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UKERTOR GABRIEL MOTI (Ph.D) UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA
INTRODUCTION The changing global economy, dramatic technological change, and increased expectations for government performance demand new attention to the complex set of public skills and capacity. Public servants are experiencing great pressures emanating from increasing global integration-economic, political, social and cultural. New technology, new ways of organizing work, new means of delivering services and an increasing reliance on temporary employment have redefined the nature of public service. Meeting all these challenges requires a unique combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes and effective human resource development policies and strategies to nurture those competencies. Public sector performance aims to move public management beyond bureaucracy and promote greater economy, efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery.
or personal characteristics. 2006). According to ASTD (American Society for Training and Development). For example the position of government pharmaceutical agency sales manager requires the following competency levels. among them. behaviours and capabilities needed to meet current and future personal selection needs. United Kingdom. 1999). Australia. values. attitudes. skills. competencies are areas of personal capability that enable people to perform successfully in their jobs by achieving outcomes or completing tasks effectively. job role. knowledge. Richard Boyatzis adopted the term “competency” and described it as “an underlying characteristic of an individual that is causally related to effective or superior performance in a job”. A competency can be knowledge. It was tightly linked with the efforts of companies to create a setting for the empowerment of their workforce in order to increase competitive advantage and effectiveness (Houtzagers. or enterprise strategy and those available (Draganadis and Mentzas. the Netherlands. the United States of America and the Scandinavian countries.DEFINITION The competency movement has taken hold in a number of countries. Competency Knowledge of Business ethics Knowledge of local physician market Selling Skills Communication Skills Group Presentation Skills Leadership Skills 2 Level Intermediate Advanced Advanced Basic Intermediate Intermediate . in alignment with variations in strategies and organizational priorities and to focus the individual and group development plans to eliminate the gap between the competencies requested by a project. Competency approaches were expected to help identify the skills.
Organizations need to stay at the forefront of technology. and also focus on job. Example. these refer to behavioural. TYPES OF COMPETENCY There are two types of competencies: Technical competency and Behavioural competency. abilities. when we know what competencies individuals possess. Examples include teamwork.Negotiations Skills Expert Once we define competencies for this position. They are specific to a given function. Likewise. starting with the development of this human capital. Behavioural competency: Known also as Generic competency. the behavioural competencies are more difficult to develop. Competency-based management 3 . This means that while technical competencies (skills. COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT Competency management is central to every organization’s ability to maintain and enhance its human resources. They are job specific and relate to success in a given job or job family. They apply to all jobs and focus on the person. and other characteristics that contribute to individual success in the organization. it is much easier to identify and evaluate individuals who can effectively fill it. the ones most visible and easily assessed. knowledge) can be trained. we can then determine their levels of proficiency for that competency. saying that most organizations focus on technical competencies. skills. knowledge. This approach is directly linked to improving competitiveness. However. Margaret Butteriss has likened competencies to an iceberg. attitudes. knowledge of accounting principles. experience shows that it is the competencies below the waterline that differentiate between average and superior performers. and more easily determine who qualifies for this or another position. knowledge of human resource law and practice relate to Accounting and Administration Positions. Technical competency: These are specific knowledge and skills needed to be able to perform one’s job effectively. cooperation and communication.
and the types of behaviours expected from the employee who fills each position. bonuses and merit increases are tied directly to individual competency ratings. Learning management: To improve competencies and to meet performance.therefore focuses on identifying the necessary technical skills and developing those competencies that will produce superior results. career development. they can view the specific competencies required to achieve them. Competency management supports other components of talent management in the following ways: Performance management: Competencies help provide the level of knowledge. and ensure that job descriptions result in more effective and successful recruiting efforts. This may be difficult in an inflexible public sector environment. OTHER BENEFITS OF COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT • Smooth the transition of retirees by grooming their successors in advance. based on the competency requirements of the position. employees engage in learning activities that are tied to those competencies. • Meet performance targets and support career goals by providing learning and development opportunities that are directly tied to improving needed competencies. Many times. Workforce acquisition: Competencies set the right expectations for each position. the skills. Compensation management: Helps managers perform compensation planning for their organization. • Motivate and reward employees by giving them the tools to model their career goals toward the talent needs of the organization. 4 . or succession goals. Career development: As employees map out their future goals and desired positions. Succession planning: Managers who seek candidates for succession of a position can compare the competencies requirements of that position. and seek candidates who meet those requirements.
3. It is seen as a strategic instrument of human resource management. competency management allows more flexible personnel policies. Also. using up-to-date competency profiles on existing employees. knowledge. 2. Traditional human resource organizations have focused on administrative tasks and the enforcement of rules and regulations. behaviours and capabilities needed to meet current and future personnel selection needs. which can help to identify the skills. • Improve overall stability by lengthening employing tenure. human resource managers should become members of the strategic management teams and play a crucial role in linking human resource policy with strategic goals of the agency. Informs prospective recruits what is expected of them. COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK Competency frameworks are a method of describing the underpinning values that shape and define the culture of an organization. Informs staff of the sort of attitudes and behaviours that the organization encourages when carrying out their duties. They provide clear focus to support the development of staff in order to deliver the best possible services. Furthermore. 5 . RATIONALE FOR INTRODUCTION OF COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR Competency needs a well-developed human resource function to be in place to lead and support the implementation of human resources policies. Informs staff of what they can expect from their managers.• Capitalize on existing talent before recruiting. Competency framework serves several purposes such as: 1. The new role of the human resource professional is to act as an internal consultant to line managers on a wide range of organizational issues. essential for public servants to become more responsive and effective.
