On the first day that new joiners arrive at Sirius I make clear that while the company is part of your career it isn’t necessarily the whole of your career. We know that. I make a personal commitment to all our staff that if or when they leave Sirius their CV will be weightier and more accomplished than when they joined.
I thought I would use this blog to explain the four pillars that underpin our development strategy, the culture that we have created and why that sets us apart in our field.
1. Humble Leadership
- The operating board is made up of ten directors and part of their role is to lead our training and development programme which is focussed on developing each individual’s personal leadership style, improving their decision making and encouraging a non-hierarchical culture.
- The programme has included working with a Professor Practice, Sports Business Performance at Ashridge Business School, who is now Head of Coach Development at the England and Wales Cricket Board.
- The most important thing we have done is create a culture underpinned by humility which is driven by behaviours like tolerance, the ability to listen and consider, rather than being a command and control team that dictates to the rest of the business.
2. Building Managerial Skills
- Our top 30 managers, who typically manage between 5-10 people each, undertake focused management training which aims to instil and ingrain our ten step Sirius management process, which is as follows: anticipate; plan; direct; communicate; motivate; measure; train; coach; lead; review.
- We bring everyone together on a quarterly basis at management conferences, at which internal and external experts focus on key skills that relate to the Sirius 10 step management process, for example the difference between when and how to coach rather than train someone.
Between the leadership team and the top 30 managers in 2019 we delivered over 1,000 days of delegate training to over 200 people, which constitutes a double-digit percentage increase when compared to the previous year. Over the past five years we have increasingly invested time and resources in development of our people, and we will continue to do this in the future.
3. First-class ‘Functional’ Training
- This is our flexible and ongoing system of training that focuses on the key skills needed for difference-making job roles such as sales and also how we can help people to increase their functional expertise.
- The vast majority of our internal training – around 80% – has been developed from within Sirius and is delivered by our own internal teams – this is a key element of our platform and an important part of our business model. Most of our competitors would hire external experts to deliver functional training, whereas we largely do it ourselves.
4. Non-functional Training
- As well as investing in training that is focused on job roles, we also run a variety of other ‘soft-skill’ training sessions and other activities such as self-defence classes.
At Sirius we know our workforce is our most valuable asset and that unless we invest in our people and encourage them to learn and develop new skills, and unless we empower team members to pass those skills on, we will not be able to unlock the potential of our people and, ultimately, that is what gives us a significant piece of excellence within our business performance.