Start your competency initiative off strong with core competencies

August 29, 2017 Caitlin Leishman

When starting a competency initiative it can be tempting to want to dive into everything at once, tackle introducing a variety of competencies, projects, and learn every applicable software tool. While having a competency initiative with these qualities is important on the road to an optimized competency framework, it can actually be detrimental to try to achieve right at the start. Building a strong foundation is essential to any successful talent management initiative, and deciding on effective core competencies is an excellent way to get started. So what are core competencies?

Core competencies identify the key values and strengths shared by everyone in the organization, regardless of the job they perform. They help organizations define their vision and mission in measurable employee behaviors, improving everything from employee morale to profitability. For inspiration, consider what your customers find exceptionally valuable, what you do better than your competitors, what you would never outsource, and what contributes to the value of your products/services. Overall, by connecting employee behaviors to organizational objectives, core competencies can help the entire workforce align their performance in support of common organizational goals.

By defining and validating its core competencies, a company can channel its energy and resources towards these areas, which are the source of unique value. Once an organization excels in its core competencies, this expertise can be used to grow beyond the current market. Essentially, core competencies are a stable platform from which to develop growth strategies and make competitive moves.

Instead of immediately diversifying and attempting to identify a variety of leadership, technical, and job-specific competencies, focus on your core competencies and transform them into growth opportunities. With a clear strategic initiative, your organization will be placed on a path of profitable growth and success. You will be able to use your new found competencies in a variety of ways, and they will be an essential basis for eventually expanding your competency initiative to include more types of competencies and projects. By starting strong with core competencies, your organization will be better placed to support a successful competency initiative for many years.

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