Organizational vs. Technical and Behavioral Competencies

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Organizational vs. Technical and Behavioral Competencies

If you’re introducing a competency model or framework into performance management and hiring, it’s important to understand organizational and technical or behavioral competencies. Each have an important role in your business, and are crucial for hiring and performance management. But, each must be measured differently in order to properly manage performance.

What are Organizational Competencies?

Organizational competencies are core competencies defining what the company does best and how it expects that to be accomplished. Most organizations define 15-25 competencies that define how employees are expected to act as a whole, and common traits that everyone must have in order to succeed. These remain the same across the organization.

Common organizational competencies include:

  • Agility
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Integrity
  • Customer centricity
  • Strategic perspective
  • Resilience
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork
  • Personal leadership

These traits define a culture of behavior and competencies which ensure that employees are able to meet the behavior and competency expected by the company.

Technical and Behavioral Competencies

Technical and behavioral competencies, also known as individual competencies, must be defined on a role level and applied to individuals. These competencies define the skills and behavioral traits required to succeed in individual roles and must be defined accordingly.

Here, you define both technical competencies or hard skills and knowledge and behavioral competencies, such as behaviors and traits that allow a person to be successful.

Technical Competencies – Technically competencies are what a person can do. They define hard skills, specific knowledge, and what a person can do. For example, an IT role would need someone with a strong knowledge of system security, specific software or platforms you use, and so on. But, they would also need specific behaviors if they were to be successful in that role.

Behavioral Competencies – Behavioral competencies define how an individual performs in their role. Organizational competencies are broad and high level, but behavioral competencies define individual behaviors that apply to the role. For example, an IT person might need attention to detail, empathy, quick-thinking, problem solving, and a good memory to be able to perform well in their role.

Defining competencies and how they apply to both the role and the organization is a crucial part of developing a competency model. Both are important, but in different ways, and each are crucial to a good competency model. Individual competencies must be defined as technical and behavioral and organizational competencies must apply to every employee across the company.


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