The Benefits of Competency Based HR Applications

Eliminate HR? No problem? Not so fast.

What value is added when human resource applications are built on a foundation of job competency models?

Career Pathing and Retention

Job Competency Models provide detailed maps for existing employees to follow as they plan their careers and self-development. The model for any given job describes the exact competencies necessary to advance to that job, giving aspirants both secure information and incentive to acquire those competencies. That’s the kind of open opportunity that keeps talented and ambitious people working for you.

Recruitment and Selection

Today you may have all your players in place, but every new day brings the possibility of change. Retirement, outside recruitment, personal difficulties:

These and many other events can leave you with holes to fill–and anxiety about the quality of the people you’ll choose to fill them.

By applying Job Competency Models to the promotion and hiring processes, your senior management can greatly simplify their work. Models identify optimal career paths to look for, simplifying the search for candidates. Models also describe in detail the exact competencies employees will need to perform well in their jobs.

Performance Management

Performance assessments underlie decisions about employee rewards and promotions. Unfortunately many employees feel they have little control over the results of their work. You can counter this perception by linking employees’ rewards to their competent performance in employees’ rewards to their competent performance in defined areas. By doing this you empower workers and encourage cooperative, team-building behavior.

Job Competency Modeling provides an excellent base for performance management. As with development and recruitment, employee assessment is based on accurate, detailed information about job performance. To appraise this performance effectively, your managers need:

  • Accurate job-performance standards
  • Clear descriptions of job behaviors required to perform specific job tasks
  • Indicators of both average and superior job competencies

When you use competency models to provide these data, assessments yield useful, practical recommendations. Competecy–based compensation systems also explicitly tie rewards to the development of key competencies. This gives employees greater control over their professional development and offers incentive for excellence to workers and managers on every level.

Training and Development

Competency modeling provides a truly ideal framework for your training programs. Studies show that competency-based training offers a return on investment (ROI) nearly ten times higher than the ROI of traditional training methods. And improvement of your training is central to Workitect’s purpose. We have developed a process entitled the Competency Acquisition Process (CAP) for managing training efforts through increasing levels of competencies. The CAP consists of seven steps, outlined below:

– Identification of Required Competencies: Job Competency Models supply this information, or a simpler, less detailed system can be used for non-critical jobs.

– Assessment: Employees assess their current competencies and compare them to examples of superior performance. Performance assessments by managers are obvious tools as well. Employees and managers then decide which skills to focus on.

– Observation and Study: Employees study examples or models of superior performance. Trainers provide supporting information to aid participants’ comprehension.

– Practice: After acquiring a basic understanding of the concepts involved, participants move to practical, job-related applications of their new knowledge.

– Feedback: Trainers observe participants applying their new knowledge and offer constructive feedback and reinforcement.

– Goal-Setting: Trainers work with employees to set specific goals and action plans for applying new competencies back on the job.

– On-the-Job-Support: Supervisor and peers reinforce and support each individual’s demonstration of newly acquired skills.

When your employees enter this cyclical process of planning their own development and acquiring necessary training, everyone benefits. They take responsibility for their own career paths, their own job security, and you gain an ever more skilled and competent workforce. Improved performance, bonuses, increased productivity, and career advancement spell success for everyone.

Let Us Help You

Workitect has recently helped organizations in Chicago, New York, and beyond to develop competency models, frameworks, and applications for human resources and talent management.  You can learn how to develop your own models and applications by attending our Building Competency Models workshopContact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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Developing the Persuasive Communications Competency

From Workitect’s Competency Development Guide, a 280-page resource guide for developing thirty-five competencies.

Definition: The ability to plan and deliver oral and written communications that are impactful and persuasive with their intended audiences.

  1. Identifies and presents information or data that will have a strong effect on others
  2. Selects language and examples tailored to the level and experience of the audience
  3. Selects stories, analogies, or examples to illustrate a point
  4. Creates graphics, overheads, or slides that display information clearly and with high impact
  5. Presents several different arguments in support of a position

Importance of this Competency – Persuasive Communication is important for professionals in sales and marketing. It is also important for leaders, who need to gain support for a new vision of the organization, for an operational plan, and for changes in structure and work processes. This competency is also important for anyone who needs to gain others’ support for initiatives.

