4 Unrealized Benefits of a Competency Model

Every day, savvy organizations make investments in their future. As technology compels business to move faster, and new generations of employees comfortably jump from company to company, smart organizations must continue to ensure that their assets are more than just adequate to move them forward. They must focus their assets toward achieving the organization’s goals. This focus applies especially to human assets – a company’s workforce.

Creating that reliable workforce is a two-step process. Identifying and acquiring the right employees is a challenging first step. Once the right employees have been hired, the company must take the second step: ensuring that its mission, vision, goals, and values are in alignment and are understood by the workforce. Key stakeholders cannot begin succession planning for mid- and senior-level managers until this alignment focus is adopted. It is only when all employees understand and internalize the values and direction that the organization can confidently move toward its future goals.

One of the best ways to achieve this is through the development of a competency model, or “method,” that is unique to the organization.

As the competency management method was developed and proven over time, some researchers found that such models help with alignment up and down the organization, ensuring that employees are focused on doing the right things for effective performance. A clear and well-articulated competency model will help each employee focus on the overall goals of the organization – not simply “knowing” what those goals are – but validating that their work aligns with the organization’s forward movement. By aligning internal behaviors and skills with the organization’s main goals, the strategic direction of the company progresses.

HR – The Lynchpin

Human Resources (HR) Departments can play an integral role in moving the organization toward synchronicity. Contrary to some beliefs, the HR department is not an entity that is separate from other departments, or separate within the organization; instead, it is the lynchpin that can seamlessly engage all levels toward working toward the same goals. Taking a holistic view – HR as a function, as a system, and as a set of behaviors – creates true value by connecting the people with the company’s performance.

There are several specific benefits for HR when a competency management method is used within a business metrics framework:

  1. a deeper understanding and appreciation of HR is created throughout the organization.
  2. HR is provided with greater insight into problem areas.
  3. bright lights will ultimately shine on the company’s success areas.
  4. and the concrete data provided by metrics will demonstrate the connections between competencies and organizational success.

Of course, most employees desire to make positive contributions to the organization, as well. By understanding the connection between their daily activities and the company’s goals, job satisfaction levels will likely increase. An ROI framework helps to communicate strategy clearly at all levels, and shows employees how they fit into the bigger picture. Employees will perform the right work, and will perform their work right – that is, better and more efficiently – by applying their creativity and initiative.

To summarize, an ROI framework paired with a competency model can create a culture with increased employee job satisfaction, the ability to attract better talent to the organization, and reductions in employee turnover. Key stakeholders and customers benefit as well, with greater customer satisfaction levels, increased profits, and growing market share.

If you’ve experienced any of these benefits from your competency model, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section. If you want to implement a competency framework, contact us here at Avilar or read our white paper – Energizing Performance Through Competency Management.

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