Potential analysis (from Latin potentia = strength, power and analysis ) describes the structured investigation of the existence of certain properties (abilities). Potential analyzes provide structured information on questions about the ability of employees, events , resources and organizations .
A company can use comparisons ( benchmarking ) to check its own potential (productivity, market position). A market can be analyzed for its potential for entry with a certain product . Processes can be checked for their optimization potential using structured analyzes. The purchasing power of a certain segment of the population could be the question for a potential analysis .
Potential analysis in the personnel area
Potential analyzes are carried out in different areas of application and with different methods . Using structured questionnaires or a comprehensive individual assessment, your own career potential can be determined or the requirement profile for personnel selection can be checked. The potential analysis thus serves to record the capability potential for future activities.
The potential analysis records u. a. Knowledge, skills, motivation and personality traits of employees. A potential profile is created from the recorded characteristics. This is compared to the operational requirements. In a subsequent potential development, the identified weaknesses of the employee can be reduced and the strengths can be promoted in a targeted manner. The suitability profile of the employee should, as far as possible, correspond to the requirements profile of the position.
The potential analysis is an instrument for staff loyalty, since under- or excessive demands of an employee can lead to demotivation. Personality and intelligence tests can provide important data on the basis of which potential analyzes can be carried out.
The potential of the employee includes the following characteristics, among others:
- Methodological competence : grasp operational relationships, recognize deficits and develop suitable solutions
- Social skills: ability to deal with other employees
- Expertise : Ability to use the knowledge learned in a solution-oriented manner (e.g. technologies, processes, languages)
- Reflective skills: Ability to critically analyze and evaluate one's own actions in different situations
- Change competence: Ability to react flexibly to changes in the environment and readiness for lifelong learning
However, these competencies cannot be recorded directly. Therefore, each competence is assigned certain criteria that can be better captured. Examples of such criteria are: assertiveness, ability to work in a team, identification with the company, personal responsibility. The quality of the personnel analysis depends crucially on the selection of the criteria that should capture the potential.
A distinction can be made between the sequential and the absolute potential analysis. The sequential analysis determines the potential in relation to the next higher career level. The absolute analysis tries to determine how far the employee can develop at all.
Furthermore, potential analyzes can be differentiated according to group-related and individual-case-related approaches. With group-related approaches, statements are made about groups of employees or entire workforces. Case-by-case potential analyzes deal with individual employees. With the last-mentioned approach, potential analyzes can still be differentiated into unimethod (here only one aptitude diagnostic method - mostly psychological tests - is used) and multi-method (use of several different aptitude diagnostic methods).
Standardized procedures (e.g. using defined assessment sheets) are necessary to ensure the objectivity of the potential analysis.
There are only a few potential analyzes on the market that are scientifically sound and validly secured.
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- Lutz von Rosenstiel , Thomas Lang-von Wins (Ed.): Perspectives of the assessment of potential . Verlag für Angewandte Psychologie, Göttingen 2000.
- Werner Sarges: Diagnosis of management potential for a business world that is changing ever faster and more unpredictably . In: Lutz von Rosenstiel, Thomas Lang-von Wins (eds.): Perspectives of potential assessment . Hogrefe, Göttingen 2000, pp. 107–128.
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