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MAPAC 2008

Best Practices in Competency Modeling


MID-ATLANTIC PERSONNEL ASSESSMENT CONSORTIUM
(MAPAC)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Brian J. Ruggeberg Ph.D., Aon Consulting

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Workshop Overview
• Competency Modeling Defined
– What are competencies and competency models?
– What is new and better about competency modeling?
• 20 Best Practices and Guidance
– Analyzing Competency Information
– Organizing and Presenting Competency Information
– Using Competency Information
• Format
– Describe practice
– Illustrate
– Questions, examples, and discussion from audience
• Unique Perspective
– External consultant with organizational and academic foundation

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Competency Modeling Defined


• Competencies are collections of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other
characteristics (KSAOs) that are needed for effective performance in
the jobs in question.

• The individual KSAOs or combinations of KSAOs are the


competencies, and the set of competencies are typically referred to as
the competency model.

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

What is New and Better about Competency Modeling?


1. Intended to distinguish top performers from average
performers
2. Describe a progression of how the competency builds with
proficiency or job level
3. Linked to business objectives and strategies (or clearly linked
to the work itself)
4. Sometimes consider future job requirements either directly or
indirectly
5. Presented in a manner that facilitates ease of use (language,
visuals, etc.)
6. Define a finite number of competencies and applied across
multiple functions or job families
7. Used to Align the HR systems
8. Is as much organizational development as research

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Trojan Horse of Job Analysis

• Management pays attention

• Gets job analysis inside of more


management decisions

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Why HR Practice Can’t Drive Change?


Silos in HR 1. Disjointed programs and sub-
optimal employee experience
• Programs exist in isolation or work at cross
purposes
Talent & Succession Planning
Performance Management

Staffing & On-Boarding

• Each function creates own solutions to problems


Leadership Development


Compensation

Impacts on strategy or change isolated and limited


(Comp2000, the “bench program”).
Learning

2. No sustainable way to align and


reinforce global strategy and
culture change
• A logical, reliable, and consistent framework to
improve decisions on talent wherever those
decisions are made
• A way to influence the business agenda through
better data on talent
Emphasis on programs vs. outcomes • A way to link business strategy and culture change
Emphasis on discrete vs. integrated approaches systematically to the talent management system.

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

How Talent Management Decisions are Typically Made

2 3 4
1

Problems:
(1) Business strategy built around people, vs. the reverse
(2) No data on what people are capable of
(3) HR / talent systems don’t reinforce and sustain strategy

Typical Outcomes:
(1) Decisions based on irrelevant, incomplete, or biased data
(2) Misalignment/non alignment
(3) HR reactive, or irrelevant

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Common Uses
• Hire new employees by using assessments and other selection
procedures that measure the competencies
• Train employees by creating courses aimed at the development of
certain competencies
• Evaluate the performance of employees by structuring the appraisal
instrument around the competencies
• Promote employees by using the competencies to establish
promotion criteria
• Develop employee careers by using the competency models to guide
the choice of job assignments and make other career choices
• Manage employee information by using the competency models to
record and archive employee skill and job experience information

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Common Uses, continued


• Compensate employees by using the competency model to structure
pay differences between jobs or to evaluate employees for pay
increases
• Manage retention of critical skills and reduction-in-force activities
through the identification and measurement of competencies tied to
current and future organizational objectives
• Support organizational change effort through broad systematic
support of future-oriented competencies
• Others?

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Cascading Impact of Competencies

Recruiting
Recruiting Performance
Performance Promotion
Promotion Development
Development Leadership Succession
Assessment
Assessment &
& Hiring
Hiring Management
Management Criteria Planning
Planning (MYCD)
(MYCD) Development
Development Planning
Planning

Incorporate Executive Link Executive and Forward Development Successors


competencies hiring criteria competencies in partner looking activities identified and
into and protocol action to results promotion discussion mapped to evaluated on
assessments based on and rewards readiness involving leadership readiness
both for competency linked to competency competencies against
development work. leadership strengths, Includes leadership
and evaluation Rolling out competencies weaknesses formal competencies
structured and training,
interviews development employee
based on movement,
competency and work
models for assignments
all
employees.

