A competency framework defines the knowledge, skills, and attributes needed for people within an organization. Each individual role will have its own set of competencies needed to perform the job effectively. To develop this framework, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the roles within your business. To do this, you can take a few different approaches:
- Use a pre-set list of common, standard competencies, and then customize it to the specific needs of your organization.
- Use outside consultants to develop the framework for you.
- Create a general organizational framework, and use it as the basis for other frameworks as needed.
Developing a competency framework can take considerable effort. To make sure the framework is actually used as needed, it’s important to make it relevant to the people who’ll be using it – and so they can take ownership of it.
The following three principles are critical when designing a competency framework:
- Involve the people doing the work – These frameworks should not be developed solely by HR people, who don’t always know what each job actually involves. Nor should they be left to managers, who don’t always understand exactly what each member of their staff does every day. To understand a role fully, you have to go to the source – the person doing the job – as well as getting a variety of other inputs into what makes someone successful in that job.
- Communicate – People tend to get nervous about performance issues. Let them know why you’re developing the framework, how it will be created, and how you’ll use it. The more you communicate in advance, the easier your implementation will be.
- Use relevant competencies – Ensure that the competencies you include apply to all roles covered by the framework. If you include irrelevant competencies, people will probably have a hard time relating to the framework in general. For example, if you created a framework to cover the whole organization, then financial management would not be included unless every worker had to demonstrate that skill. However, a framework covering management roles would almost certainly involve the financial management competency.
Look out for the Developing the Framework article coming soon.