2012: Rackspace Development Initiative 2017-04-16T09:32:27+00:00

This entry was shortlisted for the 2012 Peer Award “Coaching/Development” category


Employee Engagement through Development
engaging Rackers through development

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Development at Rackspace Hosting is intense. It starts when you walk in the door, with our elaborate on-boarding (orientation and first few months) and ‘strengths’-focus. It continues unabated with Rackspace University’s functional, interpersonal, and leadership training, meeting basic to advanced needs. We recognise development as a powerful engagement lever. Rackers (employees) rave about our offerings: the average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of our on-boarding Rookie O experience is 53% (meaning they are extremely likely to recommend it to others), and it’s 57% for our classroom learning. The impact is if we ‘wow’ our people, they will wow our customers.

Engaged, well-trained Rackers are best equipped to provide our customers with the fanatical support they expect. Our average customer NPS is 58% – compared to the IT industry average of -2%! While we are an industry leader on customer service, we won’t be complacent until we can do even better: our goal is 65%. Our Rackers also love working here. We have been a Sunday Times Top 100 Employer for the past seven years, as well as a regular top performer in Great Places to Work. Our staff turnover rate is 12-13%, compared to an industry average of 20%.

Rackspace is a strengths-based company, using concepts developed by Clifton StrengthsFinder to help Rackers better understand themselves and their own innate abilities. That means we help Rackers build and develop their strengths and learn how to use them most effectively. By helping Rackers focus on what they do well rather than correcting their weaknesses, they’re able to be more productive and thus more satisfied with their work. Each Racker takes the StrengthsFinder assessment before they begin working at Rackspace.[/one_half_last]

On-boarding doesn’t begin the day you start work. Rather, it kicks off the moment we offer someone a job. We’ve realised that we can proactively engage with our new Rackers pre-hire, both in terms of our culture and job-relevant information. So, we’re in the process of creating a portal they can explore; this will help speed up post-hire on-boarding. We also recognise that one size does not fit all, either because of learning style or work pressures. So, we offer varied learning experiences, including high-level knowledge bites, ‘A Day in the Life’ shadowing, and e-learning with SkillSoft.

Our on-boarding programmes have become a rite of passage and inherent part of our culture. They are not mandatory, but our new hires eagerly anticipate going through them and our Rackers want to participate in them. Indeed, to be asked to present is highly valued, and our speakers vie for a ‘Leading Light’ award for best presentation and content. Both new and old buy-into Strengths, which is evident as you walk around the office; attached to each PC is the Racker’s top 5 strengths. You’ll also find them on each employee badge.[/one_half_last]

The Speaker

[frame style=”modern” image_path=”http://thepeerawards.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/mitchell.jpg” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”” size=”four_col_large”] James Mitchell, Director of Talent & Development International