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Analyzing Competency Information


1. Considering organizational context
– Factors include:
• Culture
• Life stage
• Market
• Customers
• Employee relations
• Presence of a union
• Strengths and weaknesses of its management
– Influences:
• Which competencies are developed
• How they are defined
– Tailoring to the organization is particularly important when using
competency libraries

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Analyzing Competency Information


2. Linking competency models to organizational goals and objectives
– Key difference from job analysis
– Directs employee attention to organizational goals
– Key to senior management interest and commitment
– Start with a definition of the organizational goals and objectives, and then
back up into the competencies required to achieve them
– “What is the set of KSAOs needed to achieve (insert business goal)?”
– Business goals must be defined at an operational level (e.g., not “grow
business 10%” but instead one level below like “seek innovation” or
“reduce costs”)
– Organizational goals may also impact details such as the proficiency
levels linked to the competencies
– Linkage more direct for higher level jobs
– This does not preclude also having some competencies relating to
fundamental requirements

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

The Importance of Alignment

13 Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
A Framework for Competencies
Organizational Mission, Vision, Values and Strategy

Core Competency Framework


(Competency Foundations)

Job Family Competency Models

Technical Competencies Leadership Competencies

Technical Enablers Leadership Enablers


(Technical Knowledge, Technical (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Personal
Experience, Technical Skills) Characteristics)

Behavioral Indicators
Direct
Linkage
Measurable Performance and Metrics

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Analyzing Competency Information


3. Starting at the Top
– Best to begin competency modeling information collection with top
executives
• To get their support
• Have insight as to the future direction of the organization
• More helpful in ensuring proper organizational language

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Analyzing Competency Information


4. Using rigorous job analysis methods to develop competencies
– SIOP Commission on Competency Modeling
– Found that competency modeling is typically far less methodologically
rigorous than job analysis, with greater variance in the level of rigor
– One exception -- competency modeling has more rigor with respect to
linking to business goals and strategy
– Historical explanation
– Great opportunity for value-add by I/O Psychologists
– Combination of traditional job analysis and competency modeling methods
can allow for a highly-rigorous approach to competency modeling
– More rigorous methodologies:
• Surveys • Linkages to theory and literature
• Sampling • Validation against criteria
• Statistical analysis • Advisory boards
• Structured focus groups • Etc.
• Clearer construct definitions

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Analyzing Competency
Information

Historically, Job analysis


was conducted more
rigorously than
competency research

Level of Rigor: “Typical” Competency Modelling compared


to “Typical” Job Analysis (Schippmann, et al. 2000)

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Consequences of Doing it Poorly

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Analyzing Competency Information


5. Considering future-oriented job requirements
– Traditional job analysis focuses solely on current requirements (partly
due to “job relatedness” goal for legal uses), which limits appear to
executive suite
– Future orientation enables modeling to drive organizational change
– Methods for future-oriented analysis include:
• Interviews and focus groups on the topic of future-oriented requirements.
• In-depth analyses of long-range business strategies, and then use SMEs to
identify the key competencies required
• Future scenario workshops

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Future Scenario Workshops at the Department of State


• Methodology
– Develop alternative scenarios
– Workshops with SMEs
– Define tasks and competencies
– Ratings of competencies
– Content and statistical analyses
– Define future competencies based on common requirements

• Brief Descriptions of Future Scenarios:


1. Asian Way
2. Be Careful What You Wish For
3. Congagement
4. Lockdown
5. Profits and Principles

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Analyzing Competency Information


6. Using additional unique methods
– Behavioral Event Interviews
– Additional survey ratings:
• Importance of the competency in the future compared to the present
• Extent to which the competency distinguishes high performing employees
from average employees
• Linkage of the competencies to organizational goals, objectives, or
strategies
– Study contrasting groups (e.g., high versus average performers)
– Study new challenges facing organization (e.g., joint ventures, growth,
turnarounds, crises, etc.)