Assign competencies to positions. 3. ANALY ZE DEFINE ASSIGN ASSESS GABS 6 . Remediate through learning activities. Supports staff at all levels in their development in order to maximize their potential. 2. 5. constructive challenge. Refine the process. Track progress. 4. Analyze gaps between individuals (Required and Actual competency levels). Define your competencies. 5. 6. One such method is the Competency Modeling Process. and being citizen centred. Assess individuals according to their competencies. continuous improvement.4. Shapes and defines a culture based around strong principles such as partnership. METHODS OF ESTABLISHING COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT Methods here refer to ways an organization can establish an organizational structure to implement competency management. 7. Steps in the Competency Modeling Process are: 1.
Relations and Cognitions.Competency Development Process REFINE TRACK REMEDI ATE BEHAVIOURAL AND COGNITIVE COMPETENCY MODEL This model attempts to connect Corporate identity competencies with Actions. Corporate Identity: (Seeing) • Integrity • Ambassadorship • Self motivation and discipline • Cross cultural sensitivity Actions: (Doing) • Results orientation • Planning and organization • Customer focus • Responsible risk-taking and decision-making Relations: (Interacting) • Communication • Lead and motivate others 7 .
8 . 3. Assess and build team competencies. 5.• Relationship and management • Team work Cognition: (Thinking) • Continuous learning • Systems and strategic thinking • Innovation and creativity • Problem solving BEST PRACTICES OF COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT Ensuring your staff have the proper skills and competencies to consistently perform the tasks required of them is sometimes a daunting challenge. 2. 4. Integrate competencies into training and development programmes. It requires the following steps: 1. Determine the return-on-investment or economic value of competency initiatives. Implement competency-based organizational transformation and change strategies. Managing and tracking individual skills levels in a regulated environment (like the public sector) is a continuous process. Reengineer performance management processes with competencies that account for the highest performance variance.
human resources offices are weak and their activities are mainly limited to the management of personnel issues. However. Experience in other places proves that very often different reform strategies and tools are introduced without paying sufficient attention to the training and awareness raising needs. This implies that the legal framework defining the model and functioning of the public service including human resource policy should be in place. Assess and develop leadership competencies.6. Firstly. Strengthen functional or technical competencies. PRECONDITIONS FOR THE INTRODUCTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF COMPETENCY MANAGEMENT The preconditions which need to be taken into account in order to introduce competency management needs to be explored and analyzed. 10. 8. Thirdly. which is very difficult to overcome in the course of the reform. competency approach should be well understood and appreciated by the political leadership and public servants. Secondly. Recruit and select top performers. 7. Extensive training and consultation 9 .Design and implement a comprehensive competency-based system architecture and process.Link individual or team-based competencies with core competencies and strategic intent. 11. 9. Implement succession planning and executive development processes. in Nigeria. it needs to be part of the public administration reform strategy and to complement human resource policies. The lack of understanding and knowledge about the usefulness and impact which the competency management is going to have on career development and daily duties of public servants can generate resistance among public servants. the competency management approach cannot be introduced in a standalone fashion. a successful introduction of competency management requires very strong leadership support by human resource managers in public institutions.
. 144-163.N. it can be concluded that competency management can be instrumental to enhance policy coherence and facilitate a change in culture. it can be a strategic instrument for improving the performance of the whole government. it is extremely important that the training activities are of the highest quality and targeted to priority groups of government employees. Information Management and Computer Security. Draganadis. John Wiley & Sons. Reinventing HR. REFERENCES Butteriss.Changing Roles to Create the High Performance Organizations. it should be noted that the introduction and implementation of competency management requires strong political will and commitment. an introduction of the competency management requires extensive capacity building effort. F. 51-64. T. “Competency Based Management: A Review of Systems and Approaches”. 10 . However. Canada Ltd. Journal of Workplace Learning. Also. D. human resource managers and heads of departments. its agencies and individual public servants and make them more responsive to citizen’s needs. Sufficient skills and knowledge within government administration are required to develop and to implement the strategy. 14 (1). M. (1999). CONCLUSION Based on the discussion above.. Garavan. G. (2005). 13 (4). A comprehensive training strategy needs to be developed to support the implementation of competency approach. (2001). Finally. such as top civil servants. This calls for a very comprehensive assessment to analyze the existing pre-conditions for the successful introduction and implementation of competency-based management. “Competencies and Workplace Learning: Some Reflections on the Rhetoric and the Reality”. and Mentzas.programmes are needed to develop the required capacities and to introduce necessary changes in the roles and responsibility of human resource managers. and McGuire.
27-32.E.Horton. “Competency Management in the British Civil Service”. 3 (2). 354-368. Participation and Empowerment: An International Journal. Houtzagers. Using Skills and Competence Management”. 90-105. J. 11 . (2000). and Lindholm.J. W. S. “Empowerment. 7 (2). “Competency Identification. 13 (4). Modeling and Assessment in the USA”.. (1999). (1999). Rothwell. The International Journal of Public Sector Management. International Journal of Training and Development. G.
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