Powering above average retention rates
Leading polymers and products distributor Plastribution supplies thermoplastics for a range of industries including the construction, automotive and medical sectors. Despite the technical nature of its mission, Plastribution is a people-focused business.
The firm has over a decade’s experience of using psychometrics to support the people that make business success possible. Plastribution’s investment in psychometrics has grown along with the company. The business has organically scaled its use of assessments to support numerous hires at all levels into its expanding team.
“We introduced PPA (Behaviour) across the board” says Dan Jarvis, Plastribution’s Technical and Business Development Manager. All employees retake the assessment as part of their annual reviews, or on a six-month basis if they move into a new role. Dan says: “Line managers receive the ‘How to Manage’ report on their staff every year, which is very useful.
We’ve also found the assessment beneficial for talking to teams within our business about how they work together, how they can better communicate with each other by understanding other people’s working styles and how to tailor their behaviour to facilitate those. Holding team workshops around the PPA is particularly helpful if we have a new member of staff that comes into a team as it allows us to see how they fit into the dynamic.”
The firm uses the assessments in both recruitment and development. “[The Behaviour assessment] continues to be our most widely used tool and one of the things that it generates is conversations across the business. It’s also useful for monitoring engagement. Although we don’t have set behavioural profiles for our roles, it is very interesting to see where our strengths and challenges as a business.” Plastribution uses the Thomas Behaviour assessment (PPA) in recruitment at the initial interview stage. Second interviews are accompanied by an Aptitude (GIA) assessment to identify individual learning needs. Dan says: “There’s no ‘one size fits all’ way of training people. The assessments help us to tailor how we train our people.”
Plastribution’s management team also use Emotional Intelligence assessments in recruitment for senior roles. Dan says, “Where the demands and pressures are slightly higher, it’s a good indicator of how someone is going to fit into a busy environment. We use the assessment as a development tool as well, if we are putting someone onto a development programme, or as part of a coaching or mentoring programme. Emotional Intelligence assessments are a good way of tapping into people’s development needs. We’ve used these three [assessments] regularly for a good number of years. More recently, we have started to use Personality (HPTI) assessments to identify rising stars with leadership potential who we want to put on development programmes.”
Plastribution now has five trainers accredited in Behaviour, three in Emotional Intelligence (TEIQue assessments), two in Aptitude and one in Workplace Personality. “It’s always been a very people focused organisation”, says Dan. “One of the great benefits that we see with psychometrics is that we have an incredibly low staff turnover. We are quite proud of the fact that our turnover is significantly lower than the national standard, and also of what we call the ‘Boomerang Club’. There are quite a number of people who have left the business and then come back to us.
Where assessments really help us is with onboarding people. We’ve grown quite significantly, at about 90 people currently. Using Thomas assessments has helped us generate a truly people-focused business and gives us opportunities to allow people to develop. Although we have a relatively flat structure in many areas, the assessments allow us to keep people engaged. Even where there’s not a role for them to move into, the assessments help to keep people developing and engaged with training for example. From a people perspective, using assessments has fed into our ethos of being focused on the individual.”