Management Diagnostics


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Identification of high-potentials for talent program

The RENOLIT Group is one of the world's leading specialists for high-quality films, sheets and other plastic products. The family-owned company employs c. 4,800 people at production and sales locations on four continents.

ifp Managementdiagnostik helped conduct a process to identify high potentials as part of the company’s targeted personnel policy. Various selection procedures were developed in English for two management levels and implemented at various stages to assist succession planning and personnel development at group level and to view them on a more objective basis. We designed the procedures and also assisted in the detailed design of the competency model. We also helped in the pre-selection process via online procedures.

Processes were initially implemented to test the suitability of individuals for senior management roles (F2), whereby half-day individual assessments were carried out with partially structured interviews and situational exercises, fact-finding and roleplay sessions. The group assessments for prospective managers and specialists were carried out the following year, which included four one-and-a-half-day group assessments with five to six participants each. Partially structured interviews and situational exercises (group discussion, role simulation) were used.

HR and line managers actively supported ifp as observers in the assessments, and an observer training course was held on the first day to prepare the participants for this role where both the participants and observers were international. Following both procedures, dedicated, timely feedback discussions were held and result reports were compiled to support further development.

We were able to design a decision-making basis for the short- and medium-term internal further development of the selected high potentials within a short period of time. We used a standardised and objective approach to offer efficient, multi-methodical selection procedures that matched the requirements of the management competencies and which also satisfied the international requirements.

Competence model development based on corporate and brand values

NetCologne has been operating in the Cologne/Bonn area for 25 years as a regional telecommunications service provider, cable network operator and Internet service provider with its own telecommunications network, offering reliable and future-proof communications technology and services to private and business customers and the housing industry. ifp Managementdiagnostik was commissioned to develop a competency model for NetCologne to integrate HR processes even more closely into the company's culture and mission while also creating an objective and defined basis for recruitment and development processes.

In this process it was crucial to seek direct contact with the specialists and managers and to actively involve them in the development of the competence model. The aim was to learn about the corporate culture and the lived values, about the specific features of the company and to ensure the acceptance of the newly developed instruments within the organisation. The ifp Managementdiagnostik consultants then proceeded to talk to numerous employees from different areas of activity and levels. Against the backdrop of existing mission statements and brand values, the interview results were then bundled and condensed into a competency model. The next step was a workshop with the relevant company representatives from HR and marketing to strain-test the competence model developed for its suitability for the company in terms of content and language. Deviations were then identified and supplementary content was created. Managers and experts in the company, including a representative from the co-determination committee, were again interviewed on site to ensure the comprehensibility and applicability of the competence model and to carry out a final quality check. The overall result was finalised after subsequent revision. This project was followed by other projects, including the development of a competence-based interview guidelines.

Potential assessments in the context of implementing a growth strategy

GETEC is one of the leading energy suppliers and contracting specialists for industry and the housing sector in Germany and Europe.

In 2017, G+E GETEC Holding commissioned management diagnostics procedures to be carried out for the first and second management levels under the Executive Board as part of a growth project and the associated change in the organisational structure and processes. The aim was to determine the current situation to maintain a highly detailed profile of the managers and use this as a basis to plan development measures. G+E GETEC can only achieve its ambitious growth targets with highly qualified managers.

The main challenge of the project was to prepare the content of the procedures within a short period of time, to streamline them and to ensure the organisation of the project. All the procedures were carried out in Magdeburg. Roughly 70 executives participated in a management diagnostics process; the first 30 participants were seen within three weeks and the next c. 40 participants of the 2nd level within 4 weeks.

The procedure consisted of the following building blocks: firstly, the online Hogan tests and an interview during the 2.5-hour live procedure, discussions regarding a homework assignment to gain a corporate understanding of the employee’s own function and a short roleplay session in a management context. The participants received immediate and brief feedback, and a concise result report was compiled for each participant. The head of HR and the management team then discussed each participant via telephone conference calls. The relevant development notes were also discussed and compared to the new requirements for the functions, and details of the report were explained.

As a result, the management of the G+E Group received a comprehensive overview of the personalities and performance potential of their management executives within a short period of time, which also served as an important basis for the further development of the managers.

Development-oriented diagnostics for top-talents

Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) is a media company under public law with its head office in Cologne. By number of employees (over 4,400), WDR is the largest media company in Germany and one of the major companies in Europe.

