Organizational Employee Core Competencies Best Practices

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One of the more annoying concepts to contend with in training are organizational employee core competencies, and how to measure them. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate things like buzzwords and superfluous jargon, and this here is a prime example of the latter. Oh yes. But, the meaning behind this term is in fact important, though you may be surprised to see that we actually touched on this concept by a different name previously. So, what are organizational employee core competencies? Well, they’re the skills and functional capabilities of an employee working within an organization. Basically, skillsets and what the standards set for these are. Already, it should be apparent that this is basically relevant to the concept of training needs assessment, which we’ve touched on quite often before. What things qualify as these core competencies depends on your company, and the specific organizational construct therein that you’re assessing and training. So, what we’re going to talk about here are best practices on how to handle assessing these, and how to be realistic with goals and standards. Along with this, we’ll look at how to approach the individuals about these competencies when gaps are found. First, as I said, let’s talk a little bit about being realistic. With core competencies, it’s impossible to hit an ideal standard of quality one hundred percent, quite simply because humans aren’t machines, and have all manner of minute idiosyncrasies to them that means that any given core competency, however you choose to measure it, if they match the standards within a ninety percent, they are performing quite admirably. So, sometimes it’s not how well different employees are meeting quality standards, but a lack in competencies within the entire organization that means something is going overlooked or unhandled. Maybe it’s a type of leadership, some specific task that the organization needs performed which isn’t being properly handled, it could be a number of things. Regardless, the trick here isn’t necessarily to shell out a fortune to hire some new employee to handle some gap in competencies, but to train all of the people within this organization to overlap and share this responsibility so that it’s handled properly in the future. Usually in the organizational environment, it’s going to be some form of leadership or cooperative competency. It usually results from individuals being reticent to speak out on ideas and solutions they come to. People tend to be timid when there’s no power overtly bestowed upon them. So, this often lacking core competency, which you will encounter the most in organizational environments, is going to call for teaching people some self confidence. Finally, there’s approaching people about competency gaps. It’s very difficult to point out a lack in something, because it’s easy to come off condescending and judgmental, when it’s often not anyone’s fault that these lacks are present. Ergo, the best way to approach people is in a group meeting, where you don’t name names and just point out “most of you are lacking in this core competency that’s needed to meet goals more appropriately” so that everyone feels equally the need for improvement, and nobody feels wrongly judged. This is how you approach organizational employee core competencies. Be realistic in goals, and tread lightly when you broach the topic with the trainees.  
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog