Everyone today is talking about competency based development. Here
is my attempt and version of what can be competency based development.
Let’s start from the beginning, i.e. the meaning of competency.
There are many definitions of competency doing rounds, for the article
we’ll look at competency as a trait or characteristic that allows
an individual to successfully accomplish work or task assigned.
These characteristics are the culmination of individual’s; skills,
knowledge and attributes. The traits or characteristics are known
as competency only and only if they allow or result in superior
The next question
is often asked why use competency as the predictor of performance?
Why not simply look at the individual’s performance?
Well the answer is simple while in the short term which might mean
in the current role the performance of the individual might be a
good indicator but for future performance competency is not only
a better option but more often than not the only option. The reason
being that; people perform tasks or jobs using their competency
to achieve desired results. While work or jobs might change, competencies
are of more enduring nature and immune to change in the job or work
context. To summarize competencies are what individuals use to perform
successfully and with out it consistent performance is not possible.
Now that we
have attempted to state the meaning of competency we take
on our next important phrase “employee
development” is the pursuit of any activity that
leads to continuous learning, personal growth, and which contributes
to the achievement of both an individual’s and their employer’s
or organization’s objective(s) on the longer term.
Keeping the above
two definition in mind we have tried to list down certain steps
which might be used work towards doing a pilot and then institutionalize
competency based employee development.
1. The Background
a. Identify a champion, target employees, and structural framework
for an employee development process.
b. Assess the need for a competency development process; get an
estimate for the organization’s competency needs.
c. Complete employee competency assessments and define estimates
of target employees’ competency acquisition needs.(A SWAT of the
target group’s competencies)
The Plan and Implementation
a. Understand the target groups “personal aspirations”.
b. Develop a plan for implementation of the competency based employee
c. Brief all stake holders and obtain resource support to implement
the start-up process plan.
d. Create a steering committee (there should be representatives
from all stat holders).
e. Implement and evaluate the start-up process.
3. The follow up
a. Make case studies of the implementation and spread the learning’s
amongst the stake holders.
b. Institutionalize the learning and take the process to a larger
This is what I feel
organizations may try to build a sustainable competency based employee
development. The above section talks about Organizations’ role in
the process; in the following steps I’ll elaborate what should an
employee do to ensure a holistic success of not just the process
but their own careers also.
Understand The Requirement:
Most organizations have a central document which lists the
competency expectations from every role in the organization.
Make sure that you visit this page and understand the requirement
correctly. Don’t hesitate to clarify if you are in doubt,
remember in the long run it will only be of your help.
2. Stop Excusing Yourself From Trainings:
One often ignores the soft skills (business skills) trainings
that you are asked to attend. These trainings are organized
for your benefit. Try to maximize the learning from these
sessions. They will stand you in good stead.
Appraisals Mean much for Than Hikes and Promotions:
People often make the mistake of looking at appraisal only as a
precursor to hikes and promotions. One must rather concentrate on
the discussion of how one can better the performance. Which are
the competencies that one’s needs to work harder on.
I have tried pen my experiences both as an employee and a HR practitioner.
Hope these will shed some light to the otherwise elusive concept
Contributed By: Sajiri Chidgupkar, HR Enthusiast
& Freelance Consultant