Wiltshire Council is taking an innovative approach to staff development by introducing the use of psychometric assessments into its leadership and management programmes.
The assessments, developed by Thomas International, a provider of people assessment tools, identify people’s strengths, key behaviour traits and leadership potential, all of which are helping the Council support career progression and increase staff engagement.
Dr Carlton Brand, Corporate Director at Wiltshire Council, commented: “Our business plan clearly identifies the need for us to develop an outstanding workforce. Enhancing a manager’s self-awareness through the use of psychometric tools supports us to meet this objective.”
For the past eighteen months, the Personal Profile Analysis (PPA), which provides an insight into how people behave at work, and Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue), which assesses how well people understand and manage their emotions, have been embedded in the Council’s leadership and management programme.
Judy Vanderpump, Organisational Development Consultant at Wiltshire Council, explains why the assessments have become so integral to staff development. “A successful leader has to have a good level of self-awareness. They need to understand their strengths and limitations and how to modify and adapt their behaviour in different situations. By doing this, they can get the most out of their teams. Thomas International’s tools support us to have open and honest conversations with our leaders and managers about their level of self-awareness and where they can develop.”
“We continue to be impressed with the accuracy of the profile reports. Staff constantly feedback to us on how well the reports capture their key behavioural traits and characteristics. The use of Thomas psychometric tools is now a key part of the selection process for anyone joining the Council at manager or head of service level.”
Having seen the benefits that the assessments have brought to the Council among senior members of the team, the PPA is also being used with specific teams. Judy states: “By having a better understanding of their behavioural profile and that of their colleagues, teams are now better equipped to discuss behaviours in a non-personal, non-threatening way, meaning that any issues are addressed quickly and effectively.”
The TEIQue assessment is also being extensively used to support staff in developing a greater self-awareness. Judy continues: “The combination of insights into behavioural profile and levels of emotional awareness, are very powerful. This is particularly relevant for staff on our leadership and management programmes, but we also use it to support our in-house coaching and mentoring programme.”