Case Mosenergo

OJSC Mosenergo is the largest heat generating companies in Russia and an integral part of Russia’s energy system. The company is one of the largest heat producers in the world. OJSC Mosenergo consists of 15 power stations, which generate approximately 70% of the electricity consumed in Moscow region and account for 66% of Moscow heat requirements.

In spring 2009 Detech conducted a project to assess more than 50 managers working at different levels at the power stations of OJSC Mosenergo. The project had the following key objectives: to identify the development areas of current and future managers and prepare a management staff training program for the purpose of improving their performance.

In addition, the assessment aimed to increase the objectivity of decisions adopted on appointments to new positions. It is common knowledge that different opinions prevail at Mosenergo, as is the case at many other companies, on the internal candidates, who should be appointed to specific positions. As a result, several candidates from the company’s employees could aspire for one position. Moreover, each director would provide his or her own arguments in favor of a particular candidate and it tended to prove fairly hard to reach consensus.

The terms and conditions for implementing the project were very stringent:

This project assessed the following competencies:

The project implementation plan was proposed to take account of these terms and conditions:

  1. Analyze competencies and draft the ideal personality profile according to the scales of the 15Q+ questionnaire, which makes it possible based on competency assessments to identify the individuals with the highest potential to develop most of the competencies. In our opinion, this information facilitates the adoption of more objective decisions on appointments to new positions.
  2. 2. Perform on-line assessments using ability tests to assess the top managers: “Analysis of Numerical Information” and “Analysis of Verbal Information”, the 15FQ+ Professional Personality Questionnaire, and also the Integrity and Ethics Questionnaire WAI. Use of a range of on-line methodologies made it possible to perform a comprehensive assessment of managers at different levels over a short timeframe.
  3. This made it possible not only to deliver savings by eliminating the cost of engaging external consultants, but also to retain on-line assessment technologies for other similar projects within the company.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEAL PROFILE

Based on analysis of the provided list of competencies, and also interviews with senior management of the company, we drafted the ideal personality profile of a Mosenergo manager at this development stage.

Use of this profile made it possible to identify three employee groups based on the assessment results: the group of employees with a high development profile, development group and risk group.

Employees, who have been included in the first group (high potential), complied most with the ideal profile and demonstrated high development potential of most of the competencies.

The second group (development group) are employees, whose personality assessment results demonstrated certain differences with the ideal profile, necessitating comparatively insignificant investments for the development of the required competencies.

The third group (risk group) are employees, whose personality assessment results demonstrated material differences with the ideal profile. This provides grounds for assuming that they will take much longer to develop these competencies and will need to invest far more effort than employees from the first and second groups. If they fail to develop the competencies, these employees may end up performing ineffectively.

The assessments serving as the basis for including an employee in a specific group are presented according to the following scale:

LEVEL DESCRIPTION OF THE LEVEL
A This competency may be a distinctive trait of the employee.

Significant potential for developing the competency has been identified.

B No risks to the development of this competency have been identified.
C The competency may be developed at the necessary level, but there are certain risks.
D Material risks for the development of the competency.

ONLINE ASSESSMENT

All the project participants attended a computer-based training class where they performed tests and completed personality questionnaires in the GeneSys online system under the supervision of HR employees who had already been trained. Each employee spent on average two hours completing the questionnaire and resolving the ability test assignments. In addition, they completed a test on the assessment of professional skills. So, the technological nature of the process made it possible to conduct the assessment quickly and professionally.

One key specific of this project was that we conducted the assessment without seeing the employees, who were being assessed. This is possible in the following instances:

The following question may arise: is it impossible to measure competencies using the tests and personality questionnaire? The results of the questionnaire provide evidence of the individual’s propensity to demonstrate specific competencies in his or her behavior and his or her readiness to develop these competencies. The research conducted using the 15FQ+ questionnaire demonstrated a high correlation between the results based on the scales of the personality questionnaire and the development level of a number of competencies. Consequently, if a reliable and valid instrument is used to measure and construct the ideal profile correctly, we obtain results that make it possible to forecast the development level of the individual’s competencies with a high degree of accuracy.

REPORTS AND PRESENTATION TO MANAGEMENT

After receiving the results of the questionnaire and tests, we were able to rapidly write reports on the competencies and submit a final presentation to management of the company. When discussing the results of the assessment, questions arose concerning only few out of more than 50 employees, which proves the high accuracy of the assessment. For example, one senior manager couldn’t understand why an employee that he considered “experienced and good” had ended up in the risk group. We managed to explain to him that he had demonstrated a good performance by drawing on his own experience, as he knew a lot about the specifics of the work and about the mistakes that can be made. In previous years he had already committed all the mistakes that he could have made and now knows how to act in different situations, and uses action plans that have proved effective. However, what is good for usual duties might not prove effective if he is appointed to a more senior position where the work specifics will differ. In this case, the low results in the ability tests will impede rapid analysis of the situation and the adoption of the correct solution, while material deviations from the ideal profile mean that he is unable to approach people management issues flexibly, etc.

ВAt present management of the company is using the information provided in the reports based on the test results when adopting decisions on appointments to new positions. In the six months since the end of the project we were able to note that the employees appointed with due account of the results of the assessment have proved themselves to be effective managers.

In addition, on the basis of the results, OJSC Mosenergo has developed a management staff training program aimed at the development of the required competencies. The employees will be offered corresponding training courses and other actions to develop various competencies. The program was launched this year.

MAIN CONCLUSIONS