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Organizing and Presenting Competency Information


7. Defining the anatomy of a competency (the language of competencies)
– Including several parts:
1. Descriptive label or title
2. Definition (usually behavioral)
3. Description of proficiency levels
– Balancing detail with parsimony is part of art

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Anatomy of a Competency

1. Competencyname

Abrief descriptionof thetypeof

behaviorsthecompetencyaddresses.

2. Competencydefinition

Describestheobservablebehaviors

that represent proficiencyinthe

competency

3. Proficiencylevels

Behavioral descriptionsrepresenting 23
Spring 2008 MAPAC
22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Terminology
• Competency Framework: Broad framework for integrating, organizing,
and aligning various competency models reflective of the organization’s
strategy and vision.
Increasingly more specific

• Competency Model: Collection of competencies that are relevant to


performance in a particular job, job family or functional area.
• Competency Dimension/Competency: Cluster of related knowledge,
skills abilities and characteristics that affects a major part of one’s job;
that correlates with performance on the job; that can be measured
detail

against well-accepted standards (Success Factor, Performance Driver)


• Enabler: Specific attributes that facilitate effective work behavior. These
can include Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics (e.g.
Takes Initiative and Ownership)
• Behavioral Indicator: Highly specific, observable action that may be
demonstrated on the job which indicates the skill or performance level
needed for a job or that a particular person possesses.
– Skill Level: Reflect the level of skill proficiency or expertise that is required to
successfully perform in a particular job (e.g. Foundational, Emerging,
Proficient, Expert)
– Performance level: Reflect the level of performance that is demonstrated by
the individual performing the job and provides clarity on what is expected
(e.g. Outstanding, Successful, Development
Needed)
24 Spring 2008 MAPAC
22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Leadership Lexicon Terminology
Leadership
Leadership A collection of leadership dimensions that are relevant to
Excellence Profile
Profile performance in a particular job, job family or functional area, and
Excellence are essential to the success of the organization.
A cluster of related knowledge, skills abilities and characteristics
Leadership
Leadership that affects a major part of one’s job; that correlates with
Dimension
Dimension performance on the job; that can be measured against well-
accepted standards; and that can be improved via training and
development (Success Factor, Performance Driver).
Enabler Specific leadership qualities that facilitate effective work behavior
Enabler and contribute to broader leadership dimensions. These can
include Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics.

Behavioral Anchor
Anchor Highly specific, observable action that may be demonstrated on
Behavioral the job which indicates the skill or performance level needed for a
job or that a particular person possesses.

Proficiency Level
Proficiency Level Reflects the level of skill proficiency or expertise that is required to
Required successfully perform in a particular job (e.g. Foundational,
Required Emerging, Proficient, Expert)

Performance Reflects the level of performance that is demonstrated by the


Performance individual performing the job and provides clarity on what is
Effectiveness Level
Effectiveness Level expected (e.g. Outstanding, Highly Successful, Successful,
Development Needed)
Spring 2008 MAPAC
22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Organizing and Presenting Competency Information


8. Defining levels of proficiency on competencies
– Defined in terms of highly observable behaviors and may include contextual
factors
– Levels may reflect:
• Progressive levels of proficiency (e.g., novice, master, and expert)
• Job grade levels or hierarchies (e.g., associate engineer, staff engineer, or senior
engineer)
• Levels of performance (e.g., marginal, good, and excellent)
• Training stages
• Others depending on purposes
– Number of levels should depend on the number of levels that can be
perceived by the eventual user of the information (typically 3 levels or 5 levels
with 1, 3, and 5 defined)
– Key potential contribution of I/O Psychology due to our skill with anchored
rating scales
– Makes competencies directly applicable for wide range of HR systems/tools:
• Appraisals
• Structured interviews
• Compensable factors
• Training stages
• Etc.

