Competencies as a source of competitive advantage

January 22, 2018 Caitlin Leishman

Among their many benefits competencies allow businesses to deliver increased value to their customers, and boost performance among their employees. Competencies are a major competitive advantage for organizations because they let organizations capture the essence of the vision and values of the organization, and communicate that in actionable terms to employees.

It also allows employers see how top performers achieve success, instead of simply seeing what they did achieve. By mapping out the skills and behaviors required for success within an organization as well as a particular role, you as an employer are able to keep track of an individual’s ability in each area.

Competencies allow you to offer a competitive training program to your employees, pinpointing specific areas for improvement and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. This means that employees who undertake competency-based training are more likely to see results faster and avoid wasting time developing unnecessary skills. Employees who are exceeding expectations in training can also be rewarded, encouraging increased productivity and engagement, and overall better organizational performance. This has great benefits for onboarding practices, ensuring that new hires acclimate successfully to a role and are more likely to stay with a company long-term.

By using competencies, you are able to clarify exactly what is required for success in a particular job. By putting in the work to think about what skills and behaviors a position requires, you are more likely to hire the best person for the job. By defining excellence across all roles in your organization, you’ll be creating a common language for all aspects of talent management. This has wide-reaching benefits, from an organization’s culture, to meeting goals, to expanding products and services, and more. Overall, you will have a system of accountability that will help keep everyone on track and prevent careless errors.

Competencies also offer a competitive advantage in terms of succession planning. An organization is only as strong as its weakest link, and it’s important to make sure that your leadership is working to ensure that everyone is on the path to success.

By giving employees a clear view of what is required to be in a management role, you are more likely to have effective leadership in place. This also encourages employees to develop their careers within an organization, instead of seeking a higher level position elsewhere.

By using competencies in talent-management, your organization is sure to experience greater success and be able to stay ahead of the competition.


Want to learn more about using competencies? Get started with our Competency Toolkit:

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Post last updated: June 27, 2019.

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