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i Dear Workforce-i How To Develop Competency Models

October 20, 2002

ADear Needs Training Tips:

Your question requires a lot more than the space of this column to answer.For more in-depth information, an excellent resource is Signe M. Spencer andLyle M. Spencer’s book: Competence at Work: Models for Superior Performance.That said, however, below is a broad outline of the key steps in completing acompetency model.

Each company will have several job families and levels of jobs within thosefamilies. The competency models would align to the job families. For example,forthe job family "leadership," you are likely to have levels beginning atsupervisor and ending with CEO. Other job families might be for accounting,marketing, engineering, and so on. Look at the job families within your company,and the number of job levels within each job family to determine how manycompetency models will be needed.

We recommend that competency models be linked to the company’s strategyand/or business plan to identify what competencies are required to accomplishthat strategy. You also will need to examine each job family in relation to theplan and identify the competencies that best support the plan. The competenciesrequired and/or the levels of a particular competency required will change asyou examine various jobs within the organization.

To finish the model for a job family, determine what differentiates a typicalperformer from an outstanding performer for each competency. By doing researchto identify how outstanding performers demonstrate the competency vs. typicalperformers, you can define the competency in such a way that it describes topperformance.

Once all of your models have been completed and validated, you can develop atool to assess the workforce to determine what the most urgent training anddevelopment needs are for your company. Ideally, competency models are used asthe basis to link recruiting and selection, performance assessment andmanagement, training and development, succession planning, and rewards andrecognition.

SOURCE: Lisa Nespeca, senior consultant, and Lorayne Dollet, vice president,Hay Group, Chicago, Illinois, May 1, 2002.

LEARN MORE: See "Caterpillars, Football and Human Resources: How toStart Over."

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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