Category Archives: Talent Management

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5 Ways to Address a Performance Gap in Your Team

Skill and performance gaps crop up in every workplace. Jobs, technologies, and even demand change over time. When this happens, recognizing and working to fill performance gaps is crucial to maintaining results and productivity inside your team.

In most cases, performance gaps are the direct result of missing skills inside your team. This could show up as lack of development for team members or missing team members.

The best short-term strategy is to use direct intervention to bridge these gaps with training and hiring, but long-term goals should involve using competency models and frameworks to account for skills gaps before they occur, so that employees are hired, developed, or directly trained to prevent them.

Identify Performance Gaps Correctly

Correctly identifying performance gaps and their source is one of the most important elements of correcting them. Performance gaps can stem from numerous sources, but common reasons include;

  • Lack of job knowledge
  • Changing job requirements
  • Lack of understanding of the role due to improper hiring
  • Ineffective management
  • Physical or emotional conditions in the workplace
  • Leadership and structural problems within the organization

Properly identifying performance gaps may mean bringing in a third-party depending on your existing resources and ability to properly assess your organization.

It’s also a good idea to use multiple data sources such as KPIs, employee assessments, and leadership assessments, which you can then use to cross-validate results.

Train Employees in New Hard Skills

Changing technology often means that employees who were previously very good at their job can no longer use their relevant skills, which often results in a performance gap.

Using competency frameworks and clear job profiles will help you to identify which skills are necessary for the role, which can help you in offering training and development to those who need specific skills to perform.

Use Leadership Development to Prevent Performance Gaps

Leadership and management problems are often a direct cause of performance gaps, especially when high performers are promoted from a technical to a leadership role.

Some high performers make the switch effectively, but many may continue to perform in technical roles, micro-managing teams and doing work themselves instead of empowering their team. This will result in a lack of motivation and a huge performance gap.

Integrating leadership development to ensure that leaders and management know what is expected of them and how they should perform in their roles will help prevent this.

Address Workplace Culture and Environment

Workplace and cultural problems often dramatically affect performance and productivity, with issues stemming from a lack of emotional intelligence, poor communication, and even the actual office layout.

These issues can be identified through assessments, and must often be fixed by taking direct action on specific instances (such as offering communication and teamwork workshops), giving training in emotional intelligence, or creating more flexible and agile workplace solutions.

Integrate a Competency Framework

A good competency framework will help you to recognize and address performance gaps more quickly by creating a foundation to assess and monitor individual role productivity. Competency frameworks recognize what good performance looks like (rather than simply skills), which can help you to review when performance is being affected and how, so you can take steps to correct issues on an individual level.

Performance gaps are a major problem in many teams, but they are often related to leadership, direct skills gaps, or lack of motivation. Integrating good HR tools will help you to assess and solve these problems more quickly, while preventing them in the future.


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Skills of the Future: 10 Skills You’ll Need to Thrive in 2020

This is a guest post from Jomel Alos. Jomel is a Consultant at Guthrie-Jensen Consultants.

It’s not quite right to say that we live in a technological world now more than ever. Over time, technology has been the driving force in various fields such as business, education, medicine, and telecommunications to name a few.

However, technology is dynamic by nature, so it’s quick to change and pave the way for the so- called industrial revolution. After three industrial revolutions, we’re now at the forefront of the fourth one. No question, the technology we have today is far smarter, more powerful, and more encompassing than its predecessors. Smart technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics are paving the way for the automation of processes across industries.

These days, it’s quite common for companies to utilize AI-powered chatbots, which are quickly transforming service desks by providing immediate answers to customers’ queries via chat.

An automated system in customer service may cut the amount of time that product or service users have to wait for a resolution to their problem since chatbots can be online 24/7. The downside of automation, though, is that there might be a minimal need for human participation in certain tasks. Thus, there might be particular job functions that could become obsolete in the not so distant future.

At the same time, the disappearance of certain types of work could result in the creation of new jobs that are more attuned to industry trends. To cite an example, drone delivery is slowly gaining ground in some areas as companies look to cater to customers who want instant delivery of their goods or help their delivery services get past hard-to-reach areas. Thus, there might be demand for engineers who could speed up drone production and at the same time, ensure the safety of these aerial vehicles.

For employees, this means that they’ll need to upgrade their skill set so that they could break into new job markets. While some might cringe at new challenges, it is through acquiring new skills or updating existing ones that enables one to achieve steady growth as a professional, which is important in fast-tracking promotion.

This infographic identifies the top skills for 2020. Although technological know-how is a must, competencies that relate to creative thinking, critical judgment, and even emotional intelligence, which is a soft skill, are still going to be valuable for future generations of employees. The idea is to produce a well-rounded workforce that could contribute to enhancing the overall quality of life through technological innovations and improved work standards.