General Considerations in Developing this Competency – This competency involves developing two skills. The first of these is designing and developing communications that will have a persuasive impact. This skill requires thinking about and anticipating the impact of various communication strategies. Two kinds of information can be used to achieve a persuasive impact: (1) identifying and highlighting arguments or data that are logically compelling; and (2) identifying and highlighting arguments or data that address specific interests, concerns or fears of the audience.

An excellent way to enhance your ability to design and develop persuasive communications is to work closely with someone who is skilled in this ability. Books and courses on presentation skills can also be helpful.

The second skill involved in Persuasive Communication is presentation delivery. A course in presentation skills is likely to be especially helpful, because it combines specific instruction with practice and feedback. There are also books, videos and self-study courses to develop presentation skills.

Practicing this Competency

  • Look for and take advantage of opportunities to prepare and deliver presentations. In designing a presentation, identify and highlight information that will have a persuasive impact because it is logically compelling.
  • In designing a presentation or preparing for an influence meeting, try to anticipate the interests and concerns of the audience. Before the meeting or presentation, call someone in the audience and ask what kind of information would be most helpful and what the audience will be most interested in hearing.
  • In constructing a presentation, use examples or analogies based on the experience of your audience. For example, if you are talking to manufacturing staff, you might use examples dealing with production runs.
  • Take time to find and develop interesting stories to illustrate points in a presentation.
  • Use presentation software to develop attractive, high-impact graphics for your presentation.

Obtaining Feedback – Before delivering a presentation, review the content with someone whose judgment you trust and ask for feedback and suggestions.

Ask someone to observe you delivering a presentation and to give you feedback and constructive suggestions.

Have someone videotape you delivering or rehearsing a presentation. Then view the video and note specific things you can do to improve your presentation delivery.

 Learning from Experts – Observe someone skilled in creating and delivering presentations. Note the content and organization of the presentation. What ideas could you use in your presentations? Study the person’s delivery of the presentation. Note the person’s verbal and nonverbal behavior. What does this person do that you could do in your presentations?

Coaching Suggestions for Managers – If you are coaching someone who is trying to develop this competency, you can:

  • Provide opportunities for this person to observe skilled presenters. Discuss what the person noticed in the skilled presenter’s presentations.
  • Help the person plan the organization and content of a presentation. Share the reasons underlying your thinking.
  • Observe the person deliver a presentation and provide specific, constructive feedback, both positive and negative.
  • If you are managing several persons who have opportunities to give presentations, debrief each presentation and ensure that each person receives useful, constructive feedback.
  • Provide opportunities for presentation skills training.

Sample Development Goals

By June 10, I will read How to Present Like a Pro, by Lani Arredodo, and identify a list of ideas to build into my presentation at the Western Marketing Region Meeting.

By June 5, I will have Cindy Spier videotape me rehearsing a presentation, and I will ask her to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

By July 10, I will learn to use Microsoft Powerpoint to prepare a sales presentation to Omega Company.

By July 25, I will complete a course on presentation skills.

Books

Artful Persuasion: How to Command Attention, Change Minds, and Influence People, by Harry Mills. New York, NY: AMACOM, 2000.

Creative Business Solutions: Persuasive Presentations: How to Get the Response You Need, by Nick Souter & John Boyle. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2007.

Effective Presentation Skills: A Practical Guide For Better Speaking, by Steve Mandel. Ontario, CA: Crisp Publications, 2000.

In The SpotLight, Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing, by Janet E. Esposito. Bridgewater, CT: John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win Customers, Clients, and Contracts, 3RD Edition, by Tom Sant. New York, NY: AMACOM, 2012.

Persuasive Communication, Second Edition, by James B. Stiff & Paul A. Mongeau. New York, NY: Guilford Publications, Inc., 2003.

