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Operam Education Group is a forward-thinking company specialising in the acquisition and development of education recruitment agencies. Founded in 2017, their portfolio consists of four well-established brands: Provide Education, The Education Specialists, Teachers UK and Key Stage Teacher Supply, which together have serviced their localities over decades and become a leading force in the North.
Leadership being accessible with a focus on maximising potential has been the key driver to the Group’s insight, responsiveness, adaptiveness and development for ongoing success, as well as being valued by employees. Their astute intuition into education challenges due to Covid-19 positioned them to support employees, candidates and clients, whilst ensuring safety standards.
Cultivating an environment of growth, employees are mentored and developed whilst supported through flexible working. A work/life balance is high on the company’s agenda, with well-being audits, programmes and ambassadors in place. As a pledged-based organisation, employees volunteer their time as additional resource in the classroom; a valuable commodity when recruiting the right supply staff for the right roles.
The business’ investment strategy encompasses people, technology and processes, to improve efficiencies and further develop service delivery. Their business values help shape their company culture, resulting in a supportive, innovative environment which elicits high customer interfacing standards.
“Operam Education Group is a founder-led organisation that passionately believes in supporting its colleague workforce to learn, adapt and evolve, as people are one of its biggest investments. Since 2017, the Group has acquired and embedded multiple brands into the business and has been keen to explore the impact of the acquisition process and operational transformation amongst our colleagues, as well as the challenging effects of 2020.
“We have supported our colleagues more than ever; we genuinely care about their well-being. We endeavour to support their personal and professional aspirations and career development, making them feel valued is a priority - not only to help them, but to help business relationships, engagement, growth and staff retention. It is important, therefore, as we continue to invest in and develop our business to utilise an evidence-based approach to understand our employees’ level of engagement, learn what we were doing right and identify areas we need to improve upon. We are delighted to have the Best Companies accreditation as this will help us shape our vision and ultimately the Operam Education internal culture.” - Eddie Austin, CEO.
The underpinning philosophy for the leadership team was not to leave anyone isolated, so that all employees - whether furloughed or not, whatever their length of company service - would be treated inclusively and equally. High on the agenda was helping people feel valued, especially important for those furloughed. Hierarchies were no barrier to communication, so regardless of job role and grade, the leadership team was accessible to all. All employees received weekly telephone calls or more according to need, from the CEO and COO involving a 3 measured approach of emotional, financial and operational support.
A major technological transformation was accelerated during lockdown that saw desktops replaced with laptops and the introduction of online tools, such as a CRM and candidate screening tool. This effectively supported managers to carry out their roles operationally and enable them to successfully engage with their teams to ensure business continuity, as well as the means to provide support for furloughed staff. Their usual processes of regular one-to-one performance sessions continued throughout lockdown with managers, so that personal, as well as business development, was not hindered.
The team briefs at Operam Education Group were complimented by daily well-being Facebook posts and twice-weekly ‘Latest News’ bulletins and wellbeing tips, which were posted on company websites. This had the added benefit of being accessed by the external workforce, that is, all their supply agency candidates. In addition, a Facebook support group for staff and their agency supply candidates was set up for them to access and promote peer support, inclusivity and connectiveness.
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