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Competency Management

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:

  • Persuasion

  • Verbal, Written Communications Skills

  • Presentation Skills

  • Computer Literacy

  • Professional Ethics

  • Work Management

  • Reliability

  • Analytical Thinking

  • Decision-Making

  • Resource Management

Each competency must be described, as the following sample demonstrates:


Work Management



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.

Pursues additional responsibilities or challenges while accomplishing objectives with minimal supervision.

Completes tasks in the most effective and efficient manner without compromising quality.


Work organisation - Team Management


A successful performer:


  • Assumes responsibility as a driving force in getting things done or in making changes with clients, and within the company.

  • Sets challenging yet achievable goals for self and others.

  • Remains open to new ideas and modifies behaviour or work methods in response to new information or changing circumstances;

  • Identifies activities needed to accomplish an objective and initiates appropriate action to ensure deadlines are met;

  • Remains focused on long term objectives as priorities and assignments change and overcomes obstacles until the goal is reached;

  • Balances multiple projects or assignments to meet work requirements without jeopardising quality;

  • Predicts future challenges or bottlenecks, and develops strategies to solve future problems proactively;

  • Accepts and pursues new or additional responsibilities and challenges;

  • Responds to co-workers and customers questions and concerns quickly and accurately;

  • Produces quality with a minimum of waste or unnecessary effort;

  • Recognises inefficient or ineffective processes and develops alternative solutions;

  • Manages time effectively by organising and prioritising duties;

  • Asks questions to gain the necessary information to efficiently complete work;

  • Develops and uses systems to organise information or work progress.

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.

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