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Skills allied to strategy, HR's trump card

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As much as the definition of competencies is an essential factor for organizations and professionals, many confuse them with other elements of people management. This generates mistaken analyzes and baseless choices, due to the lack of a real and solid basis.

Do you want to know exactly what competency management means, its importance, practical application and why it is able to raise the level of your business management? Keep reading this article and have the answer to each of the questions.

What are competencies?

Competencies are a set of knowledge (knowledge, concepts), applicable skills (knowing how to do it) and practical attitudes (wanting to do it), which can be specific or transferable. The greater the skills of a professional given a challenge, the greater his performance.

The L.A.B.E.L. and Socr@t-s are important in the analysis of competencies, as they show the professional’s behavioral potential. So if the person does not know something ‘teachable’, or technical, such as Excel, it is possible to observe in the personality if he is able to learn. If you have, just put it in the training, otherwise, there’s little point in wasting time with a thousand trainings, because the person will stay in the same place or at most take ant steps.

Competencies in the post-industrial revolution

With the industrial revolution, companies replaced artisanal production with production in scale. For this to work efficiently, it was necessary to compartmentalize the work and be clear about the roles and responsibilities of each position. Thus, departmentalization within organizations is born. In this new reality, the professional stopped doing the process from beginning to end, and became responsible for a limited part. Thus, each set of tasks requires a set of specific skills. In this reality, each professional is only concerned with their tasks, without caring about the rest of the areas, the client and the company as a whole. If his task is being accomplished, that’s enough.

Specific skills.
Image 1 – Specific skills.

Skills in the age of knowledge

With the advent of the internet, mass automation and business differentiation transferred from standardized scale to customized scale, the reality of task-related competencies loses meaning. While in the mass production model, everyone takes care of their square, in the knowledge age, automated repetitive activities free up time for teams to work with greater use of intellect, creative ability, critical thinking, and high-value relationships. aggregate.

Thus, competencies are no longer linked to specific tasks and are now oriented towards business strategy. So if the strategy is innovation, what are the basic competencies needed for all professionals in the organization, from the most operational to the top, so that it can achieve its objective? This is the new logic of thinking, in which each professional contributes to the business as a whole, without thinking only about his task.

Skills oriented towards the business strategy.
Image 2 – Skills oriented towards the business strategy.

What is competency management?

As the organization becomes clear about the competencies needed to deliver its strategies, these competencies should be used as a guide in the three essential people management processes:

  • Selection
  • Evaluation
  • Development

This means that if innovation is a key competence of a particular company, in the selection process the interview must be structured in order to identify the intensity of this competence. It also means that the periodic evaluation of those who are already part of the team needs to cover the same competence. And, finally, when designing the development program, the prioritized themes should be those related to the key competencies identified as of low organizational maturity during the evaluation cycle.

If the core competence needed is operational efficiency, will I train my team in storytelling or in LEAN management philosophy?

Why adopt competency management?

Corporate competences, created from the strategy, act as a reference and a way to ensure the aptitude for the execution of the main objective of the business. Among the benefits of adopting competency management are:

• Clarity for managers on the basic leadership processes and their impact on results;
• The definition of homogeneous and precise parameters for people management;
• Maximizing the ability to deliver the strategy through a uniform process of selecting, evaluating and developing talent.

Understanding the importance of each one to achieve the organization’s goals, competency management guides the behaviors that leverage the strategy. Instead of each rowing to their individual process, everyone starts rowing to the same destination. This aligns behavior, homogenizes detection of inconsistencies, and accelerates results. As the company matures its people management processes and feels the need to make them more sophisticated, the competency model is improved. It now has different weights per area and more sophisticated behaviors for each contribution level.

Defining the strategy is essential. Have the necessary resources to put it into practice, too. Often the results are compromised by the fragility of the selection and evaluation processes, as well as by the absence of a development plan aligned with the strategy. Competence presupposes delivery, it is an asset, but it can only be considered as such when it brings results. Management by competencies, accompanied by genuine and robust feedback processes, in addition to a culture of transparency and meritocracy, aligns behaviors and leverages results.

Is your people management outdated?

Despite task-oriented competencies being outdated, some organizations are still stuck in this model without knowing how to turn it around. In addition, there are many cases where competencies are defined in the light of the strategy and even so people are hired for their technical capacity, but fired for inappropriate behavior, which diverges from what is expected.

Does this happen in your company? We can help you! Click here and talk to us!

Published in July 2022.

AUTHOR [Danielle Amate]