Developing Competencies - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Developing Competencies eBook  

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-993-0 (29 Pages)
This free eBook provides a practical guide to assessing and developing the competencies of your team members, a key management skill that adds value to the whole organization.

Chapter 1 - Competency Development Process
Competencies are distinct from goals. Goals are concerned with 'what' has been accomplished; competencies are concerned with 'how' it was accomplished. Assessing an individual's competencies from the behaviors they exhibit is a key part of conducting a performance appraisal.

Chapter 2 - Competency Framework Example
Most organizations have developed their own competency framework that details the competencies expected of someone operating at each particular level within it. Some of these are seen as 'core' competencies and are required by everyone within the organization, whereas others are relevant to particular roles or levels of responsibility.

Chapter 3 - Example Competency Framework
An organization's competency framework is made up of both functional and behavioral components. Each competency provides a detailed description of the behaviors needed to successfully perform a role at a certain level.

Chapter 4 - Measure Competencies
KSAs represent a straightforward way of measuring competencies that is fair and evidence based. KSA is an acronym that stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes, and is a way of breaking down behaviors into more easily measurable components.

Chapter 5 - Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes
There are two ways you can gather performance data on the KSAs of your team members. Firstly, by recording details of significant incidents that involve the individual; and secondly, by observing the behaviors they display as often as possible and in as many different settings as possible.

Chapter 6 - Developing Competencies at Work
Developing team members' competencies increases their value to the organization and helps them to prepare for future promotion. The competency development cycle can be incorporated into your appraisal and review meetings.

You will learn:
  • Why developing competencies is as important as achieving goals
  • How behaviors are used to define competencies at different levels within an organization
  • The five key benefits of incorporating a competency framework into your performance appraisal procedures
  • How to measure competencies in a way that is objective and evidence based
  • How to integrate the six-step competency development cycle into the performance appraisal process

Today's Top Picks for Our Readers:
Recommended by Recommended by NetLine

A Clear Explanation of Competencies
As someone who finds the 'Competency Evaluation' aspect of the appraisal process time consuming and somewhat arbitrary, I downloaded this to see if I could learn anything from it. The book does a good job of explaining why competencies matter as much as goals, which is something I hadn't really considered before. It then describes how to measure competencies by breaking them down into observed behaviors that can be recorded during the appraisal period. This can be done day-to-day and also during what the book refers to as 'critical incidents'.

This makes a lot of sense to me and I plan on doing this from now on because I can see that it offers a more objective and evidenced based approach than what I've been doing up until now. I would recommend this book to any manager who would like a short and clear explanation of how to collect and interpret competency evaluation data for annual appraisals.
Tina Frew

Packed Full of Vital Information
I have read all of the other e-books in the series of "Appraisal Skills". Since, I learned a lot from the other books; I figured that I should read this book too. This e-book, like the other books of the series, is extremely short. It usually takes me 20-30 minutes to read each of the other books. I must add that in the beginning, before I became familiar with this website and their books, the length of the e-books were definitely a selling point for me. I am a very busy person and do not want to spend my personal time researching work related topics.

This e-book begins with explaining what competencies are. The book states this very well by saying, "Goals are concerned with 'what' has been accomplished; competencies are concerned with 'how' it was accomplished." I thought this was a perfect way of explaining the difference between goals and competencies. Each organization should have their competencies clearly defined so that everyone knows exactly what is expected. When it comes to evaluating competencies I liked that they used "KSAs". KSA is Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude. I thought using KSA was a great way to break it down into simplistic terms.

Collecting data on KSA is pretty straight forward I thought. Observe them daily and record anything of significance. It is important to collect and record both positive and negative behavior so that you have a well-rounded idea of how that employee performs. This book also gives in depth examples to demonstrate the main points. I thought that this was very useful to me because it helped me better understand each point. I really enjoyed this book. I have found that reading all of the other books in the series is also helpful because the other books go hand in hand with this book. As a leader that is in charge of appraisal meeting, I have found that I am better able to evaluate and guide my team to become more effective after reading these books. Even though it is short in length, it is packed full of vital information that every management member should know. I have recommended this book to several of my colleagues.
Dean Harper

Focuses More on Measuring Competencies Than Developing Them
This book provides a useful insight into measuring competencies by recording and analyzing staff behavior throughout the year. This approach will give you solid evidence about staff competencies that is fair and unbiased. The explanations of how to do this are straightforward and the process is realistic and doable even for a busy manager. My only criticism is that the book should really be called 'Measuring Competencies' because that is really what it focuses on.
Tracy Roberson

I Really Found a Lot of Value in this eBook
In my personal experience, developing competencies is not something that has ever been highlighted as an important ability. Typically, I would find people that are able to handle a certain task, and expect them to do so. The concept of developing those skills within someone who is already a part of the organization has not been a part of my experience, so I was interested to read this eBook and find out more about how I could use this to my benefit. I am very comfortable and experienced with goal setting, but not the idea of building competencies.

