Our business is a project business. We like the different requirements in our projects: from individual assessment and coaching assignments to complex projects in which the client's project team works hand in hand with our project team and innovative solutions are created together. We attach great importance to professional project management and at the same time try to deal with unforeseen requirements in a flexible and solution-oriented way. In our understanding of the customer, we are quite old-fashioned: the customer is king. And at the same time, we understand our role as a sparring partner who also points out possible stumbling blocks in the project and sometimes thus creates irritations. Our client relationships have often grown over many years and this allows for a deeper understanding of the organisation's particular challenges.
ASSESSMENT FOR PROFESSIONALS AND MANAGERS
As part of a 'talent management' process for specialists and managers, high-potential employees of an international business enterprise are nominated for a development day, during which they go through various exercises (depending on the target position) and receive feedback on their performance. The first goal of the development day is to identify individual strengths and development aids of the participants and to give them individual feedback on these. Following this, they are given development recommendations to help them develop the identified potentials.
For several years now, CORNELIA TANZER's advisors have been supporting the client in this process, which is undergone by more than 100 participants every year. CORNELIA TANZER oversees the diagnostic competence in the moderation of the development days, the process control, the feedback of the observation points to the participants and the preparation of the individual development reports including development recommendations by experienced business psychologists; CORNELIA TANZER also takes care of the preparation and follow-up of the development days (coordination of appointments, provision of all required documents, dispatch of the preparation tasks, handling of cognitive test procedures etc.). This ensures a smooth process and valid diagnostics, so that the client has more time to take care of strategic issues as well as their core business.
ASSESSMENT CENTRE FOR A TRAINEE PROGRAMME IN THE MECHANICAL ENGINEERING INDUSTRY
In a leading German mechanical engineering company with an international orientation, trainees have been selected for the International Graduate Programme for years. The selection process of the approximately seven trainees was now to be further professionalised. The aim of the assessment centre was to gain an overview of the strengths, development areas and potential of the participants and thus create a good basis for the further selection process.
In a half-day workshop, with the support of an advisor, the expectations of the process and the requirements of the future trainees were sharpened and a jointly agreed procedure including methodology and operationalisation was determined. In the conception phase, a multimodal method mix of exercises and observation tools was developed that was tailored to the company. In order to ensure the commitment of the internal participants and the quality of the procedure, the internal observers were familiarised with the instruments and typical perception errors in a half-day observer training course. In the one-day AC, a total of 20 participants completed 6 exercises. It was possible to make a wide range of competences and potentials visible in the trainee AC and to sustainably secure the objective assessment standard as well as the process.
ASSESSMENT CENTER FOR TEAM LEADERS
In the course of restructuring the management level of team leaders in a technology company in the aerospace sector, an objective and structured procedure was introduced to fill the advertised positions. For the diagnostic objective, the instruments are based on the company's own competence model. In the course of the overall process, the internal observers are regularly trained on competence-based assessment and perception errors.
In the continuous procedure, which is conducted in both English and German by an experienced diagnostician with two participants per procedure day, candidates go through a multimodal method mix of case study, leadership discussion, presentation task and interview. After the procedure, the participants receive a short feedback. In the follow-up, the company is provided with individual result reports on the strengths and development recommendations of the participant, including a staffing recommendation.
MANAGEMENT AUDIT TO FILL A POSITION ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
For the replacement of a board member in a subsidiary of a regional energy supplier company in south-west Germany, a custom-fit management audit was developed for the target position to be filled. After a briefing by the company's board of directors, two role exercises, two interview guidelines and a case study were designed and conducted on three audit days with one candidate each. Due to the observation time of one day and the realisation by two experienced business psychologists, the influence of coincidences could be significantly reduced and an objective and valid picture of the abilities and skills of the candidates was obtained. Finally, detailed reports on the results were prepared to complete the process.
DIGITAL ASSESSMENT CENTRE FOR EXECUTIVES
For a large German company in the public sector, we have been carrying out competence-based selection assessments for all new appointments to management positions (across four hierarchical levels) for years. After a requirements analysis, a tailor-made selection procedure was designed for each hierarchical level, which means, among other things, an exercise composition according to the multi-modal approach (cognitive test procedures, case and role simulations, biographical interview and strategy presentation) in accordance with the aptitude diagnostic quality criteria.
Since the Corona crisis, the ACs have taken place almost exclusively digitally. The observation process, exercise content and procedural handling have been digitalised. Since then, the digital ACs have continued to take place at a high frequency and with (almost) the same diagnostic quality, high participant and observer acceptance and the satisfaction that the Corona-related circumstances have not paralysed the filling of new management positions. An initial qualitative feedback to the participants concludes the AC procedure. Afterwards, each participant receives a result report with strengths, areas for development, concrete observations from the individual exercises and detailed advice on personnel development.
