The key to gaining momentum for your competency project

March 6, 2018 Caitlin Leishman

When undertaking a competency-based initiative, it is important to focus on driving momentum and results. But what does this mean? Driving results in an organization requires the coordinated effort of many people. Leaders who consistently obtain high levels of performance, employees who continually ensure they are working to achieve success, and stakeholders who are invested in the organization’s future must identify and focus on goals and objectives that are truly important to the organization. Many organizations find their competency project achieves momentum from the beginning, and progress is smooth and easy to identify.

However, sometimes competency initiatives can fail to have the desired results for a number of reasons. Some of the major obstacles to success include lack of effective sponsorship, resistance to change, failure to involve key stakeholders, loss of momentum, lack of required training, and inadequate project management. Sometimes there are also issues with the competencies themselves, as they may not be relevant or well-articulated. Let’s look at some ways to make sure you can bypass these problems and achieve momentum for your project.

  1. Take a look at your competencies

Being able to translate your company’s vision and values to employees in ways that makes sense in their day to day work-life goes a long way to create a closer alignment between business goals and employee actions. Brandon Hall Group discovered that companies that align competencies and business goals are 67% more likely than others to rate competency objective as effective. If your competencies aren’t having the desired impact it may also be because there is a lack of clarity related to the problem they are supposed to solve. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, it will be more challenging to implement an effective solution. Solve this problem by coming up with short and long term goals for your competency initiative, and then using a staged approach to focus on the most critical issues first.

 

  1. Get stakeholder support

Stakeholder support is essential to implementing a competency initiative, and many organizations struggling with competencies don’t have buy-in from their key stakeholders. By planning communications that are targeted to each of your stakeholder groups, you can establish the specific value of competencies for each group and show how the competencies will be used. It is best to choose organizational areas where the leadership sees a compelling need and is willing to put the organizational resources into ensuring that the initiative will be successful.

 

  1. Utilize technology to its potential

Another common problem is not having the software in place to streamline and automate the competency management process. Since many organizations haven't built much room into their budget for competency projects, it is often the case that progress is slow in using technology for competency management. Believe it or not, a lot of organizations are still attempting to manage their projects on paper. HRSG’s CompetencyCore suite is one of the few tools available on the market within the crowded talent-management space that positions competencies as the focal point of the tool. CompetencyCore guides and simplifies the process of managing, customizing, and validating competencies for every job in your organization.

 

  1. Budget wisely

Brandon Hall Group research shows that the organizations that spent 10% or more of their budget on competency management were 68% more likely than other organizations to rate their top competency objectives as effective. Brandon Hall Group also discovered that more than half of organizations spent 3% or less of their talent management budget on competency management. In fact, one in five organizations had no existing competency budget. It may seem obvious, but the more you invest in competencies, the better the results.

In order to drive your competency initiative forward and see meaningful results sooner you need to make a strong investment in planning, communication, and using technology. To learn more about getting started with competencies, contact one of our experts today! Also don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help revitalizing an existing initiative. You can also check out our ebook on optimizing your competency framework for more information.

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