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Competencies comprise the knowledge, skills, values and attributes demonstrated through behaviour that results in competent and

superior performance. Competency describes what superior performers actually do on a job that produces superior results. Armed with this information, selection, retention, training, succession planning and performance management systems can be integrated and designed to attract, develop and retain top performers. Classification of Competencies Competencies can broadly be classifid into two categories Basic and Professional Competencies. Basic competencies are inherent in all individuals. Only their degree of existence would be differing. For example, problem solving is a competency that exists in every individual but in varying degrees. Professional competencies are over and above the basic competencies, and are job related. For example, handling a sales call effectively is a competency that a sales personnel would be required to have. Hence, it can be simply said that, Competencies = Basic Competencies + Professional Competencies Types of Basic Competencies The basic competencies encompass the following: 1. Intellectual Competencies : Those which determine the intellectual ability of a person. 2. Motivational Competencies : Those which determine the level of motivation in an individual. 3. Emotional Competencies : Those which determine an individual's emotional quotient. 4. Social Competencies : Those that determine the level of social ability in a person. It has been proved by various scholars that all individuals have competencies. Only the combination and degree of these competencies differ from individual to individual. Hence, organizations have to identify the critical basic competencies required for individual employees to deliver their best in their organization. The importance of mapping the competencies proves critical for organizational success. Types of Professional Competencies: The professional competencies encompass the knowledge, experience and expertise gained by an individual employee. Competency Mapping Competency Mapping is a process of identifying the key competencies for an organization and/or a job and incorporating those competencies throughout the various processes (i.e. job evaluation, training, recruitment) of the organization. Following are the steps included in competency mapping: Step 1: To classify the competencies under the types of competencies. Step 2: To determine type of competency that is the most critical for an oranisation. Step 3: To determine the critical competencies that are required for superior performance at a given level in the organization (educational institution). Classification of the Basic Competencies in the Competency Grid

Motivational Competencies: o Continuous Learning o Perseverance o Achievement Orientation o Time Management Intellectual Competencies: o Communication o Creativity o Analytical Ability o Planning and Organising Social Competencies: o Team Work o Inter-personal Skills o Responsibility o Customer Satisfaction Emotional Competencies: o Initiative o Optimism o Self Confidence o Leadership o Managing Stress o Managing Change

Mapping the Competencies A research survey can be conducted to test the level of competency of an employee based on the above aspects. The researcher has to take into consideration only the well performing employees in an organization while conducting the

research survey. Because, the critical competencies needed for excellent performance can be identified only from the well performing employees of an organization. Hence, the researcher has to ignore the non-performing employees and has to conduct the survey only with well performing employees. The top ten competencies perceived as important or vital by the well performing employees can be emphasized for others in the organization. The other employees can be conducted with training and development programmes to acquire the critical competencies. Conclusion Competency mapping helps an organization to identify the critical competencies that are essential for employees to excel in an organization. By identifying the critical competencies existing with well performing employees, the other employees can also be stressed with the same by conducting training and development programmes.

Competency mapping is one of those processes, which despite being old in its inception, is still new in its implementation. Though corporate giants and top HR consultancies have developed customized competency frameworks and do use them religiously for recruitment and evaluation purposes, the concept has still not penetrated medium sized companies. Of course the cost of developing and using such frameworks cannot be justified in a small company of say 50-100 employees. There are however a huge number of organizations who have reached maturity to implement this but are struggling to do so because of lack of experience in this field. Not all HR professionals have undergone a competency mapping cycle and it is definitely difficult to manage if you have not even seen one . A large amount of documentation can be found on the internet for competency models. Even if you read all of these, you still cannot be prepared to face the process and interpersonal challenges involved in the process. For developing an effective framework, copy paste just wont do, nor would modification of some other organizations model. As in any other project, the process has to be really strong to come up with a solid framework meeting the requirements of the organization. It could be a 4 page framework or a 100 page one, no one is better than the other, if they help their respective organizations achieve their performance objectives. Though competencies have traditionally been defined more in terms of behavior rather than technical ability, more and more firms are opting for technical plus behavioral competency definitions these days. When construction projects begin to get delayed unprecedently and when safety standards are not met despite all your best efforts, you do begin to wonder if having thorough subject knowledge and experience is ultimately more important than willingness to learn and good attitude. Having said that, it is heartening to see line managers giving more importance to behavioral competencies than the technical ones, and am sure HR folks would heave a sigh of relief when they find such understanding managers. But the question is , are companies willing to pay for technical training in todays scenario? Would they prefer to hire an aggressive performer with people issues or a person with excellent interpersonal skills, with high delivery focus, trainable but lacking experience? Its not that companies have not faced these questions before, they have just become more urgent in the current economic situation. Whatever an organization might choose to do, the process used for coming up with behavioral and technical competencies is the same. It is obvious that involvement of line managers is imperative, HR cannot do this job alone. Some organizations have HR as strategic business partners but most, even today, unfortunately dont. HR executives in these companies do not have sufficient business knowledge to come up with the entire competency framework on their own, hence increased time requirement from line managers. HR would be lucky if line management already understands the importance of an accurate framework (which cannot be prepared from copy and paste), but mostly HR would have to get the buy in from departmental heads even if the initiative is driven from the top. Inputs received out of pressure and those received out of genuine interest do vary significantly. A competency list can be prepared after job analysis interviews of various incumbents, role shadowing can also be done if feasible (in my experience it is not). Each competency then needs to be defined and then described at different levels. The number of levels can also vary from organization to organization (varies between 3-5 usually). A lot of focus groups, query solving sessions , review rounds and intermediate templates later, you can come up with a competency framework that actually works. I have an experience of one such cycle and what an experience it has been! Before the start of the project, the General Manager asked me Do you know how many companies in the world have successfully implemented competency framework? I said Maybe a couple. His response: Zero. You might be the first one to do it. If he was trying to motivate me, well good luck with that, I only got more scared! Thankfully, we had consultants to do all this :D and I thank them for helping me gain immense knowledge on the subject. Now I am confident that I can prepare competency framework of any organization on my own and maybe will be the first one to deliver two successful frameworks in a row. ;)