Developing Core Competencies
Developing core competencies is inherently dependent on the individual’s commitment to improve his performance. It is essentially a self-directed endeavor, and the organization is simply there to provide guidance and support to this person. In their effort to help an employee to perform well in various situations, many organizations have utilized a performance development system designed specifically for their employees.
Its main purpose include the alignment of individual goals with the organization’s goals; organizational effectiveness by identifying core competencies required of every employee from the different levels in the organization; and lastly, measurement of individual performance through the use of various indicators and measuring tools to ensure performance development for all employees.
The core competencies, which will be discussed, further are: organizational stewardship, systems thinking, creative thinking, flexibility/adaptability, customer service, interpersonal effectiveness, and personal mastery and technical skills.
The term “stewardship” was once used to refer to the trust bestowed on a person who is given the big task to protect a kingdom in the absence of their king. Today, this still connotes a similar meaning although used more commonly in business context. Organizational stewardship, therefore, is about being accountable to those whom we are working for and working with, without necessarily taking control over them.
The following questions are helpful in determining whether a person possesses organizational stewardship:
1. Are you productive in working towards organizational goals?
2. Are you honest and compliant with the policies set by the organization?
3. Are you promoting teamwork and cooperation among your team in an effort to boost organization performance?
Systems Thinking, Creative Thinking, and Flexibility/Adaptability
Systems thinking are the ability to look at the various systems within the organization and be able to analyze and understand the relationships between these, and integrate them in order to achieve organizational goals. An individual who has this competency is able to continually keep the various systems aligned and focused on the organizational goals.
Creative thinking, on the other hand, is about putting to good use one’s resourcefulness and the ability to think outside the box, in order to come up with more ideas and better solutions for a given issue.
Lastly, flexibility/adaptability pertains to the person’s attribute that allows him to be dynamic and adaptable. A person who possesses this competency does not find it difficult to make personal adjustments in order to meet the demands of the organization, the business, and the industry. He does not fear change, and is constantly honing his skills and abilities to stay competitive.
Customer Service and Interpersonal Effectiveness
Customer service is considered a core competency because any business involves the concept of service. Dealing with “customers” is an integral part of every job; by “customers” this would refer to the real customers, clients, managers, supervisors, and even our colleagues. It is important for each and everyone in the organization to treat each other professionally and respectfully, in the same way that we should treat every customer who wants to avail of the products and services being offered.
Having the ability to work effectively with others is deemed a core requirement for employees to perform well in the workplace. Such ability is referred to as interpersonal effectiveness and this constitutes: influence, communication skills, relationship management, teamwork, and conflict management.
On top of the aforementioned core competencies, there exists an attribute that is considered more than just a skill or a competency, and this is referred to as personal mastery. With this attribute, one is able to exhibit a sense of purpose in achieving his goals, a commitment towards realizing his visions, an inquisitive mind that seeks to understand the issues and concerns that he meets along the way, and the ability to connect with others effectively. These things are what make personal mastery a requirement in performance development; it motivates and pushes a person to continually improve himself in every way.
Also part of the development process of core competencies is what is referred to as technical skills. These skills do not necessarily pertain to technical abilities but rather; it refers to those skills needed in performing a specific job function. For example, a data encoder would need excellent typing skills to be efficient in his job.