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Example of Levels: Machinist


Junior-Level Senior-Level Expert-Level
Competency:

Machine set- 1. Assists/learns 1. Inserts pins 1. Changes major


up machine set up 2. Makes allowable components necessary
(with supervision) adjustments to for set-up
2. Prepares and machines, as 2. Sets up without
warms up appropriate supervision or need for
machines correctly 3. Sets up machines follow-up
3. Performs machine within specified time 3. Researches and
checks period with minimal troubleshoots machine
4. Performs model guidance set-up
changes
5. Changes jigs, dies,
tools

Operating 1. Knows and 1. Monitors/operates 1. Troubleshoots machine


machines performs basic several machines at operations to reduce
operations to keep one time (depending errors, increase
machine running (1 on area) productivity, increase
or more depending 2. Operates different efficiency, increase
on line) types of machines at quality, etc.
2. Loads/unloads different times 2. Runs all machines in
machines correctly 3. Makes minor machine area (at different
3. Performs
Spring machine
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checks appropriate
MAPAC 2008

Examples of Levels: Foreign Service Officer

Spring 2008 MAPAC


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Examples of Levels: Budget Analyst

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Spring 2008 MAPAC


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Examples of Levels: Production Supervisor

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Professional, Non-Management
Enterprise Competency Models (Individual Contributors)
Senior Professionals Employees
Salaried 5 & 6
Level Competencies: Employees Common Technical
• Cross Functional Partnerships Competencies:
• Follow Up • Business Case Analysis
• Gaining Commitment • Government Laws/Regulations
• Innovation • Industry Awareness
• Managing Conflict • Project Leadership
• Negotiation

Lead Professionals
Salaried 3 & 4
Level Competencies: Employees Common Technical Competencies:
• Business (Financial) Acumen • Vendor Agreements
• Business (Operational) Acumen • Operations Processes
• Planning & Organizing • Presentation Skills/Techniques
• Project Management • Process Management Skills
• Systems Thinking • Procurement Processes

Professionals
Level Competencies: Salaried 1 & 2 Common Technical Competencies:
• Building Trust Employees • Analytical Skills
• Coaching / Teaching • Company Knowledge
• Continuous Improvement • Customer Knowledge
• Continuous Learning • Handling Proprietary Info
• Contributing to Team • Information Technology Fluency
Success

Foundational Competencies:
• Adaptability • Decision Making
• Build Positive Relationships • Diversity Awareness
• Collaboration • Initiating Action
• Communication • Managing Work
• Customer Focus • Work Standards

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Example of the Leadership Lexicon – Focus on Levels
Outstanding Highly Effective
Needs
Derailers
Effective Development
Performance Levels

Foundational
Proficiency Levels

Emerging
(Individual
Contributors)

Emerging
(Supervisors)

Proficient

Expert

• For each enabler, behavioral anchors are color-coded and grouped by one of five proficiency
levels, and then organized in order of four levels of performance effectiveness levels + derailers

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Organizing and Presenting Competency Information


9. Using organizational language
– Desirable to tailor competency language to each organization.
– Includes:
• Expressions
• Acronyms
• Technology
• Job titles
• Business unit titles
• Products
• Etc.
– Enhances communication and ownership
– Increases likelihood that organizational members will refer to the
competency model when making HR decisions
– Disadvantages:
• More effort to develop the competencies
• Lack of consistency across organizations
• Colloquial organizational expressions can date quickly
• Difficult to communicate to outsiders (e.g., candidates)
– Competency models can also create new organizational language
Spring 2008 MAPAC
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Draft Competency Model that Evolved into Tailored Organizational Model
Organizational
Organizational
Goals
Goals and
and Strategies
Strategies

Exceptional
Exceptional Operational
Operational Personal
Personal
Talent
Talent Excellence
Excellence Effectiveness
Effectiveness

