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Case studies, Customer stories

A culture change for a global software business

Cultural change software business

Global software business | 5000+ employees

Goals: Senior Leadership Development | Retention | DEIB

The challenge

A fast-paced software business, our client was scaling rapidly and facing huge cultural challenges as headcount grew. There were a lot of new managers in the business – both promotions and lateral hires – and a lack of alignment was creating issues.

“Looking at engagement surveys, it was clear there were holes in our management capabilities, and it was seriously damaging productivity, and impacting our diversity efforts. Our retention was also concerning, with turnover in some departments as high as 30%. We were aware there was a need for culture change.” – Talent Development Director.

Working with Sama

“We chose Sama due to the flexibility and scalability they offered. We initially rolled this out to our most senior managers, and once we saw the impact we began adding cohorts of management from critical departments too.”

Beginning with a cohort of 15 senior leaders, Sama now coach 100+ leaders within the business. This has allowed our client to roll out targeted development campaigns, addressing specific issues as they arise.

“The ability to communicate with coaches and for them to have insights on our specific business context was vital. When I’ve managed coaches in the past, communicating on an individual basis everything they need to know can become a full-time job. We were trying to build something bigger than just our managers, we needed this to have a wider impact than the coachee pool, and Sama allowed me to really communicate this to our coaches.”

Leveraging Sama’s confidential insights allows the company to share important company and individual information with coaches before sessions begin, providing context, framing unique challenges, and ensuring the fastest time to success.  

The L&D ecosystem

Coaching was not the first initiative our client implemented to invoke culture change. There was already a robust management training program in place, covering basic management skills and competencies such as strategy and values-led behaviours. 

“We had a great management training program in place, and the team were developing some great structures. But we were still missing managerial courage – that confidence to really lead teams and shape our culture. The emotional intelligence piece needed work, which is where coaching was the only solution.”

The results

Retention

Employee turnover decreased by 50% in 12 months, representing £33M savings and 220x ROI. (use this calculator to estimate your annual cost of turnover). 

DEIB

“Coaching has been huge for our equity seeking populations too. Feedback highlights how female and neurodiverse managers feel more supported now Sama is in place. Personally, as a female leader in a male dominated environment, I couldn’t have survived without coaching.”

Engagement

eNPS increased +17 points in the first year. Most notably, this began in the teams where managers were working with Sama coaches and has spread throughout the business as the initiative has grown.