This infographic also identifies which industries will be the most popular a couple of years from now, as well as the types of job where work opportunities will abound. By being aware of these things, employers and employees would have an idea of where to best channel their resources and efforts.

Want to take your teams to the next level? Keep an eye on our events for regular learning and development opportunities.


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Creating the Ideal Work Environment: Avoiding Conflicts

This is a guest post by James Lambka. James is an attorney at Wiener&Lambka.

It’s been said that employees don’t quit jobs – they quit bosses. There’s a lot of truth in that, but quite a bit more to it, really. It might be more accurate to say that employees quit bad work environments, rather than quitting actual jobs. So employers, managers, and HR directors should always strive to create a great work environment – one that surrounds employees with what they need for job satisfaction and facilitates swift, satisfactory conflict resolution. But what does that look like?

Characteristics of the Ideal Work Environment

The ingredients that go into making what we call a work environment are many, for example, company location, actual facilities, company culture, employee-employer interactions, and growth opportunities. And the ideal work environment has certain defining characteristics. It may have more, but it will have the following at least.

Reciprocal Expectations and Communication

Bosses and managers have to be leaders who clearly communicate company strategies, objectives, goals, guidelines, and expectations. They also have to abide by them and hold themselves to the same standards they do employees. Otherwise, they may be facing anarchy and have to spend too much time and energy on conflict resolution.

It’s all about the relationship, and that has to be built on open two-way communication. Ideally, employers will provide a platform or channel for employees to express opinions and concerns. And employers have to act on suggestions/concerns, or employee participation in communication will dry up. Employees have to know that bosses, managers, and HR people value their contributions.

Emphasis on Work-Life Balance

In addition, the ideal work environment shouldn’t ask employees to sacrifice too much of their personal interests, needs, and goals in order to further their careers. Employees should, rather, be encouraged to strike a reasonable balance between work demands and personal life. Employees shouldn’t have to work loads of extra hours to advance, and supervisors and managers should help employees achieve balance.

Opportunities for Training and Development

In order to attract and retain the best talent, employers simply must offer opportunities for training, development, and growth. The ideal work environment, then – one that keeps top talent around and has little need for conflict resolution – provides challenges and opportunities for progression to keep employees motivated and to keep them from stagnating. Training and development programs should also include components treating interpersonal skills, team building, effective communication, and conflict resolution – all of which can lead to both higher productivity and greater satisfaction levels.

Recognition/Rewards for Achievement/Performance

In almost every situation, everyone is happier and more productive when his or her hard work and accomplishments are recognized and rewarded in some way. So the ideal work environment is one where employees’ efforts are rewarded and encouraged. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be individual monetary rewards. Sometimes, just verbal recognition from a supervisor is enough. Employers do need to make sure they recognize and reward both individual and team performance to ensure employees give their best.

Strategies and Tactics for Avoiding Conflicts and for Conflict Resolution

Despite your best efforts to create a great work environment, sometimes things still go wrong. It’s just inevitable that when two or more human beings work together, there will be differences and tensions – and decreased productivity as a result. The key is deploying effective conflict-resolution strategies before the conflicts escalate. So here are the top-5 tips for managing workplace conflict (Goalcast):

  1. Understand Causes of Conflict

Understanding the causes of anything can help you deal with it more effectively, and so it is with workplace conflict. While the causes of conflict may be internal, psychological, or emotional and not necessarily objective (because the conditions may be merely perceived), they are no less real to the person experiencing them. Top causes include:

  • Stress/job dissatisfaction
  • Violation of personal space
  • Overwork
  • Workload inequality
  • Favoritism
  • Disputes over duties/quality of work
  1. Establish Clear Expectations and Guidelines

Many of the causes of conflict can be avoided when clear expectations and guidelines are established early on. Employee handbooks and guidelines should include clear job descriptions, scope of authority, chain of command, and behaviors/actions that will not be tolerated.

  1. Create a Good Environment

A good work environment will not only aid in avoiding workplace conflict, but will dispose employees to speedily resolving conflicts if they do arise. An important aspect of the environment here is supervisors and managers who serve as exceptional role models.

  1. Foster Open Communication

Open communication is critical both for avoiding conflict and for effective conflict resolution. Open, effective channels of communication will help ensure that employee concerns, irritations, and perceived wrongs don’t fester and escalate.

  1. Call on HR

The HR department can be an invaluable resource when in it comes to conflict avoidance and conflict resolution. “Preventing and addressing workplace conflict is a critical function for a human resources department, and your HR team should be well-trained and properly educated about how to handle these issues” (Goalcast).

What to Do When Conflict Goes Beyond HR

But occasionally, even in a great work environment, disagreements can escalate and get out of hande. In 2014 “409 people were fatally injured in work-related attacks (NSC). And for people in healthcare and professional and business services, violence (including concussion and other traumatic brain injury) is the third leading cause of death (NSC).

