Peavey Mart is a retail store chain that has been serving communities throughout Western Canada for over 40 years with convenient access to quality products at the lowest possible prices. Peavey Mart is best known for its diverse offerings from “basic hardware, tools, work wear, and agricultural supplies, to plumbing, heating, electrical, pet food, lawn, and garden supplies.” Recognized as one of the Most Admired Corporate Cultures in Canada, Peavey Mart has built a reputation for developing a talented and engaged workforce.
To lead such a workforce into their fifth decade, Peavey Mart recognized the need to select and develop managers who would best reinforce its award-winning culture. Peavey Mart selected the Leading Dimensions Profile (LDP) as a psychometric assessment that could provide the validity and reliability needed for such a pivotal role. Peavey Mart’s HR team provided quantitative performance metrics to LDP researchers for the purpose of validating a profile that would reflect the unique characteristics of high performing store managers.
Researchers administered the LDP to incumbent store managers, and compared results with performance data including: competency metrics, 360-degree feedback scores, and performance appraisal ratings. Multiple correlation analyses revealed that higher performing store managers tended to exhibit the most flexibility, confidence, and boldness when it came to achieving goals. At the same time, these higher performers tended to exhibit a blend of objectivity and social affiliation when relating to their employees. From this combination of preferred characteristics emerged a specific LDP benchmark against which future store manager candidates could be compared.
The LDP benchmark offered statistically significant correlation across multiple performance categories including r=.562 (p<.01) for competency ratings and r=.502 (p<.01) for 360-degre feedback scores. Managers earning top scores on the LDP achieved 11% higher competency ratings on average (including higher scores in categories such as customer focus, store presentation, team environment, and strategic thinking), while also earning 7% higher ratings on 360-degree feedback assessments.
Recognizing the strong alignment between the LDP benchmark and the prominent characteristics exhibited by higher performers, Peavey Mart implemented the LDP to evaluate future managerial candidates. The LDP equipped Peavey’s HR team with a valid and reliable method for determining the strengths and development opportunities of potential store managers. By ensuring incoming store managers align most closely with the demands of the job, Peavey Mart can be assured that its award-winning culture will continue to thrive in the next decade.
A major North American provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) equipment recognized the need to standardize its selection process for field sales associates. Sales associates were tasked with meeting challenging revenue targets by selling tools, equipment, and related supplies directly to industrial customers within an assigned territory. With over 40 years in the industry, the company had earned a reputation for innovative and proactive customer care, making it the envy of competitors. Along with a formal interview and detailed background screening, the company implemented the LDP as a validated psychometric assessment proven to forecast sales-related behaviors.
The company’s HR team provided performance data to develop a benchmark profile based on the LDP’s ten dimensions. LDP researchers compared dimension scores with average monthly sales to identify behavioral tendencies consistently exhibited by the highest performers. Researchers found that higher and lower performers tended to approach goals differently, with higher performers being more cautious and consistent (rather than risk tolerant and flexible), while also preferring intuition and perception over detailed analysis in making decisions (higher performers were more likely to rely on “gut instinct” in recognizing a situation or opportunity). Researchers also found differences in how higher and lower performers developed rapport and relationships with their customers. Specifically, higher performers tended to be much more nurturing, social, and trusting in how they approached others. Given the nature of the role, such characteristics were found to reinforce behaviors most likely to promote revenue growth.
Sales associates showing a strong match to the LDP benchmark earned significantly more sales when compared to their lower scoring counterparts. In fact, average monthly sales for those matching the LDP benchmark were 77% higher than associates with lower LDP scores (a difference of over $4,500 per associate, per month).
Of equal interest to sales, the company recognized significant differences in retention based on LDP scores. While 94% of those matching the LDP benchmark remained after the initial six months on the job, only 63% of associates with lower LDP scores remained with the company. Over the longer term, lower LDP scorers were nearly three times as likely to be terminated from their position. Similarly, only 1 in 10 of the lower LDP scorers reached “star performer” status (as identified by the company’s HR team), compared with 1 in 3 of the higher LDP scorers.
The company found that by focusing on candidates with stronger matches to the LDP benchmark, it could reach significantly higher revenue targets from its salesforce. Based on its own analysis, the company reported that it could have generated $1.6 million more annual revenue by hiring only those associates with the strongest LDP benchmarks. Clearly, utilization of the LDP within the company’s selection process would promote those characteristics most likely to cultivate the highest performing salesforce, with significant implications for revenue and retention.
A 30-year leader in senior and aged care services recognized the need to expand a leadership development program for its residence managers. Having expanded in to multiple market segments over the years, the company’s primary offerings include residential aged care, 24-hour nursing, permanent care, sensitive care, and respite care. With managers at over two dozen residential care facilities throughout Australia, the company sought consistency in how managerial candidates would be evaluated, selected, and developed according to the highest standards. These standards were clarified by the company's CEO who described the ideal manager as “A person who drives financial, clinical and culture and also takes accountability for all aspects within their business.” Such primary aspects include: financial performance, clinical practices, staff leadership, managerial initiative, and cultivating a trusting environment.
The company selected a group of leaders, including 40 existing residence managers and 24 emerging leaders, to engage in a formal leadership development program. The company’s training provider selected the Leading Dimensions Profile (LDP) as part of the selection process for participating managers and emerging leaders. Based on the findings provided by the LDP, training content was customized to address the group's key developmental opportunities, while aligning with the positional standards determined by the CEO.
The company provided an overall performance appraisal rating for each manager and emerging leader within the program. LDP researchers analyzed the ratings for statistical correlation with ten behavioral dimensions, including: intensity, risk tolerance, assertiveness, adaptability, decision-making, openness, affiliation, consideration, status motivation, and self-protection. Their analysis found that managers with the highest performance ratings tended by reveal key characteristics, differentiating them from lower performers. Specifically, when approaching task and goals, higher performing mangers were found to be more measured (than intense), confident (than reticent), flexible (consistent), while preferring a balance between analysis and perception in decision-making. When interacting with others, higher performing managers tended to be more open (than private), social (than independent), nurturing (than objective), and trusting (than skeptical).
The most striking difference between high performing managers and others was in the LDP’s assertiveness dimension, for which higher performers were significantly more bold and confident in asserting themselves. This finding aligns well with the CEO’s recognition of staff leadership and managerial initiative as key aspects of the residence manager role. When compared with the LDP’s four primary leadership styles (including Counselor, Coach, Driver, and Advisor), higher performing managers tended to prefer the Coach and Counselor styles when exercising influence over their employees. This too aligns with the CEO’s remarks, particularly given the need to cultivate a trusting and engaging environment within the residential care facilities.
Researchers derived a specific LDP benchmark for the residence manager position, focusing on the dimensions associated with higher performance. This benchmark offered a statistically significant correlation to managerial performance, given that managers matching more dimensions earned higher performance ratings (r=.584, p<.01). More specifically, managers matching nearly all of the benchmark dimensions earned performance ratings that were 32% higher than those matching less than half of the benchmark dimensions. Given these findings, the LDP offered a valid and reliable forecast of managerial performance for the residence manager position. The case study provides strong support for the company’s use of the LDP for internal and external managerial recruitment and leadership development. To the extent residence managers could be selected and developed in alignment with the resulting LDP benchmark, the company may anticipate stronger leadership performance and more effective succession planning over time.