Five questions to Alexander Tychy about the development of potential with DNLA

Mr. Tychy was Interviewed by perbit, a company developing HR-administration software.
"It is of great importance for managers to always know how their employees are doing - not only in times of Corona," says Alexander Tychy. In this interview, the sales manager of DNLA GmbH explains how the soft-skills analysis developed by his company supports employees and managers. perbit also uses the DNLA method.

Question one: Mr. Tychy, in times of Corona, many people are facing great challenges. Is it especially important now to take care of your employees? What can a soft-skills-analysis like DNLA do to ensure that employees don't feel left alone by their employer?

Alexander Tychy: It is of great importance for managers to always know how their employees are doing - not only in times of Corona: Are some members of my team currently under pressure? How well can he or she handle change? How about flexibility? Or coping with stress? Are there frustrations, or unrecognized factors which have the potential to be killing someone´s motivation? With our online questionnaires and the DNLA analyses “Discovering Natural Latent Abilities”, we have developed instruments that help managers and employers to always know where their people need support. The beauty of it is that the psychometrics we use are designed as instruments for sustainable long-term development of soft-skills which are key factors for success in the job. Participants regularly go through the survey, which is embedded in a structured consulting process. Employees receive feedback based on the results of the analysis in an individual session, and at the end there is a tailored action plan for everyone. This also constitutes a mandate, so to speak, and a binding obligation for the managers, because the aim is to implement the recommendations together with the employee in everyday working life.

Question two: So here the focus is very much on the individual. Isn't there a danger that everyone will try to make their mark as well as possible, perhaps even at the expense of others?

Alexander Tychy: No. It's not about pushing people forward senselessly. Rather, the goal is for everyone to have the basic skills which they need to be able to work well even under difficult conditions - such as we have at the moment. Working well always means developing and implementing things together. There is no other way to do it today. DNLA does not favor egomaniacs, but also allows to recognize when a person tends to exaggerate. Self-confidence, for example, is excellent and an important prerequisite for doing good work. But if a person tends towards overconfidence and arrogance, then it will become problematic - for the person concerned and for their environment. Therefore, it is good to recognize such tendencies at an early stage and to be able to counteract them.

Question three: The DNLA method builds on research series on success factors in the workplace conducted at the Max Planck Institute in the early 1990s. Is it still up to date? How well does such a method fit into today's working world, which is characterized by agility and rapid change?

Alexander Tychy: The DNLA analysis- and development-tools have a long tradition and track record. Nevertheless, they are still up to date. This is shown by regularly conducted studies and practical experience. The database used for the comparisons and calculations is continuously updated. And with regard to “agility”, it is the case that DNLA procedures explicitly address this aspect. There is even a separate indicator for how well employees cope in an agile context and in agile forms of collaboration. And if you think about which individual competencies are part of the concept of “agility”, then we are talking about factors such as personal responsibility, initiative or flexibility. These have always been part of DNLA analyses.

Question four: Can the DNLA tools also be used for apprentices or are they only suitable for professionals and managers?

Alexander Tychy: Job starters are an important topic. On the one hand, many young people do not yet know what they should do later on and what they are good at. On the other hand, companies often lack qualified applicants and trainees. DNLA gives support here in two ways: as a way of determining where young people stand, which reveals their strengths and development potential, and as a guide showing them what is important in professional life and in certain positions. The employer also benefits, because it gets to know the candidates better and more thoroughly from the outset than would be possible, for example, on the basis of school grades or letters of application. With the advancement recommendations and individual development plans that DNLA provides, employers can help their junior employees to follow their path and to realize their potential.

Question five: So it would be best if every employee could benefit from such support, if possible. But that would probably be far too costly?

Alexander Tychy: Costly, yes, to some extent - but the effort is worth it. Besides, every employer should ask themselves how much effort will have to be made later on to make amends if employees are left "alone" in certain situations and when measures are only taken afterwards when problems arise. DNLA is also a central component of the "HR - balance sheet" - a concept for personnel- and organizational development for medium-sized companies. Here, everyone in the company - from the apprentices to the board of directors - goes through a DNLA development process. Depending on the results of the initial analysis and depending on where in the organization the need for support is greatest at the moment, priorities are set. In addition, the HR - balance sheet can help to identify leadership failures or problematic developments in the organization. Since the HR - balance sheet is not a one-time thing, but a continuous process, a cultural change in the company and a climate of success will gradually emerge from these organization-wide development processes that will enable everyone to access their full potential and to bring it to work.
Alexander Tychy is head of sales at DNLA GmbH. DNLA supports companies in getting their employees into top mental shape, recognizing the strengths of applicants, and it makes it easier for managers to see how their employees feel. The job-related psychometrics and development-tools DNLA (Discovering Natural Latent Abilities) are based on studies at the Max Planck Institute for Psychology under the direction of Prof. Dr. Brengelmann and Dr. W. Strasser.
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