Using Managing Managing


Learning, Creating and Organizational Communicating
Fostering Executing Striving for Complex Composure
Teaching and Leading Diverse and Industry Effectively
Teamwork the Vision Excellence Business Under
Growing Organizations Knowledge Activities Stress

• Develops Talent • Builds and • Supports Diversity • Promotes the • Analyzes Financial • Sets High • Analyzes Problems • Communicates • Behaves Flexibly
Sustains Initiatives Brand Information Standards with Impact
• Coaches for • Makes Sound • Exhibits Self-
Relationships • Focuses on • Facilitates
Performance • Demonstrates • Exhibits Computer • Attends to Critical Decisions Confidence
• Demonstrates Cultural Customer Service and Technological Detail Effective
• Creates • Multitasks Meetings • Maintains
Team Orientation Awareness • Thinks Proficiency
Accountability • Exhibits Energy Composure
Strategically • Plans and • Listens Actively
• Influences Others • Builds a Diverse • Manages
• Develops Self • Displays Integrity Organizes • Overcomes
Team • Demonstrates Resources • Writes with
• Leads Teams Barriers
• Empowers Others Visionary • Takes Initiative • Prioritizes Impact
• Leverages
• Resolves Conflict Perspective/Shares and Ownership
Networks • Supports Change
Vision • Implements
• Demonstrates
Continuous
Cross-Functional
Improvements
Capability
• Demonstrates
Business Acumen

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Organizing and Presenting Competency Information


10. Including both fundamental (cross-job) and technical (job-specific)
competencies
– Some competencies may be common across jobs (e.g., common skills,
major work activities, etc.)
– Others may be more unique to specific jobs (e.g., specialized
knowledge, tasks, etc.).
– For multiple units of analysis, often necessary to include both common
and job-specific competencies

Spring 2008 MAPAC


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York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Foundational, Professional and Manager/Leader
Competencies

Management Leadership
Competencies Competencies

Foundational Competencies
Professional
Competencies

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Organizing and Presenting Competency Information


11. Using competency libraries
– Lists of competencies from which to select when developing a
competency model
– Common offering of consulting firms
– Advantages:
• Efficiency
• Learn from other models
• Consistency of competency language
• Ensures that all the potentially relevant competencies are considered
– Disadvantages:
• May not be as tailored to the organization
• Organizational members may not be as committed to a competency model
if they have not been deeply involved in its development
– Parallel to common language in job analysis (e.g., O*NET)

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Example of the Leadership Lexicon
Outstanding Highly Effective
Needs
Derailers
Effective Development
Performance Levels

Foundational
Proficiency Levels

Emerging
(Individual
Contributors)

Emerging
(Supervisors)

Proficient

Expert

• For each enabler, behavioral anchors are color-coded and grouped by one of five proficiency
levels, and then organized in order of four levels of performance effectiveness levels + derailers

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Organizing and Presenting Competency Information


12. Achieving the proper level of granularity (number of competencies
and amount of detail).
– Tension between a desire for detail on the one hand and a desire for
simplicity and parsimony on the other.
– Detail is helpful for developing HR systems and demonstrating job
relatedness
– Parsimony is better for getting organizational members to remember
and actually use the competencies
– Number of competencies and amount of detail both matter
– Typically better to have fewer and more detailed competencies, than a
large number of brief descriptors as is common in job analysis
– One-half to one page
– Can use categories and subcategories to simplify larger numbers of
competencies

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Levels of Granularity – 6 competencies, 30 sub-
competencies
6 Competencies: Competency:

• Leadership Skills Leadership Skills


• Managerial Skills
Subcompetencies:
• Interpersonal Skills Each competency is divided into
~ 5 Subcompetencies
• Communication and •Innovation
Foreign Language •Decision Making
Skills
•Teamwork
• Intellectual Skills
•Openness to Dissent
• Substantive
Knowledge •Community Service and
Institution Building

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Organizing and Presenting Competency Information


