Review & renew your competency framework

If you already have a competency framework that has been in place for more than a couple of years, it may be in need of a strategic review and see how it's working for your business. So before we get into the details,  it’s worth making it clear what a competency framework is. Put simply, it is a set of standards, of criteria, that describes how people go about doing their jobs. A competency framework contains behaviours, approaches, attitudes and ways of looking at things, that set out what ‘really good’ looks like in your company. Your job description, targets and objectives describe WHAT you do, the competency framework describes HOW you might do it. A competency framework will underpin lots of different work and people management processes, including appraisal, training and development and promotion. It provides a common language for us to talk about our managers about these things- how well we’re doing, where our strengths are, what we need to develop further. It provides a fairer and more consistent platform for making decisions about people and how to get the best out of everyone. A good first step is to look at how and where your competencies are used and where they can be reinforced.  …

How detailed does your Competency framework need to be?

Increasingly and as part of a broader talent management strategy, we are helping client's analyse and develop competency frameworks. Working with large numbers of these you do begin to see patterns and consistent themes, but we do also see a great variation in the depth, breadth and structure of competency models.  If you'd like to see some examples that span this spectrum, read on and do contact us. When developing a framework to underpin your talent management efforts, it can be difficult to strike a balance between something that will apply to most and making it too generalised to be useful. Our first step, is to ask why and how with the framework be used.  We often create 'personas' of people that intend to use the framework in applications such as recruitment, performance management, talent reviews, leadership development and so on.  With this 'lens' firmly in mind, we can begin to set the right level and continuously refer back to the 'how' and 'why' to keep the project outcome-focused. Whilst staying grounded in the application of competences, we can't ignore the sound research that exists and has stood the test of time.  …

How to define what good looks like

There's a recurring theme when talking with HR decision-makers: how to establish a common understanding and way of defining what ‘Good’ looks like for key roles in an organisation. Everyone you ask has a different opinion, and judges it differently. What do we have available to help us in this?…

Making competencies work: the nuts and bolts of the organisation

Embedding 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.…

Bringing your competency framework to life

In our last blog post we looked at how to spring clean your competency framework. Once you've refreshed and updated it, you can begin to think about where the opportunities are for competencies to show their face in the day to day operation of your organisation. In what ways are competencies visible?  What would you see if your competency model was really ‘alive’? Competencies can be expressed in any of the following:…

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