Competency Framework

ou’re probably familiar with the phrase ‘what gets measured gets done.’ Defining and measuring effectiveness – especially the performance of workers – is a critical part of your job as a manager.

The question is: How do you define the skills, behaviors, and attitudes that workers need to perform their roles effectively? How do you know they’re qualified for the job? In other words, how do you know what to measure?

Some people think formal education is a reliable measure. Others believe more in on-the-job training, and years of experience. Still others might argue that personal characteristics hold the key to effective work behavior.

All of these are important, but none seems sufficient to describe an ideal set of behaviors and traits needed for any particular role. Nor do they guarantee that individuals will perform to the standards and levels required by the organization.

A more complete way of approaching this is to link individual performance to the goals of the business. To do this, many companies use ‘competencies.’ These are the integrated knowledge, skills, judgment, and attributes that people need to perform a job effectively. By having a defined set of competencies for each role in your business, it shows workers the kind of behaviors the organization values, and which it requires to help achieve its objectives. Not only can your team members work more effectively and achieve their potential, but there are many business benefits to be had from linking personal performance with corporate goals and values.

Defining which competencies are necessary for success in your organization can help you do the following:

Ensure that your people demonstrate sufficient expertise.
Recruit and select new staff more effectively.
Evaluate performance more effectively.
Identify skill and competency gaps more efficiently.
Provide more customized training and professional development.
Plan sufficiently for succession.
Make change management processes work more efficiently.

How can you define the set of practices needed for effective performance? You can do this by adding a competency framework to your talent management program. By collecting and combining competency information, you can create a standardized approach to performance that’s clear and accessible to everyone in the company. The framework outlines specifically what people need to do to be effective in their roles, and it clearly establishes how their roles relate to organizational goals and success.

This article outlines the steps you need to take to develop a competency framework in your organization.

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