13. Using diagrams, pictures, and heuristics to communicate
competency models to employees
– Competency models tend to use visuals
• Enhances communication by presenting information in multiple modes
• Enhances memorableness
• Important for people who think visually
– Guidelines:
• Simplicity will enhance memorableness.
• Focus on the core idea of the model – not every detail of the model needs to
be included

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Visuals
Experiences
The building blocks for
learning and growth

Career Stages
What‘s expected in your Competencies
current stage and how to
get to the next stage on The set of behaviors that
your chosen career path differentiate outstanding
performance

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MAPAC 2008
Deliver measurable impact by leveraging
relationships, client / industry knowledge
and the “Best of Aon” to provide
distinctive solutions

Act with integrity always Develop and retain


and work every day in a unmatched talent and high-
way that positively performing teams through
impacts our clients, continuous learning,
colleagues and honest feedback, rigorous
communities. development and
disciplined talent
management

Deliver consistent,
Build sustainable,
positive operational
differentiated capabilities
results with the best
through proven solutions,
balance of investment
deep content expertise
and efficiency.
and focused innovation

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Competency Information


14. Using organizational development techniques to ensure competency
modeling acceptance and use
– Good organizational development is simply defined here as widespread
involvement of organizational employees in the creation of the competency model
– Organizational development is at the core of competency modeling, unlike job
analysis where it is usually a peripheral activity
• Better to have a simple and crude model (developed by a group) that people will use,
than a highly sophisticated model created by researchers that people may ignore
– Modeling fits definition of OD intervention: behavioral science, adaptive and
iterative, stakeholder involvement, includes implementation, and focuses on both
employee satisfaction and organizational effectiveness
– Modeling illustrates primary roots of OD:
• Action research
• Social constructionism
– Opportunities for organizational development exist at all stages of a competency
modeling project as illustrated below.
• Planning and initiating the project
• Collecting data and diagnosing
• Developing and evaluating
• Implementing and institutionalizing

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Competency Information


15. Using competencies to develop human resources systems
– Competency models are much easier to use for creating HR systems
than normal job analysis information for the following reasons:
• Automatically translate into HR systems
– Structured interviews
– Performance appraisals
– Job evaluations
– Measures of promotion readiness
– Career development guides
– Etc.
• Distinguishing high from moderate or low levels of job performance
• Linkage to organizational goals and strategic objectives
• Framing in on-the-job behaviors makes their linkage to HR systems much
closer and more obvious
• Organizational development techniques that ensure high involvement
• Using a finite number of competencies that are present in multiple models

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Competency Information


16. Using competencies to align the human resource systems
– Helps align the HR systems in terms of the same set of KSAOs.
– Number of competencies is usually relatively small
– Level of generality that exists between different HR systems can be
readily seen
– Combined with competencies’ relevance and face validity to aid
expansion of competencies beyond HR systems and into the
nomenclature of the business at large

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Cascading Impact of Competencies

Recruiting
Recruiting Performance
Performance Promotion
Promotion Development
Development Leadership
Leadership Succession
Succession
Assessment
Assessment &
& Hiring
Hiring Management
Management Criteria
Criteria Planning
Planning (MYCD)
(MYCD) Development
Development Planning
Planning

Incorporate Executive Link Executive and Forward Development Successors


competencies hiring criteria competencies in partner looking activities identified and
into and protocol action to results promotion discussion mapped to evaluated on
assessments based on and rewards readiness involving leadership readiness
both for competency linked to competency competencies against
development work. leadership strengths, Includes leadership
and evaluation Rolling out competencies weaknesses formal competencies
structured and training,
interviews development employee
based on movement,
competency and work
models for assignments
all
employees.

