Why you should keep investing in competencies

February 27, 2018 Caitlin Leishman

Putting the right people in the right positions for success, and measuring their performance and effectiveness over time is a key factor that separates the winners and losers in business today. Many organizations are turning to competencies to align their employees’ skills and behaviors with the company’s goals and provide a competitive advantage.

You may think that once you have completed your first competency initiative there is no longer a need to invest further in competencies. However, there are a variety of reasons why continuing to invest in competencies is beneficial for your organizations. As the world of work evolves, jobs themselves are evolving and the business environment in which companies operate is in flux. Competencies need to change in order to keep up with the entirely new jobs that are becoming necessary in today’s society. In order for competencies to be effective, they need to reflect the changes that are happening in the world at large. This is why it’s essential to continue investing in competencies, particularly after a period of growth or change for your organization. By making a regular effort to ensure your organization’s competencies are up to date, you are showing your employees that you care about their success and growth, giving you a strong competitive advantage.

Another reason to keep investing is that competency initiatives often don’t reach their full impact in their initial launch. In our experience, some of the main stumbling blocks are: a lack of communication, lack of required training, loss of momentum, and failure to involve stakeholders. By continuing to invest in a competency-based program, you can optimize your initiatives and ensure they are having the desired impact. Further investment can be spent in more accurate measurement of competency applications by using benchmarks, reviewing your competencies themselves, and implementing proper tools and training. Research by Brandon Hall Group shows that organizations with fully developed competency management programs are 55% more likely to have increased revenue and 45% more likely to have increased customer retention.

An organization’s ability to invest in competencies is related to the quality of competencies they are able to develop. Organizations that use core competencies, behavioral, technical, and leadership competencies are more likely to develop accurate job descriptions, conduct effective assessments, increase engagement, and more. By continuing to invest in competencies beyond the basics, you can have competencies, proficiency scales, and job profiles for all mission-critical jobs in your organization. Brandon Hall Research shows that those organizations that spend 10% or more of their talent management budgets on competency management are 68% more likely to rate their top competency objectives as effective. This represents a strong investment in creating a well-developed, mature process.

It is also important to keep investing because the technology surrounding competency-based talent management is constantly evolving. Since its early beginnings in 2001, HRSG’s CompetencyCore software has gone through many upgrades and now has more capabilities than ever before. Even competencies themselves are changing, particularly technical competencies. As technology advances technical competencies must advance as well in order to keep up with job requirements. By not continuing to invest in competencies you run the risk of having employees that are ill-prepared to meet their job requirements due to outdated competencies.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of updating your competency initiative, contact one of our experts today!


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