ASSESSMENT FOR SEASONED LEADERS
In the course of various corporate growths and associated restructuring, a company from the IT sector realised that some of its experienced managers no longer met the current requirements of the company management. The process of assessing the situation started with the development of a common understanding of the new requirements for the management levels. Based on this, an assessment was commissioned according to aptitude diagnostic criteria. Through the use of multimodal types of exercises, the participants were able to demonstrate their capabilities and potential. In the final individual feedback sessions with the participants, the respective development perspectives were discussed and determined directly with each other.
In the context of human resources development for a globally operating company in the optical fine mechanics industry, training sessions were held on the topic of "Professional Recruitment Interviews". In this training, participants learned a variety of methods and tools that can support them in optimally preparing, conducting and evaluating selection interviews. Together with a qualified and experienced trainer, the participants developed techniques for sharpening their own perception and for professional observation and evaluation. Reference was also made to the company's own requirements, which are condensed into a requirements profile and serve as a basis for adequate staffing. In addition to case studies from practice, the joint work with sample interview sequences with different types of questions and techniques promoted trying out and consolidating what had been learned.
ORIENTATION CENTRE FOR FEMALE EMPLOYEES WITH LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL
In order to sustainably support ten young employees in their development through intensive feedback, a two-day orientation centre was designed and implemented for a company from the energy sector. Based on the existing competence profile, relevant competences for the target group were identified in the conception phase and methods and tasks for the procedure were selected. Together with the client, a demanding and development-oriented concept was developed. In addition to an interview and a case study, the focus was on realistic simulation exercises. The special feature: with the help of video recordings made during these role-playing exercises, participants were offered an immediate learning opportunity. In peer groups of 2-3 persons, the video recordings were then jointly reviewed and ideas for improvement were derived. In addition, interim feedback from the observers after the first day helped the participants to actively work on their individual areas of development during the orientation centre. Already on the second day, almost all participants showed an improvement in their performance.
Particular emphasis was placed on a pleasant learning atmosphere based on partnership, which motivated the participants to continue the targeted development of their entrepreneurial, social and personal competences afterwards. A result report with detailed recommendations for development supports you and your superiors in working on the targeted development goals.
DEVELOPMENT CENTRE ON AN INTERNATIONAL PARQUET
12 participants from 8 nations were accompanied by our advisors within the framework of development centres in two consecutive years. As part of a multi-year development programme for the high potentials of a company in the logistics sector, two assessments with a development-oriented focus were carried out. The programme, which was set up with an international business university, aimed to raise the leadership qualities of the employees and take the international networking within the group to the next level. In addition to the development centres, the high potentials therefore also participated together in training sessions on leadership, change and project management.
After they had been able to demonstrate their skills in role exercises, team discussions and group presentations at the first development centre in Atlanta, USA, and had received individualised advice on how to develop further, their development was scrutinised again one year later at a second event in Bremen. Supervisors and HR managers thus had the opportunity to directly observe the success of the development programme. Detailed feedback from our diagnostic experts, units for self-reflection, keeping an individual logbook as well as feedback within the peer group rounded off the development centres into a holistic experience for the participants.
FEEDBACK TRAINING FOR MANAGERS
A series of training events on the topic of "Conducting competence-based feedback discussions" were held at a globally operating logistics service provider. In the course of the long-term qualification process of all managers at all levels on various topics, participants of this training were to learn how to deal professionally with feedback situations. The training offered space to ask questions and discuss examples from personal leadership practice with other participants. During the two-day training, participants learned through exercises and concrete case studies how they can best prepare for a feedback discussion, formulate expectations concretely and address points of criticism without demotivating.
The comparison of self-perception and the perception of others as well as the reflection of one's own "blind spots" and perception errors were also essential aspects of the training. Moderated by an experienced trainer, feedback discussions were embedded as an instrument in the process of personnel development. The training was concluded with success and very positive personal feedback from the participants and will be a helpful support for the managers for future feedback discussions.
In the aerospace sector, a technology company had the goal of well-preparing the team leaders identified in a structured selection process for their new role as a leader and creating clarity with regard to their own self-image as a leader and the upcoming tasks through a basic qualification. The leadership training was intended to impart knowledge and skills that would allow participants to actively shape the transition from colleague to leadership role and to successfully meet challenges. The trainers used in the qualification had already been involved in the selection process and were thus able to use their comprehensive understanding of the target group in the training as well. In addition to the technical input of the trainers, the focus was on discussions, self-reflection, group work and the mutual exchange of experiences in order to achieve the highest possible participation and sustainable competence building of the participants. The basic qualification was carried out with a total of about 60 participants in six trainings of two days each and a one-day follow-up module after about 6-8 weeks.
