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  • Stewart Mathers

Competency frameworks:

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

5 essentials for successful implementation

Many organisations today recognise the potential value of having a competency framework. A structured matrix to help identify what ‘good looks like’ and ensure there are standards of performance and behaviour which can be utilised throughout the organisation. From recruitment and selection through to on-going people development activities – the whole talent management remit can hinge on the quality (or lack) of its competences. There are however some sorry tales where competency frameworks have been developed or bought in only to cause more issues (confusion, resentment and frustration) and end up collecting dust on the shelf somewhere.

There are some essential factors that must be considered if implementing competences is going to make a significant contribution towards the organisation’s strategic goals:


1) Involvement – it is critical that employees have a direct input to the competences that relate to their work – they need to feel consulted and their opinions valued – in order for them to take ownership of what is ultimately their performance and their behaviour


2) Relevancy – the language, terminology and points of reference in the competences must match that used by people in the organisation in their specific role and function whilst avoiding jargon and colloquialisms


3) Standardised – there needs to be clearly defined benchmarking methodology that ensures consistency in the competences across the organisation’s various functions and levels


4) Stepped – competences must reflect the different levels of ability and performance consistent with the different roles, range of experience and development across their workforce. Each level must also reflect stepped measures/grades of competency so that the individual knows how well they are performing within their level


5) Aligned – finally, competences need to be aligned with the organisation’s strategic objectives, vision and values. This requires them to not only encapsulate best practice within the current operating model, but also to be in-line the organisation’s direction of travel and contribute to future proofing the business


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