A Case for Competency Modeling, Part 4: Training and Development

Below is the final article in this blog series. If you are just tuning in, we suggest you review article one, two, three, four, and five before reading further.

Competency modeling helps nonprofits to make smart hiring and promotion decisions. It is the basis for building job descriptions, which are necessary to bring the right external people into the right positions in an organization. It’s also the foundation of performance management, used to capture the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of high performers in each role. Finally, competency modeling is a proactive training and development tool because it identifies which KSAs employees at each job level require to be successful.

Step Seven: Integrate the Models and Deliverables Into the Culture

At Acme Incorporated, each job family has a unique competency model, and a variety of KSAs. Therefore, each position responds best to different training solutions. For example, team coaching and trust building are essential methods for interpersonal sharing and cultivating bench strength among strategic visionaries. Quarterly trainings on conflict management, communication, and goal setting often meet development needs for non-supervisory staff.

At the conclusion of Acme’s competency modeling process, the organization decided to focus development efforts on two of the four job families—subject matter experts and tactical implementers. Based on these groups’ performance needs, Brighter Strategies recommended the creation of a competency-based Leadership Academy.

The Academy was designed to help employees develop KSAs necessary for success at the strategic visionary level. Thus, it encouraged effective internal promotion and succession planning by:

  • Aligning goals to create a clear understanding of the link between leadership competencies and individual performance to overall output of the organization;
  • Promoting best practices though custom training activities that focus on personal and professional development and team learning to support leadership competencies across the organization; and
  • Encouraging learning by providing a collaborative training experience using organization-specific content to foster team building, knowledge sharing, peer coaching, and mentoring.

With the implementation of the Leadership Academy, Acme successfully used competency modeling to inform performance management and training and development processes. This new employee resource also quickly became a hallmark of the organization’s culture, with mid-level managers regarding it as an entry point to senior leadership.

Let’s revisit the project outcomes defined in the first part of this case study. Acme set out to:

  • Identify competencies for each of the four levels of staff.
  • Determine what kind of person is needed for each job (for hiring) and what is required for someone to be developed and promoted from one level to the next (for promotion).
  • Determine the training and development solutions that will help to move staff from one level of competencies to the next.

Using Brighter Strategies’s competency modeling approach, Acme successfully accomplished these objectives. We encourage you to review this step-by-step process here and think about how you can begin to make competency modeling a reality in your organization.

What’s the first step you need to take? We are happy to talk to you more about competency modeling, as well as the specific opportunities and challenges your nonprofit is facing. Please contact us at 703-224-8100 or filling out our contact form for more information.

 

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