“At Parametrix we have a strong ownership culture that we want to sustain and grow. As part of this we expect employees to learn of the language of business,” says Darlene Brown, Parametrix Chief Financial Officer, an employee-owned planning, engineering, and environmental consulting firm. The company’s business owner training program supports their strategic goal to help each employee-owner reach his/her full potential, and enhance share value by creating a deeper understanding of key business indicators like project multipliers, billings and collections. The business owner training program makes “the numbers” come alive for employees who may not have a financial focus. “Whether you are a project manager, marketing specialist, receptionist, or a member of our technical staff, each individual has an impact on our financial performance,” added Darlene. “That’s why we decided to create an experiential learning program that plunges people into the big picture and connects it to details that happen at a project level.” Developed in collaboration with Workplace Development, the one-day seminar provides the content and experience that employee-owners need to more fully understand the company’s financial results.

Workplace Development built the curriculum and business simulation with a team of Parametrix employee-owners. Using a train-the-trainer format, the classes were developed, piloted, and are now run internally by Parametrix in-house trainers. “We knew what we wanted as an outcome in this program, but we did not know how to get there,” says Cameron Teller a Parametrix manager and development team leader. “Workplace Development provided the framework we needed. They brought experience in creating business simulations, and a remarkable depth of knowledge of our industry.” Parametrix team members developed the unique story line for their business and linked the program to their progressive employee ownership culture. During the training, participants first learn to understand financial reports for their office. This makes the training directly relevant to each participant’s personal experience. Then the program uses a business simulation to emphasize the impact of each employee-owner’s actions on the company’s financials. “We find that each company’s approach to creating these learning experiences is unique,” says Cathy Ivancic from Workplace Development. “At Parametrix, for example, they wanted to focus on a handful of financial indicators, but in a fun, interactive way.” The learning activity emerged from the team’s initial inspiration: a circus! Scooping “elephant dung” is “slightly” different from the engineering, planning, and environmental services Parametrix employee-owners typically provide. The experience, however, quickly launches from laughs into meaningful discussions about client service expectations, pricing, billing levels, collections, ESOP repurchase obligations, and the challenges of business expansion.

I thought the presentation was incredibly well organized and presented.
Once we got into the second ‘year’ of play in the Game, it all became clearer on how the ESOP works.
Excellent, keeps your interest high, engaging and fun

Keeping track of the cash flow is an important learning tool in the Parametrix customized business simulation.

The custom business learning experience created with Parametrix enables employee-owners to:

  • Learn the language of their business
  • Focus and understand key financials
  • Realize the impact of daily work on shared rewards (ESOP rewards)
  • Make financial indicators and business goals more meaningful
  • Build a deeper appreciation for the potential of future rewards

Contact Cathy Ivancic at 330-896-7285 or civancic@workplacedevelopment.com to learn more about how you can bring this kind of learning experience to your company