Building a powerful team with competencies

November 28, 2017 Caitlin Leishman

Teamwork is essential in almost every workplace. Even though not every role requires the same level of collaboration, everyone is part of a team on some level, the broadest sense simply being an employee of an organization. Although it is a common topic, not many people understand how to create the most beneficial teamwork experience, or how to develop an effective team. It can be challenging, because bringing together people with a variety of opinions, knowledge, past work experience, goals, and competencies means not everyone is automatically ready to work together. However, teamwork and collaboration can be learned and developed by using the power of competencies.

First, we’ll discuss how competencies can be used to foster a team oriented environment in general. This is different than developing a team to accomplish a specific goal. In a team oriented environment it’s important to understand that every member contributes to the overall success of the organization. Working with your co-workers, even those with different jobs and in different departments, you are working together towards the bigger picture. One of the ways that competencies can help with this is that they make it easy to define your organization’s vision, mission statement, and goals into clear and observable qualities. For instance, HRSG’s core competencies are client focus, nurturing innovation, and collaboration. These competencies define how every member of our organization operates, and helps ensure that everyone is on track to delivering the best experience possible for our customers. By finding your own core competencies, your employees will understand how their actions can best help the organization achieve its business goals.

Secondly, we’ll discuss putting together a work team for a specific goal or purpose. First identify the task and the skills needed; this includes both the behavioral soft skills and the hard technical skills. This is where competencies become useful, as they are a great way to quantify hard to observe behavioral qualities and make them easy to evaluate. Technical competencies come in handy when identifying the requirements for specific skill-based abilities. When you have identified the necessary competencies, you can build your team based on their competency job profiles. If you’re new to competencies and have yet to create profiles, you can find more information here. Once you’ve put your team together, you need an effective leader who can foster effective communication, and ensure everyone is pulling their weight.

Avoid disappointments in team building attempts by using competencies to clearly communicate expectations for performance. Competencies translate success into clear and observable behaviors, making it easy for employees to know whether they’re on track. They will be able to clearly see how their actions contribute to the accomplishment of corporate goals, and their sense of value will increase. With the entry of millennials into the workforce, teamwork is becoming more frequently valued as these employees grew up participating in teamwork settings. More than ever, generations have to work side by side, leading to an increased need for an effective teamwork culture. Competencies bring together shared values, while still allowing diverse perspectives and backgrounds to shine. Think of team building as something you work on every day, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you achieve.

By putting together effective teams, and fostering a teamwork atmosphere throughout your entire organization, you can enhance productivity and success.

Further reading:

Introduction to Competencies Guide


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