MODERATION OF A RETREAT
Facilitation is a special and exciting task that differs in essence from diagnostic tasks. The moderation of a management workshop at a large university hospital can be cited here as an illustration. At the two-day executive retreat, the presentations and discussions focused on strategies and the future direction of leadership and administration. The professional and experienced consultant provided the framework for this event through a prior conception of the possible course of events and the use of various methods. Key aspects included activating those involved for participation and visualisation of results. By choosing appropriate methods and media, it was possible to convey messages in the right way. The event was also rounded off by the structured collection of feedback and comments from the participants.
A cooperation with a technology company can serve as an example of team development. In a joint two-day team workshop, 15 team members of a project team worked together with two experienced coaches to develop solutions and measures for the prevailing difficulties in the cooperation. Before the coaching began, individual discussions were held with all participants on the current problems in the team. In the coaching, the initial focus was on the phases of team development and identifying the strengths of the team and its members. Then the perceived disturbances and problems between the interfaces were discussed in terms of role allocation and understanding. In small groups, solutions and measures were worked out, discussed together and finally presented to the management. Follow-up measures were also defined to ensure the long-term and sustainable improvement of the cooperation.
CONCEPTION AC EXERCISES AT THE PARTNER LEVEL
For the process of filling the top level of an international auditing and consulting company, building blocks of a development centre were developed, including a challenging case study and role simulations, in order to obtain a diagnostically valid picture of the individual strengths and development areas of the candidates for the target position. After clarifying the assignment for a precise needs analysis, a workshop was held with long-term successful job holders to find out the exact job requirements and to develop initial ideas for measuring the requirements and the framework scenario in which the selection process should take place together with the client.
Based on this, the instruments were designed and fine-tuned using feedback loops with the client. In addition to the documents that the participants received (participant instructions), standardised and structured observation aids were also created for the observers in order to ensure an objective and comparable assessment standard, so that internally trained employees of the client can also independently moderate the procedure in the future and assess the participants based on competences.
REWORKING OF A COMPETENCY MODEL
Just as with the introduction of employee or development reviews, we also provide support with the introduction of other HR instruments. A concrete practical example is the cooperation with a technical university with a renowned research institute in southern Germany. The existing competency model, which mapped the requirements for managers in research and administration, was reviewed according to the prevailing quality criteria after an internal workshop to determine the rough and detailed structure of the new model.
Concrete suggestions for improvement were then pointed out to the institute and discussed together. Supportive work was done, especially with regard to defining meaningful units of analysis as well as ensuring the discriminatory power and level of abstraction of the individual competences.
QUALIFICATION OF THE HR TOOL »ANNUAL DEVELOPMENT REVIEW«
A manager's task not only includes dealing with his or her own role, but also the adequate implementation of the HR instruments decided by company management. A listed telecommunications company has also taken on the task of training in the use of an important and effective HR instrument, the annual development review. A total of 90 managers of the company were trained in the handling and use of the instrument in a one-day training course graded according to management levels.
The training was specifically tailored to the respective target groups, which were divided into 80 executives, 15 HR Business Partners, who assist the executives in the practical implementation, and about 10 top-level executives. In terms of content, the participants dealt with the instrument itself and its objectives as well as with the specific interview questionnaire. Furthermore, perception and assessment errors were examined and the giving and receiving of feedback was trained. Dealing with difficult discussion situations was also dealt with.
SUPPORT FOR THE MANAGEMENT-TEAM VALUES PROCESS
After a restructuring, a newly formed management team wanted to develop common values within the framework of an off-site, which were to be used as an orientation framework and positive objective for future cooperation. At the beginning of this value process, the team had to deal with their own values and work out the values already lived in the organisation. In addition, additional values were derived from the strategy and vision, which are helpful and supportive for achieving the business goals.
The values collected from these perspectives were then clustered, condensed and formulated into 5 central sentences with a call character. Subsequently, it was determined how these values would be communicated and rolled out in the organisation in the future.
USE OF PERSONALITY AND MOTIVATION QUESTIONNAIRES
We often use personality and motivation questionnaires to accompany our selection and development procedures, but also as part of coaching processes. What are my particularly strong professional motives and drivers? To what extent do they match the professional role I currently have or aspire to in the future? Which competences are among my strengths and which aspects of my personality are less pronounced compared to others?
The digital online questionnaires are evaluated automatically and are either added as supplementary additional information in the context of a diagnostic process or support self-reflection in development-oriented projects with the help of an evaluation interview. The use of the personality and motivation questionnaires with the high potentials of a consulting company, for example, has contributed to the clarification of professional development.
SIDAN - OUR DIGITAL AC APPLICATION FOR MODERN SUPPORT OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
The AC application SIDAN, developed together with a software development company, supports diagnostic processes in a modern and intuitive way. The application guides both observers and participants through the day and includes all the necessary materials, schedules, observation sheets, test procedures etc. Automated merging of quantitative and qualitative values makes the entire process faster and more transparent. Resource-intensive back-office staff and paper volumes in folders are no longer needed when using SIDAN. For example, a large insurance company was able to streamline its AC processes and achieve a positive effect on employer branding.