Running an employee survey to give a broad health audit, before delivering a bespoke leadership development programme.


Achieving consistently high employee engagement, a significant jump in perceptions of leaders and strong business growth.


Getting under the skin of this ambitious organisation

Health and social care organisation Provide, a Community Interest Company (CIC) delivers 50+ services in NHS and community settings across England. They first partnered with ETS in 2021.

The challenge for us was to support them on their journey to deliver a cultural transition from not-for-profit to a hybrid CIC and commercial business with a legacy of care and compassion. This was to start with a new colleague survey – digging deep into the psychology of the business to get a broad health audit. The ultimate objectives though were to embed a culture of agility and innovation, realise an ambitious growth strategy (which encompassed growing turnover), deliver high colleague engagement and align personality types in leadership to work together more effectively.

An early conversation with Mark Heasman, Group CEO set the stage for our partnership. He said:

“We are in a position where we aim to reinvent our thinking and deliver from a legacy NHS organisation to a business – we want to reflect our entrepreneurial feel, agility and innovation in every service we deliver.”

Broad health audit followed by tailored L&D support

We began our partnership with Provide at the tail-end of Covid.  Leaders and teams had been delivering under unprecedented pressures.  For almost three years, a large part of the workforce was home-based and navigating a return to ‘normal’ services.

ETS conducted interviews and desk-based research to ensure our recommendations would be tailored to their unique context and broader mission.  We then set out with an employee survey diagnostic to measure their current state. Having previously been using a complex NHS questionnaire that people weren’t engaging with, it was hard for Provide to understand employee sentiment.  

Our understanding of the commercial environment and context at Provide enabled us to benchmark differently from anything Provide had done before.  We created the survey using our EX3 model to measure engagement, alongside enablement and empowerment. The question set included a combination of benchmark questions and custom questions created specifically for Provide.

The first all-colleague survey provided fresh insights for Provide.

Lots was working well, and our in-depth knowledge of the business, and rigorous analysis of the survey findings allowed us to decipher a key ‘signal’ – the sentiment of their leaders was a big opportunity area. From here we embarked on a journey to engage with, support, train and upskill their Top 30 leaders (PLT) as phase one.  

To inform the design of our leadership development intervention, we spoke with members of the team.  We listened, built trust and then shaped our content and delivery around their learning styles and preferred outcomes. Additionally, we ran a psychometric evaluation (Insights) for each PLT member.  

To date we have delivered a total of three 2-day training events, with the first focusing on: Using Insights to learn about oneself, one another, and the strength of the blend of styles and preferences in the room, testing their baseline levels of collaboration and innovation and building a sense of team among a diverse group who don’t regularly work together. This first event was a huge success and, as a result, ETS was invited to deliver two further, custom-created events.  Each time taking the approach of diagnosing upfront, informing what learning should come next.


Our work with ETS has been really strong, raising the bar and generating fabulous results and making a significant difference. When we empower people who aren’t afraid to make decisions, we can be brave and agile. If you are in touch with and understand the people you support and they aren’t afraid to challenge, you can achieve ambitious outcomes.

Siobhan Morrison, Group Chief People Officer

Measuring progress made

There were a series of success measures for Provide to assess the impact of the programmes delivered. The engagement survey was central to this. Provide achieved 90% colleague engagement in both their 2021 and 2022 surveys. And the most recent survey revealed that overall perceptions of senior leadership had increased by 3% points to 79%.

Other notable highlights included significant score changes for the PLT level leaders: ‘I find Senior Leaders to be visible and approachable’ increasing by +13% to 76%, ‘Senior Leaders role model our values’ going up by +15% to 83% and ‘My Line Manager provides me with regular feedback on my performance’ increasing by 13% to 91%.


Business Impact

Business performance has been strong - in 2021-22 income exceeded the organisation’s target by (7%), representing year-on-year growth of 15%.
Won Best Employee Engagement Initiative at the ABP Awards 2023
Mark Heasman, Group CEO, says: “I’ve run a number of different companies, in different sectors over several decades and, by a country mile, the best team I have worked with, is ETS.