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Example: Using Competencies for Appraisals

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Example: Structured Interview Rating Scale


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Level 9 Skill Level 11 Skill Level 12 Skill Level 13 Skill Level 14 Skill

•Skill in planning and •Skill in independently •Skill in planning, •Skill in organizing and •Skill in identifying priorities
organizing small-scale planning, organizing, and organizing, and managing planning large-scale, long- and optimizing resources
projects. managing routine or small- most projects without range projects. and assuming responsibility
•Skill in coordinating routine scale projects. supervision. •Ability to think strategically for overseeing plans.
projects with supervision. •Skill in assisting with •Skill in assuming and understand long-term •Skill in ensuring that all the
planning on large-scale and responsibility for projects implications of planning important issues are
unique projects. from beginning to end. decisions. properly handled.
•Ability to involve other staff
in planning.

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Example: Using Competencies for OTJ Assessment for
Skill-Based Promotion
Responsibility to be Assessed: Operating Machines
Test Associate on the Following Workstations/Machines/Lines:

(must be able to perform all of these tasks)


Initial Questions and Follow-up Questions
Ask these questions for this responsibility, focusing on all tasks listed above; ask follow-up questions to fully assess the
depth of the associate’s knowledge and skill; take 5-10 minutes for each responsibility; skip questions that do not apply.

Basic Junior-Level Tasks Additional Senior-Level Tasks Expert-Level Tasks


•Knows and performs basic •Monitors/operates several •Troubleshoots machine
operations to keep machine machines at one time (depending operations to reduce errors,
running (1 or more, depending on on area) increase productivity, increase
line) •Operates different types of efficiency, increase quality, etc.
•Loads/unloads machines correctly machines at different times •Runs all machines in area (at
•Performs machine checks •Makes minor machine different times)
•Meets production quota at specific adjustments, as appropriate

machine •Performs operations faster/more

efficiently

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Example: Using Competencies for Role-play
Assessment for Selection
1.Efficency 4. Communication
1.1. Uses time efficiently 4.1 Speaks clearly and concisely
1.2 Controls call
4.2 Uses appropriate language
1.3 Recaps
4.3 Projects enthusiastic tone
2. Problem Resolution
2.1 Follows policies and procedures 4.4 Conveys confidence and conviction

2.2 Provides detailed and thorough information 5. Fact Finding/Understanding Customers


2.3 Provides accurate information 5.1 Listens actively
2.4 Identifies and provides tailored solutions
5.2 Probes to obtain needed information
3. Service Orientation
6. Influence/Sales Orientation
3.1 Establishes Rapport
3.2 Express empathy 6.1 Identifies influencing and sales opportunities

3.3 Maintains composure 6.2 Persists to overcome objections


3.4 Interacts professionally
6.3 Gains customer commitment and closes
3.5 Takes ownership sale/negotiation

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008
Example: Behavioral Indicators Associated with
Assessment Model
6.2 Persists to overcome objections
+ Provides benefits of the services or solutions that address customer’s specific needs
(e.g. down jacket more warm and durable)
+ Responds to reluctance or resistance by citing additional benefits
+ Persists repeatedly (2+ times) with new attempts to influence
+ Tailors responses to customer’s objections
+ Responds to objections with additional benefits and justifications
+ Asked for sale despite lack of interest

A Responds to resistance by restating benefits and/or repeating the request for sale or
retention
A Responds to resistance by asking, “Are you sure?”
A Made one additional attempt to gain commitment after customer’s initial objection
A Asks for sale or commitment one time, but does not persist when customer declines

- Does not provide benefits in response to customer’s objections


- Is unable to support recommendation with any kind of logical statement
- Made no additional attempt to sell or gain commitment at first sign of any resistance
- Pursued sale after customer turned down offer two or more times (over persists)

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Example: Multi-purpose Leadership Competency Model


