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Napping 101: How to Promote Office Napping… Using Competencies

Research shows that a well-rested employee is a productive and engaged employee. In this week’s blog, we look at how you can maximize your employees well-earned nap time by using competencies to define the key behaviors needed for success.

Competencies provide a common language that help to define what a person must be able to know and do to be successful. They describe observable behaviors and should answer the question, “how do I know it when I see it”? How do I know that this person is doing a good job when it comes to office napping?

April fools! – At least the napping part, as competencies are still an important part of your talent management life cycle. The best competencies are those that describe successful performance using multiple stages. Multi-stage competencies allow you to describe what successful performance looks like at various stages of learning, from someone still learning the skill or ability to someone with vast expertise in the skill or ability. By using multi-stage competencies, you can use the same competency to describe many different jobs across your organization. This allows an employee and their manager to understand what they may need to work on if they wish to not only be successful in their current role but also any other role that they may wish to move into.

What should your competency look like?

Let’s walk through an example using the competency “Taking Office Naps.”

Each competency should have a:

1. Name – describe what the competency is called.

Tip: It should focus on one competency and not overlap with other competencies.

2. Definition – describe what the competency means and provide an overview of the expected behaviors.

Tip: It should provide you with an overview of what key behaviors a person will need to demonstrate for that competency.

3. Key Areas – describe the general themes or key actions associated with success for the competency.

Tip: Focus on the key or critical (“must haves”) themes to ensure that the competency is easy to use. Between 3 and 5 key areas per competency is ideal.

4. Stages – describe the different stages of learning and development for the competency. These stages range from someone still developing and learning the competency to someone who has mastered it.

Tip: Four stages are ideal. Use an accumulative model, this means that you do not need to repeat example behaviors as you move from one stage to the next. If someone can demonstrate the example behaviors at the advanced stage, then they are able to already demonstrate the behaviors listed under the Intermediate and Developing stages. The behaviors listed under each stage also become more complex as you move from one stage to another.

  • Developing: Still learning. Applies the competency in basic situations.
  • Intermediate: Independent. Applies the competency in a wide-range of typical situations.
  • Advanced: Deals with complexity. Applies the competency in new or ambiguous situations.
  • Mastery: Go-to authority. Creates, innovates, or adapts solutions, techniques, and approaches.


5. Example Behaviours – define the key observable behaviors that someone needs to demonstrate.

Tip: They should begin with one verb and be observable. One to two example behaviors per Key Area is ideal.

Stay tuned for our next Blog on the benefits of applying competencies or national occupational standards to help you to find, hire, engage, grow and keep the best people.