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Competencies Empower Employees To Take Charge Of Their Careers

By Caitlin Leishman on January, 16 2018
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Caitlin Leishman

As children and adolescents, we are constantly tasked with figuring out what career we want to pursue when we are older.


As we begin our professional careers as adults, it’s important to keep thinking about where we want to be in our careers. Becoming complacent in a role is one of the causes of employee disengagement, but not all organizations are equally equipped to handle the professional development of their employees. 

However, by leveraging competencies, organizations can help individuals manage their own development and take charge of their careers.

If an employee is looking to move into a different role within your organization, identifying their personal competencies is a great first step towards identifying the positions that will be the best fit.

For instance, highlighting competencies such as initiative, communication, accountability, and more on a personal profile is an effective way of showcasing behavioral strengths.

Behavioral qualities are an often overlooked part of job compatibility and culture fit within an organization, so taking the time to develop an employee’s vision and identify their competencies ensures their career path will lead to the best opportunities.

Here are some more strategies for career management, and how competencies can help make them even more effective:


  1. Backwards planning

While most people understand the importance of planning ahead, planning backwards is also a valuable exercise. It works by thinking about your career goals at a later stage, and then thinking about what you would have to achieve before reaching that point.

For instance, if an employee shows aspirations for a CEO position, you can help them determine what they need to be working on a few years earlier in order to achieve that goal. By building employee profiles using competencies, you can help them take stock of their current knowledge, skills, and abilities. They can then look at profiles for a desired position or simply get a sense of what they need to improve on for their current role.



  1. Qualities learned from experience

There are a variety of types of valuable experience that go beyond previous experience in a similar position. Competencies can help employees showcase what they have learned from volunteering, seemingly unrelated roles, and more.

By using behavioral competencies, you can show them how to demonstrate how certain experiences have helped in terms of gaining a wide variety of competencies beyond those required for their current job. Behavioral competencies are valued in almost every workplace, and they can be picked up and improved upon in a variety of scenarios.


(Curious about HRSG's competencies? Click here to request your competency sample from our extensive library.)


  1. Role models and mentors

If an employee wants to move up in an organization or develop in their career, it’s important for them to have a good role model. This is where having leadership competencies is beneficial, as leadership competencies exemplify the qualities of effective and exceptional leaders.

These types of leaders are more likely to inspire employees and help their organization achieve success. It is crucial that you help your employees develop leadership competencies of their own, and continue to hone their behavioral & technical competencies in order to demonstrate their suitability for a more advanced role.



  1. Keeping skills up to date

Success doesn’t come to everyone at the same point in their careers, but by continuously building their capabilities, individuals can make a huge difference in their career trajectories. This is especially important when it comes to technical competencies, the key abilities valued in specialized industries.

By helping your employees determine what technical competencies they need for a specific career move versus their current competencies and their level; you can more accurately plan a path for development. By using technical competencies, you as an employer can be more confident in the abilities of your staff, and your employees will feel more empowered in their roles.

To learn more about career pathing and how competencies can help you build a more engaged and high performing workforce, start by checking out our Talent Mobility Toolkit!


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Post last updated: December 13, 2019.