3 Better Core Competency Model Guidelines to Follow

Better Core Competency Model Guidelines A business man is at a drawing board designing a competency model

Better Core Competency Model Guidelines
At some point, most companies define a list of desired core competencies they believe spell success in their organization to help standardize and focus hiring, learning, performance management, succession planning and career development. We decided to explore if there were better core competency model guidelines to follow in order to support a more powerful end-to-end Talent Management program.

Are Your Core Competencies Making You Incompetent?
But how many companies review their core competencies to be sure they are still relevant and being used to improve people AND business performance? Unfortunately, darn few.  It seems that far too many competency models make sense in theory to organize and link people programs but are not directly relevant to current business priorities.

What’s Wrong with Core Competency Models These Days?
The easy answer is that they are outdated and isolated mechanism. But it goes beyond that. While the original intent may have been pure, most core competency model guidelines remain on the shelf because they are:

  • Too complicated
  • Too generic
  • Too far from what matters most to the business

Our research found core competencies tend to grow to an unwieldy number that was then multiplied by levels for function and proficiency. The result was something that only HR could understand and did not fully tie back to what mattered most to the business. It was not a practical tool for those on the line who were actually responsible for making decisions about what to do and who to hire, retain and develop.

3 Better Core Competency Model Guidelines to Follow
Here are three better core competency model guidelines for building a better competency model that WILL be used as you select, build and manage talent:

1.  Keep Core Competencies Simple
First, forget about trying to cover every competency needed to handle all the capabilities for success. Prioritize and focus. Twenty core competencies clearly stated does not equal simplicity.

Initially, just worry about the critical few high performance competencies required to be a high performer in your unique organizational culture to best execute your business strategy.

2.  Keep Core Competencies Relevant
For core competencies to matter, they must be integral to driving the business strategy forward in a way that makes sense within your marketplace for talent and customers. Review the core competency list regularly vis-à-vis the business strategy and desired corporate culture. Identify what matters most in terms of hiring, firing, rewarding and performing.

If you cannot tie each competency to a current or future strategic initiative, think about changing or removing it.

3.  Keep Core Competencies Specific
Don’t take the easy route and adopt generic competencies. Make the behaviors specific to your short- and long-term strategies. Effective competencies should also fit your unique culture and reflect the working and personality styles of the employees you want at your particular organization…not the employees that could fit anywhere.

The Bottom Line
When you can design core competencies that are business outcome-focused and that differentiate you from the competition, you will have a core competency model that is truly effective.

To learn more about what you need before you design better core competency model guidelines, download Why Talent Is Surprisingly Only 1/3rd of the Talent Management Recipe for Success

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