Every knowledge area has its own alphabet soup of “in” terms.
Corporate organizations are no different. Since two business authors, C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, introduced in 1990 the concept of core competency and its application in business, competency-based management has been in vogue.
Within the context of a business, a competency is the ability of an employee to do a job properly that should positively impact the performance of the business. When it comes to the transfer of training, competencies are the specific skills and behaviors you want employees to learn and then successfully apply on the job.
For well-managed staffing and hiring as well as for well-managed performance, each job should have a profile. A job profile lists the skills (often in terms of the years of experience) and competencies (often in terms of soft skills) needed to be successful. Both should be observable and measurable.
The effectiveness of training interventions and an employee’s performance can then be evaluated according to how well they demonstrate these skills and competencies regularly on the job.
Once difficult to track, especially as the needs of a company would change, competency-based management is now easy to implement with the use of inexpensive and specially designed software. And the periodic performance reviews so dreaded by manager and employee alike become instructive, specific and supportive of targeted development.