Case Studies

Thomas assessment tools prove instrumental in helping Johnsons Workwear to deliver an award-winning talent management programme.

Johnsons Workwear at a glance

Johnsons Workwear successfully delivers its workwear services to more than 36,000 clients across a broad range of industry sectors throughout the UK. Headquartered in Fulwood, Preston and employing more than 2,300 staff across 17 sites, Johnsons Workwear sets the bar high in the customer service that it delivers and the continued investment in its people.
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The Challenge

Johnsons Workwear had an ambitious plan for sustained business growth, nurturing a pool of talent was recognised as being a critical factor to success. However, attracting the best talent into the world of industrial laundry was proving to be costly and challenging and the training of new recruits was often a lengthy and complex process. In 2017, the idea to launch the Johnsons Academy, a year-long executive sponsored talent management programme, took shape. With limited spaces available, they needed a way to identify the 12 candidates with the highest potential to join the Academy.

“We needed to get a clear picture of each individual’s talents, personality and
behaviours so that we could tailor a development programme to meet their needs.
Equally important was the need for candidates to gain a deeper understanding of
themselves and their own potential away from their day-to-day jobs.” – Michela Deegan, Learning and development manager.


The Solution

The solution was to combine the feedback from the PPA profiles conducted at the beginning of the programme with the HPTI (High Potential Trait Indicator) for relevant individuals. This gave the Learning & Development team a wealth of information around each candidate’s behavioural and personality traits, potential frustrations and showed how they were likely to behave under pressure. The feedback also gave an insight into each candidate’s strengths, the areas they needed to develop and a deeper insight into where they could be of most value to the Johnsons Workwear business. The report profiles gave Johnsons Workwear the foundation on which to build solid, individual development plans to further the talent management programme.


“The combined use of the Thomas PPA and HPTI tools has been critical to the continued success of the Johnsons Academy. The report profiles have given us the foundation on which to build solid, individual development plans and to further tailor the talent management programme to meet our Academy candidates’ needs. The profiles also provided a huge step forward for candidates to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their capabilities as well as giving them sight of where they might excel in future within the Johnsons Workwear business” stated Michela. “For our senior team members, who are highly skilled and experienced people, HPTI has helped to bring clarity to conversations on where to go next helping us to put leadership action plans in place.”


The Results

The Johnsons Academy has proven to be a huge success with over 70% of 2017 Academy graduates receiving a promotion within 18 months of completion.

Peter Egan, CEO, commented “We truly believe our people are our greatest asset. That’s why we’ve created the Johnsons Academy, to encourage the talent
within the business and to help our rising stars to develop. We are delighted with
the results achieved so far and working with the Thomas range of assessment
tools has been instrumental to the success of our programme.” Egan added
“Winning the award is the icing on the cake – the real reward has been retaining
and developing talented people from within our business and witnessing a huge
increase in staff motivation.”

In the 2018 group, over 10% were promoted in a short period of time, including one into a senior management role. Further endorsement of the success of the Johnsons Academy has come from winning the 2018 Personnel Today Award for Talent Management as well as being nominated as a finalist in the 2019 HR Excellence Awards for Best Talent Management Strategy.

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