Making competencies work: the nuts and bolts of the organisation

Posted on October 11, 2016 at 15:51 PM

competenciesEmbedding a competency framework across all your assessment processes is another critical step to making your framework come alive.

It is surprising how often we find that different processes (e.g., leadership development programmes, 360 degree questionnaires and executive search briefs) adopt different criteria and use language that is not consistent with the core behavioural expectations in the organisation.

You may need to:

Review your job descriptions to ensure they don’t speak a different language to what people see when they are assessed in role.

Check that your 360 assessments do not create confusion over what’s really important in your business. Off-the-shelf questionnaires in particular might lead to this.

Take a look at your interview questions. When you are recruiting people from outside the organisation, do your interview questions, criteria and other assessment processes all measure the same criteria? When people are assessed internally – either for development or for a new role – are the same criteria applied?

Check what information is given to prospective employees, pre-induction. Are they given a realistic appreciation of what’s expected of them when they join?  What they need to do to be effective and successful in the organisation?

Look at your on-boarding process. Does it help people to understand their current strengths and potential development needs in line with the competency framework? Are they clearly pointed towards sources of support and help in developing the required competencies for their role?

Be clear how you identify high potential (for leadership, for customer-facing roles, for cross-functional projects etc.) Your competency framework should also set out the criteria by which you would spot this potential in people, rather than having a separate ‘potential model’ which just creates another layer of complexity and confusion for people.

An obvious one, but check that your performance management processes are consistent with the competency framework, and that people have the opportunity and facilities to self-assess - whenever they want – against the competency framework.

Work through career paths and succession plans to ensure they are informed and supported by your competency framework. Are people able to look at their competency strengths and identify other roles and functions which would enable them to play to these strengths, and develop other areas further?

Take a look at how your customer-facing staff are assessed. What feedback is gathered about them, and shared with them?  Embed values and relevant competencies into customer feedback questionnaires or surveys, to help customer service specialists to understand how the behaviours impact their work and the effect it has on their customers. Seeing the relevance in this way (and understanding the impact your behaviour has on others) can bring your competencies more into the consciousness of employees, and reinforce the ‘right’ behaviours.

How else have you made competencies work for your organisation?

Competencies may not be fashionable right now, but they haven't had their day and many of us (for good reasons) are still using them!

If you would like explore how we could work with you to refresh and embed your competencies then do get in touch.  

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