Story Contracting & Story Homes

Underpinning Employee Value Propositions

The Challenge

Story Group, consisting of Story Contracting and Story Homes, faced a pivotal moment in its evolution, as it split into two distinct legal entities, each with its own CEO and Board. With recent growth and colleagues working across both divisions, the time had come to address competing demands and distinct strategic directions.

Story Homes aimed to escalate its annual property builds from 150 to over 1,000 by 2018, while Story Contracting targeted revenue growth from £40m to over £100m by 2017. Our mission was to strengthen their Employee Value Proposition (EVP), defining the essence of “what great looks like” while staying true to the Story Values and culture nurtured over 25 years. We aimed to identify gaps and provide the necessary development to support their ambitious growth.

The Solution

Innovation Central empowered Story to engage with as many colleagues as possible, emphasising that most behavioural transformations fail due to insufficient engagement and genuine colleague ownership.

Our approach included focus groups, 1:1s, and job shadowing sessions across the business, resulting in an impressive 82% engagement within the Group. A driving coalition was formed to maintain communication and highlight the project’s quick wins, following Professor Kotter’s change principles.

Consequently, Story created two unique Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) for each business, rooted in robust behavioural frameworks built by their people, for their people.

Innovation Central’s strategy involved four core stages to drive transformational change, embed vision and values, enhance people engagement, and enable top-quartile outcomes:

  • Core Competencies – We established essential skills and behaviours as foundations for a high-performance culture by involving all colleagues in creating behavioural descriptors, ensuring the framework was genuinely “for the people” and “by the people.”
  • Functional Competencies – We defined what “good” looks like by conducting 1:1 interviews and focus groups with colleagues, outlining the skills, behaviours, and processes required for their roles.
  • Full Framework Creation – We combined stages one and two to create an overall competency framework, specifying what “good” entails within different businesses, functions, and grades, translating to all future people activities.
  • Role Profiles Creation – We developed new role profiles for each position within Story Homes and Story Contracting, offering clarity on roles, expectations, success measures, and responsibilities.

Using these frameworks, Innovation Central delivered development centres (DC) to analyse the gap between current and future behavioural requirements while identifying talent and succession shortfalls. Practical assessment exercises emphasised the synergy between colleague and business development—when people succeed, the company thrives.

The Results

“The IC team are available day and night for support/advice; I genuinely feel they ‘have my back’ and are a valued extension of my HR team; making my team and the business look great through their work.”  HR Director, Story Group

Innovation Central has expertly guided Story Group in defining excellence behaviourally and operationally. By fostering the development of behavioural frameworks and role profile clarity with colleagues, we’ve established a company-wide comprehension of expectations, encompassing ‘the what’ and ‘the how’ for every individual.

This collaborative approach empowered personal and organisational growth while securing genuine buy-in. The frameworks introduced a unified ‘leadership language’ that resonates with employees and is woven into Story’s Role Profiles, Recruitment, Assessment & Development, and Performance Management & Reward systems—all under the guidance of Innovation Central.

Assessments and development based on these frameworks offer clear benchmarks for current skills, knowledge, and behaviours. Colleagues confidently utilise tools like Transactional Analysis, GROW and SMART coaching, and Full Range Leadership to catalyse transactional and transformational change.

Meticulously tracking evaluations through feedback, peer feedback, and 360 assessments ensured sustainable bottom-line growth that became ingrained in their DNA. Colleagues proactively pursue their own development, supporting each other’s learning gaps, openly discussing behaviours, and sharing a common vocabulary that fosters consistent performance management. The foundations of a learning organisation are starting to flourish and the Employee Value Propositions are underpinned by sustainable and impactful behavioural and operational performance.

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