Case Study

Transforming organizational culture

by developing new graduates


Client need

A leading global mining organization has embarked on a cultural transformation since its founding. Its leaders remain committed to offsetting negative effects caused by past operations, and — in light of recent costly accidents — to building a culture of safety, reliability, and sustainability.

The organization’s leaders identified two needs: firstly, to boost its skilled talent pipeline by recruiting from a generation generally disinclined to work for organizations with heavy social and environmental footprints; and secondly, to identify and invest in its existing high potential talent, preparing such individuals to take on strategic roles in the future.

To sustain its reputation as a talent-driven organization, the company partnered with BTS to design an effective horizontal and vertical development program for new graduates.


The resulting development journey was created by over 80 HR, learning, and talent professionals and 10 subject matter experts.  Over the course of 18 months, it reached 172 individuals across the globe.

The development journey included two “itineraries”: one for 55 global trainees, that focused on unearthing the organization’s business and administration functions, strategic initiatives, and HR processes; and another for specialist trainees, all about leveraging technical mining-related and logistical knowledge. Each itinerary featured three major pillars: soft skill development, hard skill development, and practical learning.

Soft skill development

Throughout this portion of the development program, which applied to both global and specialist trainees, BTS facilitators:

  • Defined “Great” behaviors through robust data collection and interviews
  • Created “Great Profiles,” or competency models that differentiate between “Great” and “Not yet great” behaviors throughout eight to ten critical moments that people experience on the job (for example, “When you do not have enough knowledge,” or “When presenting to other stakeholders”)
  • Assessed participants using digitally-deployed “Moments Based Assessments” wherein participants made critical decisions in a simulated environment
  • Focused on developing emotional intelligence through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

Hard skill development

This portion of the development program, which applied only to global trainees, was a virtual workshop that involved:

  • An asynchronous financial course called Know the Business, which covered financial reporting, income statement and balance sheet interpretation, cash flow statements, financial relationships, and key ratio analysis.
  • A fully customized business simulation designed to develop deep understanding of the mining industry. Participants experimented with four business units: corporate, iron ore, base metals, and coal.

Practical learning

This portion of the learning program applied to both specialist and global trainees.

Specialist trainees completed of a six month-long technical project:

  • Specialists received support from senior leaders in their topic of choice. Their research culminated in a one-hour presentation for a board of managers and peers to which the CEO and VPs were invited.
  • Presenting specialists learned how to use storytelling techniques, illustration, and imagery to amplify their findings.

Global trainees completed a seven month-long innovation project that leveraged Agile methodologies:

  • Trainees began by consulting with senior stakeholders to identify opportunities for innovation within the organization’s strategy.
  • After breaking into cross-functional groups, trainees refined their ideas through a series of learning modules and coaching sessions designed to help them overcome barriers to innovation and project management.
  • Trainees also communicated their work through a polished executive presentation.
  • Both itineraries were evaluated using the Kirkpatrick Model to gauge effectiveness.
  • Participating trainees expressed both a NPS of 71.5 and a satisfaction score of 9.16/10.
  • When asked to rate their knowledge before and after the session, participants reported a “knowledge change” of 92.7%.
  • Average attendance was 83.99%, reaching up to 94.44%.

The new graduates’ development program fostered trainees’ emotional intelligence, acumen, sense of innovation, and project management capability, all of which left a tangible impact on the organization’s reputation, talent pipeline, and succession plan. Due to its resounding success, the program is running for the second year, and the third one is currently being planned.

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