The Power of Competency Models in Modern Organizations

We all use competencies; they are simply the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform our daily activities. A Competency Model organizes the competencies needed to perform successfully in a particular work setting, such as a job, occupation, or industry. Competency Models can be utilized as a resource for building a curriculum and picking training materials, recognizing licenses as well as certification necessities, penning job descriptions, recruiting employees, and assessing employee performance.

A competency model is a collection of competencies that together define successful performance in a particular work setting. Competency models are the foundation for significant HR functions such as training and development, recruitment and hiring, and performance management, to name a few. Competency models can be developed and refined for specific jobs, job groups, businesses, or industries.

Competency Models can be used for shaping the organization in alignment to competency models as the latter take a variety of forms; typically, they include the following elements: Competency names and detailed definitions. For example, a competency model could include a competency called “Teamwork” defined as an amalgamation of establishing constructive and solid interpersonal relationships; treating others with courtesy, tact, and respect; working effectively with others, regardless of organizational level, background, gender, race, or ethnicity; working to resolve disagreements, attempting to persuade others and reach agreements; abiding by and supporting group decisions; and facilitating team interaction and maintaining focus on group goals.

Descriptions of activities or behavior associated with each competency – For example, behaviors associated with the competency “Teamwork” would include handling differences in work styles effectively when working with coworkers, capitalizing on strengths of others on a team to get work done, anticipating potential conflicts and addressing them directly and effectively, motivating others to contribute opinions and suggestions, and demonstrating a personal commitment to group goals.

Headquartered in Bangalore, India, leading business psychology firm Strengthscape opines that a competency model facilitates a strategic approach and a binding method for all HR systems in a global organization. It is essential to place the right people in the right job, promote the high performers and create a climate that ensures people put in their best every day. A competency model acts at various levels and delivers a host of benefits in integrating a company’s processes and measures and propagating a unique culture. Talent Acquisition can be streamlines by juxtaposing the requirements of a job to the competencies of the available pool of candidates (employees or aspiring employees), an organization can hire the best fit people. Improving productivity by concentrating people’s effort and performances that have the utmost impact on business, across all levels. By ensuring that the skill gaps are methodically quantified, they ensure that training budgets are aptly spent. Making the best of feedback process, organizations can conceive development actions in an effective way.

Competency Models articulate the required skills and competencies of the future and by ascertaining the gap between the current level of skills and what is important for the future success of the organization, they contribute towards making the organization future ready; acting as fodder for Competency Models.