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Stayin’ Alive: How to Keep your Competency Project Going

Competency initiatives sometimes start to lose momentum. To support the maintenance of your competency project, we recommend that you start using your tools right away, celebrate your successes, and ensure you have a plan in place for when to review your competency process and tools.

Don’t Wait to Use Your Tools

A common mistake many people make when adding competencies to their HR programs is waiting to use their competency profiles and tools until the entire organization has identified the critical competencies for their area. Don’t wait! Once you have the tools and competencies in place for roles in one area, start using them. It’s often beneficial to start with one pilot group in order to gain buy-in and momentum for the rest of the project. If you wait too long, you may never start to use your tools.

Celebrate Success

It is important to communicate the results of your projects frequently and share the success stories. It is a good idea to build these in as clear and visible milestones when building out your communication plan. By celebrating your results, it will help create awareness for your project and create an appetite for their use.

Set Guidelines for When to Review your Competency Profiles, Process, and Tools

You will want to ensure that the requirements for successful performance for each role remain up to date. A review of these requirements at least every two years will help to ensure that the profiles and job descriptions continue to accurately describe the critical behaviours and requirements for success. You will also need to ensure that your tools remain up to date. If you update your competencies, then the tools tied to those competencies (e.g., selection tests, interview questions, catalogue of learning resources, etc.) will also need to be updated. Lastly, it is a good idea to conduct a program evaluation of your process (e.g., hiring, learning and development program, etc.) every few years or so to see if there is anything that can be improved.

To learn more about best practices in using competencies, check out our Using Competencies in HR Toolkit!