Case Studies

Virgin Trains worked with Thomas to improve team working, management skills and identify development opportunities

Virgin Trains at a glance

The Customer Service Training Department acts as a consultant to Virgin Trains supporting the Company training needs, development and delivery of training. The team are responsible for all orientation training into the company for Onboard catering, Train Managers and Stations teams.
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The Challenge

Virgin Trains started using Thomas' behavioural assessment, Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) within the training team initially. PPA assesses an individual's behaviour in the work environment. It can answer questions such as: what are their strengths and limitations? How do they communicate? What motivates them? The PPA enables people to become more self-aware, which in turn gives them the means to consolidate their working strengths and compensate for their limitations. PPA is a series of 24 questions on a a first choice basis, taking no longer than eight minutes to complete. Gaynor Stewart, Training and Development Manager at Virgin Trains comments, "We wanted to use a tool within the department that would help the team understand eachother better as well as identify their own personal opportunities".

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The Solution

Gaynor continues, "Using PPA gave individual feedback, explaining their profile and what it meant. It is an assessment tool that is very easy to understand. Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance are all characteristics people find easy to relate to. The team also liked it because it's very visual and with no jargon or hefty terminology".

Initially, the team at Virgin Trains gave one to one feedback on the PPAs to the team to ensure they were familiar with the assessment and understood their analysis. They ran a series of workshops where they shared their profiles with the team in a pictoral non-threatening manner. This opened up a dialogue and created a more collaborative atmosphere.

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The Result

Virgin Trains now use PPA as a developmental tool for all members of staff and review them annually.

Gaynor has started using Thomas' PPA when managing her team, "As a manager, I am able to understand my team better. I know how they like to work and I try to alter my management style accordingly. Previously, when holding one to one sessions with members of my team, I would have had a standard agenda. I now try to tailor the sessions to the style of the person I am meeting with. Some people need more support and structure than others."

Virgin Trains now also uses PPA for recruitment and as part of the annual appraisals to help show their staff opportunities for development - both for themselves and for their careers.

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