Persuasive Writing and Speaking: Communication Fundamentals for Business, by Phyllis Wachob. Stanford, CT: Thomson Learning, 2004.

Speaking With Bold Assurance: How to Become a Persuasive Communicator, by Bert Decker & Hershael W. York. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001.

The Art of Persuasion: A Practical Guide to Improving Your Convincing Power, by Andrew Gulledge. Lincoln, NE: Universe, Inc., 2004.

The Art of Public Speaking, by Stephen Lucas. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

The One-Page Proposal: How to Get Your Business Pitch onto One Persuasive Page, by Patrick G. Riley. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2002.

The Shortcut to Persuasive Presentations, by Larry Tracy. North Charleston, SC: BookSurge, LLC, 2003.

Wooing & Winning Business: The Foolproof Formula for Making Persuasive Business Presentations, by Spring Asher & Wicke Chambres. Hoboken, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

Self Study Courses

How to Speak Persuasively. American Management Association. Tel. 800 250-5308.

External Courses

Effective Executive Speaking. Three days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441.

Expanding Your Influence: Understanding the Psychology of Persuasion. Two days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441. http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/Expanding-Your-Influence-Understanding-the-Psychology-of-Persuasion.aspx

Getting Results Without Authority. Three days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441.

Influencing Skills. Two days. The Hayes Group International, Inc. Tel. 336 765-6764. http://www.thehayesgroupintl.com/workshops/influencing-skills/

Strategies for Developing Effective Presentation Skills. Three days. American Management Association. Tel. 877 566-9441.

Let Us Help You

Workitect is a leading provider of competency-based talent development systems, tools and programs. We use “job competency assessment” to identify the characteristics of superior performers in key jobs in an organization. These characteristics, or competencies, become “blueprints” for outstanding job performance. Competencies include personal characteristics, motives, knowledge, and behavioral skills. Job competency models are the foundation of an integrated talent management system that includes selection, performance management, succession planning, and leadership development. Contact our experienced consultants to learn how we can improve all areas of your talent management processes.

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Why your talent management is key to organizational success

42-25498443bAs we enter the third quarter of 2014, most organizations are preparing to kickstart the financial planning process for 2015. If your intentions are to gather a few key executives, discuss the competitive landscape, review market demand, trends and innovations, and develop strategies based on these findings, you should probably expect to encounter a few challenges.

Why? Simple: Your chances of success are driven by your employees’ ability to adequately execute the strategies you develop, because even the best course of action or the most accurate market analysis cannot yield the right results if you do not have the talent to execute it with precision.

Companies cannot afford to overlook talent, particularly in the current economic environment. It is now more than ever critical to consider your workforce’s ability to take on new challenges and adapt to changing directions before deciding on the very strategies that will take you where you want to go.

To do so, companies need to get HR involved in their annual planning exercise: first to provide a precise account of the skills, competencies and expertise readily available in-house, and then to identify any gap that need to be remedied in order to support the goals and strategic direction of the organization going forward.

By enlisting HR’s expertise in planning for the year ahead, companies grant themselves the opportunity to optimize the effectiveness of their strategies, as well as the organization’s competitiveness and overall performance.

Talent as a key differentiator

Talent has become the ultimate differentiator and a critical source of competitiveness for organizations around the globe. Nevertheless, very few executives grasp the intricate dynamics of talent development and business strategy. In fact, a survey conducted for The Talent Imperative states that “fewer than one in ten executives from midsized private companies say their talent strategies are intimately aligned with overall strategic planning.”

According to the study and a supporting Forbes article, if talent is often overlooked as a source of competitive advantage it is simply because it isn’t made a priority at the C-suite level. Rather, executives seek out new market opportunities, without first evaluating if their current workforce can support these ventures. Such a course of action typically translates into sub-par results because, as previously mentioned, it is your workforce’s ability to execute your strategies that is key to success… and a healthy bottom line.