WDR commissioned ifp Managementdiagnostik to design and implement an appropriate development process to achieve greater transparency regarding high potentials for the top management levels and to enable targeted promotion of these talents. The essential interdisciplinary requirements dimensions were first determined with WDR’s HR department and we designed the components of the procedure, which resulted in a half-day individual assessment per participant.

A total of 10 talents were nominated across all five WDR directorates, who demonstrated their strengths during the development process and who acknowledged their potential areas for development. After roughly three weeks, each participant also engaged in an individual perspective discussion in which the respective manager, a representative of the WDR HR department and an ifp consultant also participated. The aim of this discussion was to explore potential measures and development stages to target and boost the strengths highlighted and to focus on areas for development. Formats were then developed with the help of ifp, i.e. collegial consulting, to consolidate the shared exchange of the top talents, to promote the formation of networks and to ensure that a wide variety of topics could be discussed in a trusting environment.

"Our project was very professional on the part of ifp and very much geared to our aims and requirements. We are very satisfied with the findings of the process and have also observed a high level of acceptance from participants. We already consider the project a great success." - Kurt Schumacher, Head of HR

Large management audit in the merger process for all management levels

Atruvia AG (former Fiducia & GAD IT AG) is the service provider for information technology within the cooperative financial group. The company has its administrative seat in Karlsruhe and Münster and offices in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin, and currently employs approx. 7,100 employees company-wide.

In the context of the merger of the formerly independent companies Fiducia and GAD, it became clear that the success of the merger would depend to a large extent on the selection of suitable managers who were best equipped to meet the new challenges and change processes associated with the merger. To make this selection process as transparent and fair as possible, the executive boards of both companies decided to assess (potential) managers to evaluate their suitability for the management roles advertised in the company, and commissioned ifp Managementdiagnostik for this process in the form of a management audit. The results of the management audit served on the one hand as the basis for the appointment decisions and, on the other, also marked the starting point for the creation of individual development plans and a company-wide management qualification programme. In addition to the assessment of managers, the project also covered the corporate and leadership culture of both companies. This move was designed to enable the new, merged company to consider opportunities and also potential resistance and obstacles within the framework of the merger process at an early stage and to take suitable measures to create a shared corporate and management culture.

The future professional and interdisciplinary stipulations required from post holders formed the basis of the recruitment and development process. These took into account the specific job profile, the essential leadership skills, the corporate values and the existing management model. The individual process modules were developed specifically for this, which ensured a high accuracy of fit for the respective target group and also guaranteed the accuracy of the statements and acceptance of the procedure.

A particular challenge during the implementation phase was the very ambitious schedule of the overall process. For this reason, the Karlsruhe and Münster locations worked with permanent teams of consultants to reduce travel times for all participants to proceed as effectively as possible. This was one of the reasons why over 450 applicants were able to undertake the management audit from January to May 2015. It was only the very stringent and professional project management on the part of all those involved and the high-quality standards that enabled us to assess such a large number of applicants and to formulate clear recommendations for appointments. ifp Managementdiagnostik therefore created its own project office to effectively manage and bring all the various strands of the process together.

Based on the results of the management audits, an individual result report was prepared for each participant. This included a presentation of the strengths and learning areas, a recommendation for working on the development fields and finally an assessment of aptitude with respect to the relevant position(s). Level-related recruitment conferences then took place involving the recruiting executives, HR, representatives of co-determination committees and ifp Managementdiagnostik consultants to consider as many different perspectives as possible regarding the respective candidate and the target functions. The discussions were intensive and included the audit results to ensure the best possible recruitment outcomes. The thorough preparation, the support of all managers and co-determination committees and the close collaboration with all participants enabled all the process steps for the selection of managers to be completed on time. As a result, over 90% of the management posts were filled by the launch date of the new organisation, Fiducia & GAD IT AG.

Development-oriented management review in the context of a merger

Positioning in the context of a merger

In the context of a future merger of Vereinigte Volksbank Münster with Volksbank Greven and VR-Bank for the district of Steinfurt, the future division heads of the new organisation were to take part in an assessment of the current situation so that qualification could take place at an early stage in view of the extended responsibility in the larger bank. The merged bank will employ around 1,400 staff and operate under the name Volksbank Münsterland Nord eG.

The 12 assessments were carried out within three weeks at the ifp Managementdiagnostik offices in Cologne, with each procedure taking roughly half a day. Two self-assessment procedures were carried out in advance: one was the Facet5 management style analysis and the other was the Hogan Development Survey (HDS). In addition to a personality profile for each individual participant, the Executive Board also required recommendations on how to deal with the stresses and responsibilities placed on its managers.

