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ACT I – Improving Employee Experience Made ACT I A Magnet For Top Talent

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Improving Employee Experience Made ACT I A Magnet For Top Talent

ACT I’s Challenge

Known for taking bold, innovative actions to serve customers and employees, government services provider Advanced Concepts and Technology International (ACT I) sought to level up employee satisfaction to attract and retain top talent in all its markets. This need was heightened in the fiercely competitive Washington D.C. market, when Amazon announced its second headquarters literally down the street from ACT I’s headquarters.


Going head-to-head for talent against heavy hitters such as Amazon, ACT I dove headfirst into increasing its Great Place to Work™ score and achieving Great Place to Work™ certification within three years through a series of employee co-created innovations to increase engagement and satisfaction.

XPLANE’s Approach

Knowing they’d need to deeply engage employees to reach their goals, ACT I called on engagement and activation experts XPLANE to facilitate an all-hands-on-deck culture shift.


Leaning into the BAASE Model—Baseline, Analyze, Activate, Strategize, Execute—and relying on unwavering leadership support, co-creation, and people-centered design, XPLANE’s team worked with ACT I’s employees to identify and design solutions for objectives most critical to ACT I’s people:

  • Create a fair sense of compensation and rewards
  • Involve employees in decision-making
  • Support work-life balance, and more
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The Results

Within just one year, ACT I achieved improvements in every targeted area:

  • 12% increase in “employee trust in management” 
  • 22% increase in employees’ sense of “special and unique benefits”
  • 25% reduction in its “retention at risk” employees

At the end of two years, ACT I achieved its goal of “Great Place to Work” Certification with a 92-point score—a year ahead of their original three-year target.

“Employee satisfaction remains our top measure of success at ACT I. We know that if we deliver for our people, they will deliver for our customers. In the competitive markets we operate, it was important that we identified ways to both recruit and retain top talent. XPLANE helped drive and measure our success in Employee Experiences. And they helped us understand and build out an employee program that led to meaningful results in recruitment and retention. Today, we are Great Place to Work-Certified™ and continue to leverage the insights and expertise from XPLANE to enhance ACT I employees’ experiences.” 

– Michael Niggel, CEO, ACT I

Lessons Learned: ACT I's Keys to Success

  • Unwavering support from leadership
  • Ongoing and frequent communication
  • Using co-creation to design solutions
  • All-company dedication to culture change
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