Executives must stop assuming that their employees will be able to adapt and perform in exact alignment to the strategies they develop, but it is still HR’s job to plead that case, to demonstrate the importance of accurate workforce assessment and effective development programs in achieving your organization’s objectives over time.

Before adopting a new course of action, you must therefore:

  1. Conduct an accurate assessment of your employees’ competencies – this can only be achieved with an objective and effective performance evaluation process.
  2. Identify what (if anything) is lacking and how to fill that gap to achieve your goals – this requires transparent top-down and bottom-up communications to understand the strategic direction of the organization, as well as the potential/motivators of your workforce.
  3. Implement a talent development strategy based on your findings – assuming you have clear channels of communication and objective performance assessors.

5 steps to injecting talent into your corporate objectives

If you agree with the above, then you already know that the characteristics of your current talent pool, along with your talent development and career mobility programs, should be key influencers of your top-level objectives. Developing strategies is one thing; executing them is another.

To ensure that your workforce possesses the skills, competencies and drive needed to propel the organization forward, HR must work with other executives to:

  1. Identify the roles and positions where performance can differentiate your organization from its competitors
  2. Establish metrics to define what success looks like in these roles, as well as how performance should be measured
  3. Fill those positions (recruiting or developing) with the right talent with the help of competency models that accurately identify the skills, knowledge, and personal characteristics of the top performers
  4. Develop targeted training and performance optimization programs that are aligned to your organizational goals and talent pool
  5. Enhance engagement and motivation by improving communication with respect to these goals and by building career paths for your employees

We recommend competency modeling as a basis for achieving this because a competency framework supports the idea that results are tied to performance. Not only does it ensure that the right people with the right skills are placed in the right roles, but a competency-based talent management process also facilitates career-pathing, promotes engagement, and fosters skills development; all of which serve to improve bottom-line performance and minimize turnover costs.

We invite you to read this white paper to learn how an integrated, competency-based HR system can serve various applications for selection, succession planning, career pathing, performance management, and training, as well as serve as a key tool to drive organizational change.

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A Competency Model for Career Mobility

The Value of Competency Models for Employees: When Performance Evaluations Aren’t Enough for Career MobilityOur intention is not to burst your bubble about your professional future, but let’s be honest: Your potential to be promoted to other roles within your organization has most likely already been evaluated by your employer, based on the skills, competencies, knowledge and those ‘wish list’ attributes you are perceived to possess.

But just how accurate is your employer’s perception of your capabilities? And what if the skills required for the role you wish to obtain were competencies you haven’t been given the opportunity to demonstrate yet? Is there even a way for you to know what is contained in this proverbial wish list?

Evaluating the skills and knowledge you’ve already acquired and used in your current role is one thing, but it’s those intangibles on your employer’s ‘dream candidate’ wish list that truly make the difference in terms of assessing your potential for career mobility.

When organizations use customized competency models, it provides you – and all employees – the consistency and objectivity you need to understand not only your performance and potential, but also what it takes to move up. Think of these models as road maps to your professional success, charting your course towards the progression you seek in your career.

Core skills are not enough

If you’re looking for career mobility, it’s not enough to simply possess and master the core technical skills required by your current job role. What makes you most attractive and valuable to your organization is a combination of, yes, these core skills, but also personal and intangible competencies. These intangibles are what sets you apart and what makes you shine in the eye of your employer.

But intangibles are, by definition, things that are not concrete. More specifically, they can be explained as things you can grasp the meaning of, but can’t wrap your hands around. So how can you know what is expected of you and, better yet, how can you develop competencies that are typically so subjective?

In comparing candidates’ performance and potential, a competency model provides a consistent, objective and valid framework for the evaluation of your skills. If none exists, you cannot really know what is being used as a measuring stick, e.g. loyalty to boss, tenure, etc. A model allows your employer to give you clearer, more concise and understandable feedback about your strengths and development opportunities. For instance, would you prefer to hear “you need to work on your selling skills” or “you would be more effective in selling your ideas if you more actively sought to understand others’ needs and concerns before trying to promote your ideas”? The latter is a lot more specific and helpful to you.