After reading this book, I would say that I am impressed overall with the quality and content of the book. While not all of the sections will apply to me and my situation specifically, it was organized nicely enough to communicate the points that were presented. I didn't come away feeling confused, and feel that I will be able to implement the strategies and ideas that were presented into some of what I do on a daily basis.

Among the most memorable points in the book was a rather simple one early one that differentiates between goal achievement and competency development. The idea being that if a member of the team achieves all of his or her goals for a certain time period, but does so by misleading customers because they are unfamiliar with a product or service, that goal will not pay off in the long run for the organization. Basically, if that team member had a higher competency level in the product or service involved, they may have been able to avoid this customer service disaster. I can see the application of this idea within my own organization, and will be watching out for cases of individual goals being met when the underlying competency level tells a different story.

The definition within an organization of 'core competencies' is another point that I felt was interesting to consider. Sometimes, I feel that I have defined core competencies too narrowly, and missed out on skills that would be beneficial for the entire team to have. When an organization becomes too specialized, it loses flexibility and is exposed to risk if key members decide to leave the group. After reading this book, I know feel that core competencies should be defined as widely as possible so that team members can assist and fill in for each other more easily at a moment's notice. While there will always be specialties, a broader set of competencies that are shared by the whole team seems to be the wise way to go.

To me, the portion of this book that falls a little flat is the section on KSA's, or Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude. I found this to be a little bit too much 'manager speak' and not enough substance for actually improving the competencies of my team members. Perhaps a different person would find more use in this section that I did, but for me there wasn't much that I will remember or take away and put into action.

That one section aside, I really found a lot of value in this eBook. I feel that in the past I have neglected to think of my current team members in terms of their potential - rather just thinking of them in terms of what they currently have to offer the organization. By opening my eyes to the idea of developing new competencies in my present staff, I think this book has given me an exciting new direction to take my managerial strategy.
Bill Baldwin

Explains How to Measure Competencies
Being a manager is obviously a difficult job. There are so many different responsibilities put on our shoulders, but the most important one I would say is that of grooming those who you manage. It is a manager's responsibility to make sure that his or her team members develop competencies that are required to make them excel and increase their value at the organization.

That is why reading this book on Appraisal Skills - Developing Competencies has assisted me in identifying competencies that my colleagues have and what they need to develop. This area of management is neglected far too often, which is the reason behind me writing this review. I feel that this book has brought to light one of the most important areas where mangers may lack.

As managers, we often tell people what their final goal is, but rarely do we tell them how to get there. This is where defining competencies comes in because if you display the skills required for a job, it may be much easier to reach the goal. This eBook goes on to describe the Typical Competency Framework, which I found quite useful.

This framework included continual improvement, which is an important competency that any professional in an organization has to go through. The next topic mentioned in the framework is focus on customer. Since customer is king, any organization has to be customer-centric to make it big out there. Another important required competency is decision making, because we all may have stellar ideas in mind which can make our existing company a multi-million dollar business, but acting on those ideas and making decisions is the most difficult part. This book highlights the fact this is an essential competency that has to be included in the framework.

Moving on, the fourth point states the requirement of interpersonal communications, which we all know is a vital part of being a competent professional. The other points mentioned are mentoring & coaching, planning & organizing, and strategic thinking. These aspects are also important for success at the workplace.

Another useful method I found in this eBook was to measure competencies. It is a simple and self-explanatory way of measuring competencies. According to the eBook , the first step is to consider any competency in terms of the behaviors that define it. These behaviors can be remembered by the acronym KSA, which stands for Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes. Although you may have seen this acronym used before, this eBook does a fairly good job of explaining it in an easy-to-understand manner.

Knowledge defines how the person uses the knowledge they have and whether the task delegated to him/her is appropriate for their role. Skill assess the abilities an individual has and whether the individual can exhibit those skills at an appropriate level. The last component is attitude, which entails whether the individual has the right attitude to complete the given task.
Ollie Cain


Does Your Organization Provide Enough Management Training - A lot of managers begin their careers feeling like they were not prepared for their job. In fact, it is a problem that is becoming increasingly familiar, especially in larger corporations where first-level managers tend not to stick around for very long.

Keeping Track of Your Team's Competencies - Deciding what competencies each individual needs to develop is relatively easy and often forms part of the annual appraisal process. But being able to keep track of how each person's development is progressing is entirely different and often seems impossible to achieve with everything else you need to get done.

How to Overcome a Blame Culture - Quickly and effectively getting rid of a blame culture is one of the best things that a manager can do in order to keep a staff on track and productive. No one gains when the members of an organization are find fault in each other instead of working hard toward a common goal. It is the job of the manager to steer the ship in the right direction, and the above tips are a good start toward that end.

Team Performance Evaluation - To retain and keep your team satisfied you need to look at 'how able' you are as their manager to address their top 5 reasons. You may not be able to keep the same people forever… but focusing your energy into three meaningful areas you will minimize the 'churn factor' within your team, department or division.

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