- Shannon Semenikow, Director of EMSA
Founded to change lives, give people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and help more people experience living in Australia, Education and Migration Services Australia (EMSA) is a true success story.
With offices in 7 countries, and a diverse team of people from all across the world, EMSA has the interesting perspective of diversity in every aspect of their business. Their team is diverse, their clients are diverse, and their clients experience cultural diversity during their migration experience.
Mr. Shannon Semenikow, founder and CEO, puts the culture of his team and the client experience at the heart of everything he does. To achieve both of those things, we need to be able to look beyond language and cultural backgrounds and connect on a truly human level, where we maintain awareness of ourselves and our impact on others as top of mind.
Mr. Semenikow planned to run a team building day for his head office team to help keep teamwork, collaboration and respect for their different strengths and a customer focus top of mind.
Shannon Semenikow, CEO of EMSA, saw the REACH Ecosystem at a conference and took up the low- cost subscription the following week. Shannon had experienced a DISC profiling day previously in a board role, so the concepts and benefits behind developing awareness of ‘self’ and ‘others’ was something he had experienced before.
When he saw the simple language and approach of the REACH Profiles, he had the confidence to pick up the system and use it straight away. “The profiles are different to DISC, but since the language and visuals are so self-explanatory, I found it a natural and simple conversation to have with my staff after a quick Zoom training session for me with the OrgDev Institute.
We have a strong culture and a great team, however, giving everyone increased awareness and a common language always helps improve team dynamics.
We ran a session with 14 people who work together in our Brisbane head office. The system was really easy to use, and the survey was quickly completed by everyone in the group.
We had a 3-hour session that I facilitated myself, with my HR Consultant on hand, in case I needed extra support from someone more experienced.
It all happened as I hoped, and people readily recognised the traits of themselves and others, while the coaching points and insights in the reports made it easy for people to hang their hat on their strengths, and to see how the strengths of others made the team stronger.”
Shannon continued, “I wasn’t surprised; however, I was delighted to see that we had built a team of people-focussed, customer-oriented professionals. We perform some services that are difficult for clients to do for themselves, but everything we do is based on people’s lives and experiences, so I was delighted to see that we have such a strong natural people focus in our team.
I was also reassured to see we had some diversity of styles that were appropriate fits for their roles. We have a great team, and this has helped me see it visually, and helped everyone be more understanding of each other.
We learnt how to REACH to people and customers with different styles, and the language became quickly adopted as part of how we talk in the office.”
“I took a look at the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) generated by the system and saw that there were quite a few people who had Time Management Training highlighted as a development opportunity. I spoke with them to confirm, and they agreed they would like some Time Management tips.
So, I grabbed a few of the Slides from the Time Management course included in the Training Library, and the team leader ran an activity using the materials. Having the insights from the Profiles and the TNA, and then the resources to follow through, was a real delight and a big benefit compared to the DISC days I had experienced previously, which was really only the Profiles part of the Ecosystem.”
“Next, we’re planning to extend our use of the Ecosystem by using either the Culture Survey or 360 feedback to work more directly on our leadership and culture. It’s exciting to have an ecosystem on a flat rate subscription, so we can broaden our people and leadership development initiative without additional costs or suppliers, and we have the choice to get in additional consultants to support us if we need it,” Shannon explained.
More information on the REACH Ecosystem can be found here.