A competency model therefore helps you build your own development plan by pointing to specific behaviors that you master and those that you should improve. That’s the true value of a competency model for you.

Half the battle to your aspirations

When your company hired you, they were most likely evaluating you against a holistic group of qualifications: core, personal and potential intangible skills. Really, half the battle to achieving your career aspirations has already been won – you’re hired!

Now, as your workplace and industry evolve, you are expected to continue to learn and develop new skills, to adapt to change and take ownership over your professional growth. A well-executed competency model approach can help provide this… and we can help!

To learn more, visit our webpage here and don’t hesitate to share this article with your employer!

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Career gold for you in your employer’s talent management process

Career GoldA truly effective competency modeling process doesn’t just serve the needs and purposes of the company or HR department; integrated with a performance management process, it can also include a focus on measurable outcomes and definable behaviors to help you, as an employee, by providing you the information you need to understand:

  1. What is expected of you in your current role – i.e., your performance objectives and scope of accountability
  2. The knowledge and skills you need to strengthen or develop in order to ensure a bright career path – in other words, your potential to grow and succeed within a particular field or company.

Too often, employees tend to view performance evaluations as a one-way street; instead, you should view this process as an opportunity to not only increase your output in your current role, but to also build the skillset you need to access those very positions you have set your eyes on for the future.

Become your organization’s “wish list”

Competency models are one of the best tools an organization can give its workforce. We already know that companies invest many resources in developing and implementing talent management programs, typically with the primary objective to optimize their workforce’s performance. In addition to serving this purpose, competency models also support management’s complex task of communicating clear job expectations to employees – an area where too many unfortunately fail. This leads to employees’ low opinion of the usefulness of performance evaluations.

Fortunately, by developing a competency model for your job, management can include “wish lists” of expectations – at every job level and for every role in the organization.  A model allows you to understand what needs to be done to boost your performance in your current role, while providing you with valuable information regarding the skills you need to acquire for career mobility and progression.

Think of a competency model as a checklist of requirements on an application form. A professionally designed model is clear and concise, and always accompanied by a competency dictionary defining the different skills and behaviors, as they apply to the company. It’s easy to see, with such a carefully defined roadmap, how a model can benefit you, as an employee – whether you are looking to hone your skills or acquire new ones.

Take the reins of your performance

To employees, performance reviews often seem like yet another utopian corporate process, but when the right competency models are in place, your career, your future and your skills – all of the elements that define you professionally – are placed at the center of the process, affording you the opportunity to:

  • Assess your own strengths and potential for growth within a field and/or company
  • Increase your self-awareness and natural capabilities
  • Improve your success rate
  • Draw up the map to your ideal career mobility journey

As an added benefit, properly designed competency models allow you to take the reins of your performance by giving you the ability to track and document your own accomplishment, giving insight into how well you have acquired and demonstrated those “wish list” behavioral indicators your employer seeks.

Learn more – “How Can A Job Competency Model Benefit You Personally?”
http://www.workitect.com/Products-and-Licenses/competencydevelo.html

Visit our website for more details about how competency models and other talent management tools can help you forge a path toward an exciting and successful career.

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Competency models: Key to motivation and success?

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It’s a rather natural response for employees to become either curious or suspicious – or a healthy combination of both – when a new project or job role is created in an organization. While some may see it as an opportunity to possibly transition to a higher role, or at least one that appears more in line with their goals, others may fear for their own usefulness within the organization, particularly if they do not receive sufficient or adequate feedback on their performance.

Yet, when employees are given the transparency needed to understand a new project, where their level of involvement lies, and what the potential benefits of this project are to them and to the company, it becomes easier to turn ‘cautious optimism’ into support. After all, without adoption of a project by your workforce there can be no successful outcomes.

Job competency models are great tools to help companies become more transparent in their communications, allow employees to fulfill their own professional aspirations, and drive growth and development. In return, what you see is an increased level of motivation and higher performance ratios… if done right.

