How To Get Buy-in For Your Competency Program

Andy Andrews

Acquisition of competency libraries, definition of new competencies, job competency profiling, competency software implementation, competency consulting services, maintenance of your competency program – whichever way you think about it, implementing and maintaining a competency program is a big investment for any organisation. It’s critical to ensure that everybody understands the benefits derived before such an undertaking in order to maintain sponsorship and enthusiasm for your competency program.

Clearly a good communication plan is required which includes well-described benefits for everyone in the organisation. When articulating these benefits, consider them from the viewpoint of the beneficiary, for instance, how will I as an individual employee benefit? What if I am a manager, given the likely overhead on my time, how will I benefit? What about the executive team, if we are underwriting the time, cost and effort, is a competency program really worth the investment?

Of course the emphasis on which benefits will accrue will vary from organisation to organisation. The list of benefits provided below is by no means exhaustive, but it may help to trigger your thoughts on how to articulate the benefits within your own organisation:

As an Employee

  • I have a better understanding of what good ‘looks like’ – the competencies that I need, to be successful in my job;
  • I have a clearly defined individual learning and development plan that will help me to do my job;
  • I have a clear view of the competencies I need to develop for my chosen career path;
  • My competencies and expertise are visible to (and hopefully) recognised by my organisation;
  • I am developing clearly competencies and expertise that are recognised outside of my organisation.

As an Manager

  • I am better able to manage my teams’ performance because I have a clear picture of the competencies that people need in order to be successful in their jobs;
  • I better understand the strengths of my team and I am leveraging these strengths;
  • I have visibility of the competency gaps in the team and I am working to close those gaps through prescriptive learning and development activities;
  • I have meaningful career development discussions with my team members;
  • When asked to do so, I can identify subject matter experts in my team and articulate their level of expertise.

As an Executive Team

  • Our organisational capability (or resourcing plan) supports our key objectives and business strategy;
  • We are able to view the capability of the organisation and understand if/how it will meet operational demand;
  • As an organisation we are able to develop and retain competencies in a competitive job market;
  • We meet the compliance requirements stipulated by the regulator governing our industry sector.

Expounding the benefits of competency management is not a one-off exercise, keep the benefits at the forefront of peoples’ minds by using messages and media that will really appeal to them!

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