Experience from international organisational development and HR projects points to the need for a new means of understanding and demonstrating the personal behaviour and characteristics for success for a position hosted within a broader business unit/function. This type of success is not a “job description” or a list of “things to do.” These characteristics are known as competencies, or the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that facilitate exceptional job performance and organisational success:
- Knowledge: The information that allows a person to perform from an informed perspective, e.g. theories, facts and principles.
- Skills: Demonstrated abilities or proficiencies, which are developed and learned from past work and life experience.
- Behaviours: The underlying, enduring characteristics that a person expresses, and which demonstrate one's personal effectiveness, e.g. attitudes, habits and traits.
As such, competencies are a mixture of skills, abilities, knowledge and behaviours. We can not only test for competencies during a recruitment process: we can actively measure a staff member’s competency development and performance over the course of his/her career. This links into future training courses as well as performance assessments.
Competencies are not acquired solely or even primarily in the classroom: they are acquired in the course of both work and social environments. While basic – or theoretical knowledge – is important, real competencies are acquired primarily through experience. Research indicates that between 50% - 70% of competence development is developed through practical job experience.
A partial list of competencies for a modern, high-performance work organisation, includes:
- Verbal, Written Communications Skills
- Presentation Skills
- Computer Literacy
- Professional Ethics
- Work Management
- Analytical Thinking
- Resource Management
Each competency must be described, as the following sample demonstrates:
Drives for results and success, job commitment, sets high standards of performance pursues aggressive goals and works hard to achieve them, displays a high level of effort and commitment to the work, takes ownership.
Work Organisation - Time Management
Assumes responsibility as a driving force in getting things done or in making changes with clients, and within the company.
This description, together with personal sales objectives and other personal development objectives, is meant to describe the behaviour of a successful performer.
Navigator develops specific competency models for companies, taking into account:
- Current performance requirements;
- Strategic (future) requirements, as established by the strategic analysis;
- The development of a wider, strategic HR framework, deployed over a 12-month basis, covering all units and hierarchies.