Skip the guessing games

Wouldn’t it be nice to skip the guessing games and know exactly what you need to do to be successful at work? Another key benefit that job competency models provide to employees consists in clear job requirements.

Competencies indeed serve to outline the key skills needed to perform at a high level within a job role, thus creating realistic expectations for your employees. For example, the role of a manager can be rather broad and complex, depending on the industry, but a well-developed and customized competency model provides this employee with explicit objectives within the context of your organization and industry, in addition to the skills required to excel in this role.

The road to career mobility

In addition to providing a road map to performance within each job role, a competency model allows your employees to understand what they need to access other positions within your organization, which in turns fosters motivation, performance, growth and development, not to mention greater collaboration and support.

What’s more, HR and managers are better equipped to provide useful performance assessments, as such a level of transparency allows everyone to understand performance evaluation criteria. The result is a clear impetus for professional growth and overall success.

These are of course only but a few examples of how a tailored competency model can work to improve your overall performance and employee satisfaction. You can learn more about the benefits of a competency-based talent management process by visiting the consulting section of our website (http://www.workitect.com/Consulting/competency-based.html), or by contacting us for an initial consultation.

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The First Competency Model

Harvard University

Harvard University

The first competency model was developed in the early 1970’s by the eminent psychologist Dr. David McClelland and consultants from McBer and Company2. McClelland was a Harvard professor who published a paper in 1973 titled “Testing for Competence Rather Than Intelligence”. This launched the competency movement in psychology. The first test of competency assessment methods was with the U.S. Department of State. The department was concerned about the selection of junior Foreign Service Information Officers, young diplomats who represent the United States in various countries. The traditional selection criteria, tests of academic aptitude and knowledge, did not predict effectiveness as a foreign service officer and were screening out too many minority candidates.

When asked to develop alternative methods of selection, McClelland and his colleagues decided that they needed to find out what characteristics differentiated outstanding performance in the position. They first identified contrasting samples of outstanding performers and average performers, by using nominations and ratings from bosses, peers, and clients. Next, the research team developed a method called the Behavioral Event Interview, in which interviewees were asked to provide detailed accounts, in short story form, of how they approached several critical work situations, both successful and unsuccessful. The interviewer used a non-leading probing strategy to find out what the interviewee did, said, and thought at key points within each situation.

To analyze the data from the interviews, the researchers developed a sophisticated method of content analysis, to identify themes differentiating the outstanding performers from the average performers. The themes were organized into a small set of “competencies,” which the researchers hypothesized were the determinants of superior performance in the job. The competencies included non-obvious ones such as “Speed in Learning Political Networks”; the outstanding officers were able to quickly figure out who could influence key people and what each person’s political interests were.

Workitect uses the McBer methodology to build competency models.

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The Competent New Human Resources Manager

HumanResources_WordCloud_v2 copyYou most likely already know that competencies help define the basic skills employees need to perform their job duties. But did you know that new managers in the human resources function must also exhibit certain competencies in order to exercise proficiency with their own job functions? These include human resource knowledge, understanding of adult learning principals, time management and leadership skills.

If your organization doesn’t have a competency model in place to facilitate the growth and development of new management, here’s how to address the issue.

The competency connection

It’s essential for your new management – especially those who will be heavily involved in training and development – to work closely with your Human Resources staff to implement training at all levels across the organization. Duties can range anywhere from advising on employee development trends to conducting needs assessments to address employee strengths.

The point here is that not only will your new managers be required to use competency-based approaches in their role, but those same competency initiatives must be in place to decide if the new manager is even the right fit for handling these important, previously noted tasks.

Beyond human resource knowledge…

The benefits of a well-trained new manager can extend well beyond basic human resource knowledge or understanding best practices for encouraging employee participation during the development process.

Consider what the following more advanced skill sets competencies can bring about with new management training:

  • Polished verbal communication skills when it involves facilitating focus groups, seminars or workshops
  • Empowerment of management, where company goals are actively supported
  • A catalyst for driving corporate change – management who can draw more willing participation from employees at all levels
  • A motivator – leading to increased productivity and cost reductions. Management committed to corporate effectiveness as a means of self-improvement

Wish to learn more? Click here to discover how a competency approach can successfully facilitate the development of new management within your organization.

