Are Competency Frameworks still Relevant?

Are Competency Frameworks still Relevant?

Are Competency Frameworks still Relevant?

Competency Frameworks have taken some rap recently, as being somewhat out of fashion.  However, if you look at some of the most successful global organizations, they are using Competency Frameworks and associated Leadership and Management behaviours/values for all their hiring, onboarding, talent  assessments, 360 Feedback Reviews, Training  and Coaching.  Without Competencies, these organizations feel that they have no means to evaluate skills levels and ongoing improvement in a fair and equal manner.  Any company that has experienced a run of poor hires may need to reconsider their assessment and selection strategies and introduce competencies.

According to the CIPD ’Competency frameworks, when done well, can increase clarity around performance expectations and establish a clear link between individual and organisational performance.’  At Natural Talent we completely advocate the use of Competency Frameworks  to underpin all hiring, onboarding, assessment, performance management, learning and development, talent management and succession planning.

Competency Frameworks are even more relevant today in the VUCA work place, with the increased requirements for managing global and remote teams, hybrid teams, matrix working, collaboration, cross-functional and project working, flexibility and movement.  Team members, in particular the Millennials, are looking for more clarity regarding their roles and responsibilities, their managers’ expectations of them, and the level of empowerment and decision making authority they have.  Additionally, they are looking for regular, timely feedback, whether it be positive or more constructive, in order to plan their career path. 

Competencies provide:

  • a structured approach and standards of performance expected by the organization regarding knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitude
  • the ability to objectively and fairly assess and hire the right candidates in to the most appropriate roles
  • clarity and professionalism during onboarding
  • the facility to set performance metrics around ways of working and an individual’s approach to the role, as well as accountability, responsibility and expectations
  • the capability to align individual objectives with the company vision and strategy
  • a clear focus for  ongoing assessment,including 360 Feedback Reviews
  • a framework for leaders and managers to deliver open and honest feedback
  • a structure for career conversations
  • the means to manage poor and good performance
  • a solid platform to identify training needs
  • the foundation to develop bespoke and targeted Coaching, Leadership and Management Development Programmes  with SMART Action Plans
  • a means to underpin initiatives and programmes for Talent Management and Succession Planning
  • a level playing field for assessment, development and advancement post a restructure or merger

When leaders and managers lead by example and demonstrate the organizations competencies and values, then team members are clearer on what is expected of them, resulting in a positive impact on company culture.  Competency Frameworks are highly cost effective and create significant ROI as a result of reduced costs of bad hires, high attrition, presenteeism and disengagement and lack of a means to evaluate learning and development programmes.  With the right competencies in place, organizations can improve levels of success in recruitment, retention, engagement, learning, as well as boosting productivity and profit.

'Many thanks for assisting us with our new competency and behavior framework; it has certainly provided a great platform for our 360 feedback process and Exec coaching.'  HR Director

About Jill Maidment

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