Competencies Frameworks can Help Organisations

Many see Competencies (or Capabilities) Frameworks as something HR does that adds complexity but no value to the organisation – they see a sideshow that is of no real use to the business. This is an unfortunate view, but it is one that prevails; largely because many frameworks are not developed, communicated or used as well as they could be. Poor frameworks fuel this bad press.

In essence, a Competencies Framework identifies the skills and behaviours that are critical to the organisation’s success – it is the bridge between people and strategy. If those skills and behaviours are not known, or are not in play, then the business is unlikely to enact its strategies well, and will probably fail to achieve its goals. We all know that failure to enact agreed strategy is a widespread problem in New Zealand organisations – I’d suggest that an absence of good Competency Frameworks is a big contributor to that.

To develop a good Competencies Framework you need to:

  • seek advice as to the best format, development process and tools for your organisation
  • engage a cross-section of the organisation (senior team to frontline) in the development project team to make sure the framework is grounded in the organisation’s reality
  • create a Competencies Framework language that is understandable at all organisational levels – simplicity is a virtue here
  • release a draft Competencies Framework to the wider organisation for suggestions and feedback – everyone needs to ‘see’ themselves in what is proposed
  • obtain informed senior team endorsement –they need to be sure the Competencies Framework is aligned to organisation strategy.

To communicate a Competencies Framework well you need to:

  • promote it directly to everyone in the organisation
  • embed your Competencies Framework language into all people processes
  • Walk the Talk – starting from the senior team; have a no tolerance policy towards non-framework behaviours
  • refer to it often – newsletters, coaching conversations, team meetings.

To use a Competencies Framework well you need to:

  • deploy it in your Recruitment questions and Selection criteria
  • base your Performance Development Process on it
  • centre your Training Needs Analysis, including 360-Degree Reviews, on it
  • inform your L&D and Training purchase decisions with it.

If you need help to develop, communicate and use a Competencies Framework that will support enacting your strategies and achieving your goals - talk to us.

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