1. Background 

TPI is a Project Management consultancy serving the property development industry, in both the commercial and residential sectors.

It has been successful in growing turnover by 40% between 2012 and 2014, and its 3-year business plan, 2015-17, has the objective of almost doubling turnover by 2017.

The company employs 17 people at present, of whom all but two are professional staff, either project managers or quantity surveyors.

TPI has a very flat operating and reporting structure. Project managers and quantity surveyors generally work on their own projects, with recourse to support and advice from colleagues where required. Though project decisions of significance are made by or in consultation with the senior operations director.

2. People, Core Values and Culture

TPI believes its success has been underpinned by having a clear framework setting out its business approach and its core values:

For clients - to act in its clients’ best interests at all times and to be regarded as a centre of excellence in project management

For its people - people should enjoy their work and be inspired and encouraged to be the best in class

Core values - honesty, transparency, integrity and a continued pursuit of excellence

TPI places a great deal of emphasis on recruiting and developing high quality people. It has Investors in People and ISO accreditation in support of its pursuit of excellence, and has regular appraisals and ongoing development assessments for all staff members.

TPI has used assessment tools for its staff appraisals and development for many years. As part of its appraisal for its 2015-17 plan and given its ambitious 3-year growth target, the company decided to:

  1. aim for Investors in People Gold standard
  1. carry out a review of assessment tools on the market, to see if it could improve further its people assessment and development programme
  1. bring its HR administration system online

The outcome of its review led TPI to selecting Harrison Assessments with the talent track for its talent assessment and development, and choosing breathe HR for its online HR system.

3. Using Harrison Assessments at TPI

The talent track provides a services and solutions set for highly effective talent management, for individuals, teams and the whole organisation. Using the right assessment system is crucial and that is why TTT has partnered with Harrison Assessments, which has over 2.2 million users world-wide.

A Harrison system job specification was created for each job role within TPI. The company’s employees completed a 20-30 minutes Harrison Questionnaire, which facilitates the assessment and development needs of each staff member against their specific job, profiles of the Project Manager and Quantity Survey teams, and a people profile of the organisation as a whole.

Assessment of an individual is measured against 175 traits. Then, only those traits that have a relationship to job success in the specific job concerned, are used to assess the person and their development needs; and provide a job success Suitability score for each individual.

The job specification created for each role in TPI can then also be used in future recruitment assessment.

The outcome of the assessments using Harrison has been:

  • The depth of Harrison assessments has identified strengths of individuals and some areas for their development, as measured against their job, that hadn’t been identified by other tools previously
  • The most interesting common feature was the desire of a number of people to be able to take initiative and have decision making responsibility
  • In contrast, the culture in TPI has tended to funnel decisions of any importance to the senior operations director and this was affirmed by staff members in Harrison-based appraisal meetings
  • Given the company’s growth ambitions, it had already been recognised by senior management that decision-making needed to change,
  • The new assessment findings have given TPI the impetus to focus on devolving decision making, be less paternalistic and encourage team members to accept and take more responsibility
  • The assessments have much more clearly identified those individuals with leadership potential
  • Use of Harrison and breathe HR have supported the assessment for IIP Gold Standard and, with Harrison, particularly in defining current management competencies and assessment of future management needs and style

4. Using breathe HR at TPI

Breathe hr enables paperwork and files to be replaced with a low-cost, simple to use, self-service online HR system. This appealed to TPI who found the system straightforward to set-up. It is already popular with staff for holiday requests and holidays taken, setting meetings, and expenses claims submission and approval; and with company managers who can access employee information easily wherever they are.  Other features include:

  • Share company news and objectives
  • Manage appraisals, give praise, set one-to-one meetings and objectives
  • Set tasks and get reminders instantly
  • Easily generated reports from the report library

5. Investors in People

TPI are delighted that they have now been awarded the IIP Gold Standard

Use of Harrison and breathe HR have supported the assessment for IIP Gold Standard and they have been acknowledged in the IIP report. The MD of TPI comments: “We are delighted with the added insight and dimensions that the talent track and Harrison has brought to our appraisal and staff development system. And breathe hr has made employee administration much more straightforward and provided some valuable extras!”

If you are interested in discussing the benefits of using Harrison Assessments or breathe HR, please call 01256 334266 or go to www.thetalenttrack.com for further information