Potential is defined as the capacity or latent skills, talents or capabilities that each person has towards growth, improvement or progress either in their personal or professional life.
Identifying and nurturing potential competences often involve self-reflection and feedback from others so performing a review using a 9-Box matrix will be crucial for their identification. Understanding one’s potential competences can be a very valuable step toward personal and professional growth as it allows individuals to reach their full potential and achieve their goals, besides exploring new challenges and opportunities.
Best practices to define teams’ potential competences
The definition of teams’ potential competences within an organization involves a thoughtful and systematic approach to identifying the skills and capabilities that are essential for the organization's success and future growth, besides being a crucial aspect of talent management.
To define potential competences for your organization have into account the following steps:
Pre-writing potential competences tasks
Before starting to write your organization potential competences it is important to evaluate the structure of the organization by:
- Conducting a strategic assessment: Understanding of the organization long-term goals, vision and strategic objectives in order to identify the critical areas where the organization needs to excel to achieve its objectives. This strategic assessment will provide insights into which are the competences that are most valuable for achieving success.
- Review Job Descriptions and role expectations: Analyze existing job descriptions and role expectations to identify the competencies required for each position taking into account the soft and technical skills needed for success in each role.
- Engage stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders, including senior leadership, department heads, and employees in the process as their input and perspectives will be valuable in identifying the competences that are most relevant and needed across various levels and functions within the organization.
Define your organization’s potential competences
It is time to start writing potential competences per levels, teams, etc. within the company. So take into consideration the following tips:
- Include Soft & Technical skills: Consider both soft skills (e.g. communication, leadership, problem-solving) and technical skills relevant to different job roles when defining potential competences as a balanced approach ensures comprehensive development.
- Set Performance levels: Clearly define different levels of proficiency for each potential competence, from low to high, to enable more accurate assessment and targeted development plans.
- Identify core competences: Determine the core competences based on their importance to the company’s strategic goals and affect the organizations competitive advantage.
- Create a potential competence framework: Establish a potential competence framework in which each potential competence is described and the behavioural indicators associated with each competence are clearly defined.
💡Use specific and observable behavioral-based language when describing each competence which will ensure that they are easily understood and measurable.
Once this model is finished, it will serve as a reference guide for evaluating and developing employees.
💡Provide examples of behaviours or actions that demonstrate proficiency in each area for better understanding.
- Benchmark with Industry Standards: Once you have identified all your potential competences, benchmark them against industry standards to determine if the set competences are relevant with the industry trends.
Put in use the new defined potential competences.
- Integrate competences into People processes: Start to plan and launch reviews that include the 9-box matrix into talent management processes and performance management. It will guide training and development actions and create a succession planning.
- Integrate with Talent Management processes: To ensure consistency and alignment across HR practices is important to integrate this framework into the recruitment process.
- Use multiple assessment methods: Utilize a combination of assessment methods such as self-assessments, peer reviews, manager evaluations, and performance metrics, to obtain a comprehensive view of employees’ potential competences.
- Promote a growth mindset: Foster a culture that encourages continuous learning and development. Emphasize the value of potential competences and support individuals's efforts to enhance their skills and capabilities.
4. What to do when you have your first review 9-box matrix results
- Provide training and awareness: Train managers and individuals on the competence framework so they understand its meaning and how to apply it in performance reviews. Besides, make sure that they are aware of the competences required for progression to higher-level roles.
- Leverage Employee feedback: Conduct surveys, focus groups, or 1:1 meetings with all the organization individuals to gather their perspectives on the competencies they believe that are crucial for success in the company.
- Continuously review and update: Competence needs may vary over time due to evolving business priorities and market conditions, so ensure to regularly review and update the competence framework to ensure that it remains aligned with the organization needs.
What are potential competences?
Potential competences are those capabilities or skills that individuals possess but have not yet been fully developed or utilized to their maximum extent.
Potential competences can help to provide further information regarding the following:
- Latent abilities: These abilities exist in all individuals but they are undeveloped but have the potential to be cultivated and refined with the right opportunities, training, and experiences.
- Unrealized Skills: Skills that haven’t yet been recognized or effectively utilized.
- Future development: By recognizing strengths individuals can work on nurturing them to enhance their overall capabilities which can be the basis for future growth and development.
- Career development: Being aware of their own potential competences can help individuals to make informed decisions about their professional paths.
- Performance improvement: People departments can assess each person individually to identify areas of improvement and provide relevant training and development opportunities.
- Success and Satisfaction: By harnessing their potential competences, individuals can experience greater success, job satisfaction, and fulfillment in their endeavors.
How can potential competences be used in a 9-box?
Potential competences combined with performance competences are gathered in a 9-box matrix which allows an overview of each organization's individual performance and potential for future development.
Potential competences applied to a review can provide the following information to People’s teams:
- Identify leadership capabilities: Competences that are relevant and valued within the organization and that will model a good leader such as strategic thinking, adaptability, problem-solving skills, communication skills or innovation.
- Evaluating potential: Individuals' potential in competences such as learning agility, willingness to take on new challenges and capacity to assume higher responsibilities are crucial to determine an individual potential for growth and future development.
- Creating categories according to a person's potential: Individuals are placed on a different quadrant of the 9-box matrix taking into account if they have high, medium or low potential for growth which are combined with their performance competence results. Consult the different categories available on a 9-box Matrix here.
- Talent Development and Succession Planning: High potential individuals can be identified for leadership development programs and considered for critical roles in the organization. By providing targeted training and experiences to help them grow they can achieve higher-level positions.
💡We recommend you to perform regular reviews (at least 2 a year) in order to have a clear vision of the status of each person within the organization and be able to track their progress.