Network Rail

Creating our culture

Network Rail run an interactive programme to involve staff in creating a new corporate culture...

Network Rail was opening a new office in Milton Keynes for 3000 staff. They were looking to run a programme for approximately 400 people managers, who were moving to The Quadrant:MK with their teams from disparate locations in the UK.

Network Rail wanted to create an engaging session that would give line managers the confidence to address difficult issues and have open conversations with their people. They were keen for the session to be tailor-made and interactive, giving a true reflection of the current Network Rail culture.

We jointly agreed on one main objective: To maximise the unique opportunity offered by the move to MK, educating new managers and refreshing knowledge for existing managers around people management, diversity and inclusion and safety culture values and behaviours to create a different culture in a new building which in itself created he opportunity to work in a different way to what people had been used to.

Credibility was critical when it came to developing the programme. To achieve this we visited The Quadrant:MK and spent a day talking to a number of people from across Network Rail to get a sense of the challenges they face and the key issues that needed to be addressed. This information was then channelled into the half-day programme, which featured interactive scenarios, video, group discussions and mind maps.

Linsey Perry, Network Rail’s Professional Development Manager, commented, “I was impressed at how quickly Steps got to the heart of our issues and how they translated this into a script that changed very little as they had nailed the critical issues so comprehensively”.

So successful was the first event, we were then commissioned to deliver four sessions per week for three months. Maintaining consistency within our delivery team added further depth to the group discussions. Part of each session was co-delivered with a Network Rail associate trainer, and we worked together to engage delegates in shared ownership for the change and a collective understanding of what the Quadrant:MK culture should look like.


This was brilliant - the use of acting out the scenes was a great way to get complex points across.” (Network Rail employee)

Feedback from the delegates on the programme was consistently positive and Network Rail have started to notice real behaviour change in the way that managers operate in addressing issues that people had tended to overlook in the past, like valuing differences and maximising the contribution of all team members. 

Linsey Perry adds, “We did not reveal prior to attendance that we would be using drama led learning and so our managers were both surprised and delighted with this approach which was different to and more powerful than training they had either imagined or been exposed to in the past. The workshops have been a real talking point which has led to other parts of the organisation using Steps in different contexts.”

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Quote Mark Steps got to the heart of our issues and translated these into a script that nailed the critical issues. Our managers were delighted with the approach, which was more powerful than training they had been exposed to in the past. The workshops have been a real talking point. Quote Mark Linsey Perry, Professional Development Manager, Network Rail