of Sodexo’s Technical Services division (formerly Facilities Management) division two years ago. My mission was to bolster the ‘hard FM’ side of the business. It’s taken hard work, investment and significant cultural change and we are now seeing the results.”

The learning and development solution:

“To get my people performing to the best of their abilities I brought in Claire and Purple Orange. They listened, took time to understand my business and came up with a plan to help me achieve what I wanted to do.  As a company they are extremely flexible in their approach.”

The end programme Purple Orange designed and delivered for Sodexo included:

  • Individual one-to-one coaching and development
  • Team building and development
  • Management and leadership development
  • Strategy support work

The results:

“These programmes helped to set the scene for change and to open people’s eyes. The Leadership  Development Programme for example has helped my team to understand what I’m trying achieve. It’s given them the big picture.

They’ve also made everyone far more aware of who they are. I can teach the technical and operational skills my people need in their roles, but I can’t teach them about themselves.

Purple Orange teaches self-awareness.

If my people realise who they are we can all operate much more effectively and efficiently. We have a better understanding of where we are at. We can address issues and preferences amongst the team and use this knowledge to manage effectively and reach our goals. This has helped with retention and succession planning.

I’m sure many organisations cut back on this type of training in a recession. It’s an easy thing to let go, but you’ve got to realise the indirect value of this type of work. It’s a longer term investment that brings real value: it makes you operate better.

I’ve seen a huge change in my people. I regularly hold conference calls with my management team. We discuss central messages and I ask everyone to tell me where we are at and what we’re doing to get it all sorted. Two years ago when I first arrived, I suspect that no one would have said a word. Now these calls are totally interactive. Everyone contributes willingly and effectively.

They collaborate rather than working in ‘silos’.

My team is very diverse – we’ve got all sorts and it’s brilliant. My role is like that of an orchestral conductor: I can rely on the management team around me.”

Feedback on Claire and Purple Orange:

“Claire’s training is very personable. She relates to people brilliantly and really engages with the individuals taking part. There’s no getting away on one of her events. Everyone gets attention. She unlocks everyone, even the quieter ones.

Do they learn? Yes! You’ll learn if you enjoy yourself, and I’ve never heard anyone say they didn’t enjoy it.

I’d recommend Claire and Purple Orange for individual development, strategy support, team and management training. They’d be good as part of a change programme, for driving cultural change, for organisational health checks and for companies that are restructuring.

Claire is honest, she doesn’t have preset ideas, she’s flexible and she understands your business. If you have an idea for training and she doesn’t think it’s going to make a difference to your business, she’ll tell you. She doesn’t just sell for the sake of it. She wants to do the right thing for your business. I have no problems in referring her and Purple Orange.”

Daren Bell, Director of Operations , Sodexo Technical Services. November 2009

Further case studies

  • Here’s another Purple Orange case study, showing how we helped a government establishment to improve the professionalism of their graduate intake with a high impact team programme: Purple Orange team case study
  • Is this you? Find out about other scenarios we have helped our clients to solve recently.