II) PEOPLE MANAGEMENT (Leadership Dimension)
A) Performance Management and Development (Leadership Competency)
Establishes individual and group goals and expectations as well as providing opportunities for
growth and development. Motivating, coaching, and supporting individuals to achieve goals and
providing balanced feedback related to performance. Recognizes and capitalizes on individual
differences, with a full appreciation of the need to manage diversity.
3) Focuses considerable time and effort toward developing the skills and abilities of all staff members. Freely
shares all relevant knowledge and experience. Works to groom his/her eventual replacement and to build a
solid talent pool within his/her department/unit. Identifies, as well as seeks out, growth opportunities for all
staff members. Serves as a role model/mentor in both word and deed. Stands behind staff members and
supports them at all appropriate times. Provides clear performance expectations and establishes clear,
specific, and challenging goals/objectives for individuals and groups. Provides regular, specific, timely, and
balanced feedback regarding performance and offers direction to help ensure goal attainment. Takes action to
correct and prevent poor performance. Motivates and encourages staff to succeed through words and actions.
Recognizes and rewards good performance as well as performance improvement.
2) Works to develop the skills of all staff members by providing direction and guidance as well as sharing
experience and best practices. Supports staff in taking on growth opportunities. Stands behind staff in difficult
situations. Sets general performance goals/objectives for individuals and groups. Provides immediate
corrective feedback as necessary and often provides positive feedback and encouragement. Recognizes and
rewards exemplary performance.
1) Provides direction, guidance, and instruction to build and improve the skill and performance of staff. Supports
staff when necessary. Sets general, project-related goals/objectives for individual staff members.
Occasionally provides performance feedback (positive and negative).

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Competency Information


17. Using competencies to develop a practical “theory” of effective job
performance tailored to the organization
– Much more than lists of KSAOs that result from job analysis, but
instead they are more of a theory in the following ways:
• Explain why the KSAOs matter in terms of creating effective job
performance, connecting with organizational goals, etc.
• Usually include a description of the process as well as the content
• Internally consistent in that performance on one competency should not
conflict with performance on another competency
• Make predictions in terms of outcomes
• Much more provocative and promote thought and discussion about effective
job performance

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Competency Information


18. Using information technology to enhance the usability of
competency models
– Makes competency models more useable
– Single electronic place to store the competency model that is available
electronically to organizational members.
– Facilitates the use of the competency model by housing the HR
applications that derive from the model
– Helps develop the competency models (e.g., collecting ratings,
providing a lexicon for writing competencies, soliciting reviews and
revisions of the model, etc.).
– However:
• Don’t forget that it is a tool and not an end in itself
• Do not confuse a sophisticated technology application for a useful
competency model
• The information technology should always accommodate the competency
model, not the reverse
• The technology should not limit or dictate anything about the model

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Competency Information


19. Maintaining the currency of competencies over time
– Having a plan for updating is critical
– Ideal time for creating the maintenance plan is during the initial
competency modeling and analysis
– Frequency of updates will depend on the number and nature of the
roles and the organization involved
– A general rule of thumb: at least every 5 years
– One approach:
• Long-term executive leadership and skill leader buy-in
• Cross-functional team of HR process partners to ensure on-going
integration of competencies
• Decision rules for on-going data gathering and analysis
• Incorporation of changes into HR systems

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Using Competency Information


20. Using competency modeling for legal defensibility (e.g., test validation)
– Scientifically rigorous competency models can demonstrate job relatedness
– three major advantages:
• Linked to organizational goals and objectives, thus their “business necessity”
should be more obvious and easier to document
• Observable on-the-job behaviors shows job-relatedness (content validity)
• Shorter and broader than individual KSAOs, competencies may be easier to show
linkages to HR systems and be more obvious to laypersons
– Some experts prefer exhaustive lists of tasks and KSAOs for validation
purposes, including a clear delineation of fundamental attributes (e.g.,
reading and math skills), which usually do not result from competency
modeling projects. But these can be part of a competency model if
necessary (e.g., part of foundational competencies)

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Conclusions
• Is competency modeling really new?
• Many of the practices have been around for years
• Perhaps the contribution is in bringing them all together in
one integrated program
• Potential for impact seems much greater than traditional
job analysis

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD
MAPAC 2008

Wrap up

Thank you for your


participation!
Brian_Ruggeberg@aon.com
631-391-7025

Spring 2008 MAPAC


22nd Annual Conference   New
SIOP Conference Baltimore,
York, NYMD