The live process consisted of an interview and several situational building blocks: a leadership simulation, a presentation of the future division concept and a fact-finding procedure. Detailed individual result reports were then prepared, which concluded with development recommendations. All participants also received a personal feedback phone call to discuss the results, clarify questions and receive practical tips for personal development.

In addition, an overall evaluation was prepared for the Executive Board, which contained diverse information: the managers were classified on a potential matrix, and individual profile descriptions of the individual managers and thus also notes on their motive structure were also provided. This resulted in recommendations for the design of the optimal working environment and for the management of the individual. The basis was then formed for the optimal development of the divisional managers which could be could be established in detail and supported.

Leadership development for team managers: Feedback in the 'trilogue' with the help of the 'Facet5' management style analysis

Thanks to its many years of experience in CRM, Customer Experience (CX) and Commerce, maihiro is one of the leading consulting firms in the German-speaking region. The holistic approach includes strategy consulting, process optimization, implementation and operational management of SAP Customer Experience and Commerce solutions. maihiro has been writing its success story since 2000 and today employs more than 180 permanent employees in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna.

As part of a development program for team managers, we were asked to design a feedback module. As part of a constructive approach to feedback and criticism in particular, it seemed important for participants to first deal with themselves and their preferred behaviour and reaction patterns. Therefore, the first measure planned was an individual self-assessment for each individual participant, in which the focus was on the “I” as an acting person in cooperation with each other.

Prior to the workshop, each participant was asked by e-mail to complete an online questionnaire. This was the 'Facet5', an economic-psychological process that captures the five fundamental 'building blocks' of professional personality: Will, (self-) control, energy, empathy and emotionality. The instrument is a standardized self-evaluation procedure, which allows a comparison of the participant with a standard stitch test. The processing time is approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

The results of this self-evaluation process then formed the basis for an intensive, approximately 45-minute, feedback and reflection discussion that was conducted with each participant. In addition to the individual personality, personal motivations and inclinations were discussed with regard to the professional role and possible areas for development. Thus an extensive examination with the self-image and the own attitude as a manager took place. The feedback discussions were held the day before the group workshop in the presence of the participant's respective manager. This approach promoted objectivity and supported a diagnostically differentiated and with the managers' impressions substantiated picture of the participant, so that a valuable 'trilogue' could develop between the participant, his manager and the ifp consultant.

In the workshop that followed, a short theoretical introduction on the subject of 'Psychology of Feedback' was given in order to bring all participants as close as possible to the same level. In the further course the following aspects were dealt with in varying didactic methods:

  • The importance of feedback and constructive criticism (give and take) in the common development process of employees and the organization.
  • Your own attitude in feedback
  • Self-reflection - the linchpin? Taking up the personal results in Facet5
  • The difference between self-perception and external perception
  • Communicating criticism in a respectful and constructive way / shaping feedback processes

The workshop format enabled the participants to actively contribute their own wealth of experience and themselves as a person. The event was essentially based on the willingness of the participants to get involved in the topics in order to expand their own repertoire in discourse with the trainers.

Potential analysis within the framework of selection and development processes in national and international contexts

The globally operating company is one of the market leaders in its segment and develops, produces and distributes pharmaceutical ingredients and medications for various indications. The company is particularly recognized for its innovative orientation and corresponding research activities.

Against the background of several years of successful cooperation with the German company, the involvement of ifp Management Diagnostics was extended to the European market four years ago. In close cooperation with the headquarters, a Europe-wide standard in the form of an individual assessment was developed for the recruitment and selection of highly qualified employees. The corresponding potential diagnoses of external and, if necessary, internal employees as well as the consultation of managers in the context of personnel decisions took place locally at the respective European branches. The procedures themselves were carried out in a combination of English and the respective national language.

Initially, the personnel requirements in the course of the expansion in the existing business formed the background for our work. In the further course of the project, ifp Management Diagnostics was entrusted with the development and use of an analogue process within the framework of establishing a new pharmaceutical business branch. In addition to filling positions in the Medical division, we were also entrusted with potential diagnoses for the international sales organization. In addition to more than 150 parallel diagnosis and audit processes for the German organization, these international projects have resulted in more than 200 individual assessments to date (as of the end of 2019) with the corresponding English-language result reports. More than 70 additional procedures have been carried out to fill positions ranging from special positions to country managers and for the further development of internal experts and managers in the medical, sales and production sectors.

We are delighted to be able to accompany the successful development of the Group both nationally and throughout Europe and to be valued and commissioned as a partner for sophisticated procedures and related consulting services.