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Key Ingredients to Organizational Success

RaiseTheBarSliderConversation, Compensation, and Competencies

Do you feel overwhelmed with managing your employees’ expectations? Do they not understand your company culture and what is expected of them to keep progressing? You’re not alone.

Communicating what it takes to achieve the next steps in job advancement provides your employees with the knowledge they need to manage their own careers. Moving up typically depends not only on having the skills and knowledge required for a promotion, but the behavioral attributes necessary to achieve job success.

When it comes to conducting an employee development review and coaching session, did you know that competencies can provide the necessary elements for building a solid career framework model?  Competencies can play a significant role in determining the right conversation points, and even help determine compensation increases when it comes time to have your organization’s annual performance reviews.

 Raising the Bar on Performance Management

Adequate and customized competency assessments can contribute to enhanced performance management, framing employee development reviews and helping to identify:

  • Job performance standards and measures
  • Job behaviors required to accomplish specific tasks and responsibilities
  • Competencies demonstrated by average and superior performers in key jobs

The American Compensation Association (now know as WorldAtWork) sponsored a research study in 1996 called “Raising the Bar – Using Competencies to Enhance Employee Performance.” Much of this 76-page booklet of findings still maintains relevancy with today’s workforce. For example, one of the most frequently cited human resource strategies involves improving teamwork and coordination, and increasing the link between pay and performance.  This is a human resource strategy that supports a broader business strategy.

 Exiting the “Free Agent” Culture

As organizations begin to adopt a career framework model as apposed to the “free agent” culture, employees will be less likely to leave. Why? The reasons are obvious:

  • They will feel encouraged in their path to progress
  • They will understand your expectations more precisely
  • They will stop feeling ‘stuck’ in a position that keeps asking them to do more for less
  • They will remain engaged and dedicated, further preserving your culture and values

In turn, this will satisfy both their drive to access dearly coveted positions and your need for performance and organizational success.

To learn more, click here to read about even more benefits of competency-based performance management.

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Competency-Based Succession Planning

Businessmen Listening to a Female Ceo Talking in a Meeting RoomFor most employees, the potential to access other, oft-higher positions within an organization is a great incentive to maximizing performance. As an HR professional, it is therefore important that you maintain this motivation and invest in their development through adequate training and coaching. It is equally essential to properly assess employees’ current skills as well as potential for growth.

To do so, there are several “intangibles” to evaluate to determine if an employee can succeed in a new role, typically requiring a new set of competencies. Yet, how does the human resource function attain transparency – the knowledge of what exactly those intangibles are?

In comparing an employee’s performance and potential, a competency model can provide a consistent, objective and valid framework. Once designed, not only such a blueprint benefit your employees by providing them with a “reset button” – that is, a continued opportunity to fulfill career aspirations, but it can also save an organization thousands of dollars in turnover expenses by simply reusing the current employee within a more desired, or better suited, role.

A Measuring Stick for Retaining Optimal Performers

With defining job competencies in succession planning, it’s all about ensuring the right individual is placed in the right job at the right time. However, like many things in life, it is not a perfect science and employees reserve the right to perhaps either change their mind or simply wish to advance differently within an organization.

With the right competency model (i.e., suited to your reality and needs), your organization is equipped with a solid measuring stick for evaluating those previously mentioned employee intangibles, and can therefore help ensure certain desired outcomes, such as:

  • Few people fail
  • One, preferably two, well-suited internal candidates are qualified for each key position
  • Few superior performers leave because of lack of opportunity

The result: A well-prepared, high-performing HR team, an organization that retains optimal performers who already grasp the internal corporate culture, processes and procedures, and employees who are motivated to succeed in making a difference for the company, much thanks to their own individual growth potential.

To learn more, please visit our webpage on Competency-based Career and Succession Planning.

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