Identifying Competencies That Matter

 -  3/6/10

Organizations need to know which competencies impact the bottom line to ensure they focus appropriate strength and resources on related development and recruitment activities.

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Right Attitude Perhaps More Key Than Automation for Succession Planning

Talent management professionals would be hard-pressed to find one of their colleagues willing to admit (even in secret) that they are unaware of the value succession planning has for an organization.

For decades, competency modeling has been the de facto standard that organizations use to integrate HR functions such as selection, performance, development, pay and succession management.

Traditionally, those competencies have been based on what leaders deem logical. However, without hard data, what may seem logical could be just a gut reaction. Liken it to a hockey team that thinks its players growing beards is the reason it wins, without analyzing shooting and blocking ratios.

With logic as a foundation, organizations may produce long lists of competencies that aren’t completely accurate — meaning the defined competencies don’t have as much impact on business outcomes as is thought, which makes them less effective business drivers than they could be. Today’s businesses need a more evidence-based approach.

The good news is that technological advances have increased the availability of analytical data needed to bring an evidence-based competency process to life. Companies that use this data to leverage the right talent and skill sets will have a significant competitive advantage as they build their businesses.

Evidence-Based Competency Modeling Defined

An evidence-based competency model uses performance management and talent analytics to determine what competencies drive an organization’s success, drawing empirical links between employee skill and an organization’s bottom line.

When determining the right competencies, leaders should ask themselves: Is there evidence that shows employees who rank high in this area actually have a positive impact on key indicators, such as employee engagement, earnings, client loyalty and productivity? Previously, talent leaders didn’t have access to rich analytical data that could prove the correlation.

Today, there is better access to analytical data, and it has revealed alarming results. Previous beliefs are often wrong, very wrong. For example, most companies have identified 12 or more competencies as critical to their success. However, an evidence-based approach often finds only four or five of the 12 competencies identified in a logic-based approach have real business value; another three or four are mediocre; and the rest have no direct impact on the business at all.

Article Keywords:   mentoring   technology  


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