Wednesday, 16 November 2011

How Can You Plan For Competency-Based Management?

Stakeholder participation is important not only to create "buy-in" but also to ensure competencies truly reflect the behaviours that contribute to and sustain organizational success.
It takes effort and commitment to implement a fully-elaborated and integrated Competency-based human resource management (HRM) system. It is important, therefore, to take the time to evaluate the needs of the organization, and to create a strategy and plan that will meet these needs - in other words, getting it right the first time.

Developing the Strategy:
Having identified the business need, the champions for change and the organizational readiness, the organization is in a position to more precisely define a staged approach for developing and implementing competency models.

As the first major challenge the organization must decide to what level the competencies will be defined. For example, will it be sufficient to define the common / core competencies for everyone in the organization, or do specific competencies have to be developed for particular classifications and levels, functions, or jobs? The answer to this question hinges on how the competencies will be used. For example, to staff particular positions, competencies should be defined for the job. On the other hand, for appointments to level, for appointments to level, competencies need only be defined at the core or common level.

The organization must also determine the competency modeling method best suited to support the identified needs. In our experience, no one single method will effectively support all components of the human resource management system (i.e. training and development, selection, performance management, etc.), the full range of occupations and levels (executive, professional, skilled, semi-skilled, etc.), or the various types of organizational and business environments.

Finally, communication is imperative at all stages of the planning, development and implementation process. In addition to promoting the value, benefits and ways in which the Competency-based initiative will be implemented, stakeholder participation in the process is also important, not only to create "buy-in" for the initiative, but also to ensure that the competencies truly reflect the behaviours that will contribute to and sustain organizational success.

Common Pitfalls of Competency Initiatives
No sponsor, or sponsor with insufficient power, influence, credibility or strategic perspective.
No perceived need for change, among senior leaders or groups with power.
Resistance to change across the organization.
No clear identification of stakeholders – not involving them.
Losing momentum – priorities change.
Non-existent / inadequate training – managers, supervisors, employees, HR staff.
Support infrastructure and finding not in place.
Inadequate project management / project talent.
Not implementing right away.
Competencies / applications too complicated.

This post is based on content from 'Competency-based Human Resource Management: Planning for Success' by Suzanne Simpson, Ph.D. And Lorraine McKay, M.A.

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