In the last few months, we have dealt intensively with the various facets of competence management. We have repeatedly encountered a similar situation: the HR department or the various specialist departments sometimes understand competencies to mean completely different things. This has prompted us to summarise our approach to competence management in a structured way.

What we understand by competencies:

We follow the definition of KODE® (competence-diagnostic-development):

Competences are prerequisites for action, to find one’s way in new, open, unclear and dynamic

and dynamic situations and to act actively.

Competence is the ability to combine knowledge and skills so that job-related tasks can be mastered independently, on one’s responsibility and according to the situation. Competent people are characterised by their ability to act in a self-organised and goal-oriented manner based on knowledge, skills and abilities, even in new, open, unmanageable and dynamic situations.

KODE® works with 64 individual competencies, each described via four observable action anchors. These action anchors can also be trained and thus strengthened.

What we do not call competencies:

Technical skills that employees acquire in the course of their professional careers. These include, for example:

  • Regular training to be able to operate specific machines.
  • Project management certifications
  • Technical skills – for example, mastering certain software modules, providing certain services, mastering product procedures, etc.

When introducing competence management in an organisation, these different views of what competencies are come together, and usually, the issue becomes very complex quickly. On the one hand, mapping competencies in an IT system is often challenging; conversely, it is also difficult to “marry” the different aspects of competence.

Our learning from various projects where it was a question of introducing competence management is that it must be clarified between the parties involved exactly what purpose they are pursuing, what benefit competence management should bring, and which people will cooperate in this project.

Different purposes are mentioned to us again and again:

  • Accurate overview of instructions, training and courses to be repeated regularly for training administration or audits.
  • Overview of which employees have technical skills for deployment planning, especially when several locations are involved.
  • In the context of leadership and staff development, know which development steps employees take about their role, which measures are organised and how the effectiveness of these steps is monitored.
  • Classify employees in a salary model in such a way that they are fairly organised compared to other people who have the same role, i.e. to develop comparability of role holders in terms of their competencies.

We also advise considering these requirements separately based on the different purposes.

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