While the incidence of workplace violence remains grossly under-reported (Rave Mobile Safety), enough does get reported to let us know that it’s a genuine problem. It’s just a fact that employees, especially those in psychiatric healthcare, can become victims of physical attack on the job, with concussions and other head injuries being a common outcome. In such an instance, your best recourse is to call on attorneys who have special expertise in this area.


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How to Identify a Reliable HR Assessment

Whether your HR assessment is intended for pre-hire or for measuring competency, output, or leadership potential in existing employees, it’s crucial that your provider has the capacity to deliver to your needs.

However, with dozens of HR assessment providers on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. With buzzwords ranging from big data and gamification to smart-analytics, it can be difficult to determine what actually provides value and what a good service looks like.

Reviewing what you need and where is an important first step, but afterwards, you still have to identify which providers can reliably offer a good service that works.

Trademarks of a reliable HR assessment

The following factors will help you when reviewing and selecting your assessment provider, so you can make the best choice for your organization.

History of Success

It goes without saying that any HR assessment you choose for your company should have a proven history of success in other companies. While this doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for your company, having a history of proven success, either through case studies or proven testimonials will give you a reliable indicator of whether the assessment will work.

Measurement Techniques and Validation

No matter what you’re working to assess, your provider should use science-based methods to perform assessments, starting with their base methodology. Most HR assessments begin with job analysis to determine what should be measured and why. A validation study to verify that the selected criterion will work for your organization is also important (although a pre-validated assessment is something to avoid because you can only validate based on specific conditions for your organization) because it will work to ensure that the factors or competencies being looked for or scored actually relate to performance. No assessment will be 100% valid, simply because there are too many factors involved with human performance, so validity is always context specific in how it applies to your business or even your specific role. Despite that, it’s still important to have because it tells you that available data suggests the assessment will benefit your organization.

Research-Based

Any reliable assessment should be based on extensive research that can be shared, proven, and referred to throughout the process. Industrial/Organizational Psychology is the science of behavior in the workplace, and any reliable HR assessment will use it when forming assessments, methods, and when selecting tools.

Personalization

Your specific company needs are likely specific and individual to your organization. For this reason, nearly any HR assessment must be tailored to meet the individual needs of your organization or developed for your company from a base model. For example, your provider will have to adjust how competencies are scored or valued in your company to ensure it suits the specific application in your company.

Ongoing Support

Whether your HR Assessment developer is creating an internal training program and helping you launch the assessment yourself or working with you throughout the process, you need to be certain of ongoing support. Anything can go wrong at any time, and a reliable company will admit to that and offer ongoing support to ensure you have the tools and structure to ensure long-term success.

HR assessments can fit into recruiting, development, performance management, and leadership planning, so the requirements and output of your provider should vary accordingly. However, if your provider is using science-based assessments with good support, personalization or tailoring options, and a reliable history of success, they can likely deliver the value you need.


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Successfully Navigating the Gig Economy

This is a guest post from Dean Burgess. Dean is fascinated by business-minded people, especially entrepreneurs. He loves to learn about the start of their business journey and where they hope to end up.

Technology has changed the way we interact with each other, including how we earn income. Once, your money-earning choices were limited: either find a job working for someone else or go through the harrowing process of starting your own business.

The gig economy has smashed those two options into many choices that resemble self-employment but also retain some of the security and structure of traditional employment. These freelance and remote, gig-based positions provide opportunities for more people to earn money on their terms. The work is not for everyone, but for those willing to organize their lives and put in the work, a flexible and rewarding career is available to all.

The Origins of the Gig Economy

Although these jobs are part of the current economic buzz, the gig economy is not a new concept. The origins of freelancing go far back into the beginning of capitalism. Writers, artisans, and priests adopted a casual, part-time route to earning money in medieval times.

While it seems that writers and other similar jobs such as illustrators and photographers have always worked in less-formal employment arrangements, most jobs became formal full-time positions under a traditional employer-employee model in the 20th century.

Then, technology and lifestyle choices combined to create new options for those looking to make a buck. The number of people who are involved, in one way or another, in “side hustles” has reached 41 million, and it is projected that soon half of the workforce will have some connection to gig work.

From ride-sharing platforms to apps and sites that enable connections between those who want to work and those who need jobs done, technology has helped influence these numbers. People are able to work remotely in ways that were unthinkable just a few years ago. The cloud has democratized computing power and storage ability, allowing a laptop and an internet connection to replicate a full-functioned office for many people.

What Is Required for Freelancing Success?

Although technology enables these work opportunities, success requires more than just a laptop. Certain skills are in higher demand than others, such as computer programming and personal services such as pet sitting and dog walking.

Beyond these specific skills, general organization and management skills are necessary. Specific personality traits excel in gigs — you need to be outgoing, risk-tolerant, and self-motivated. When freelancing, you don’t have a boss to drive you, so you can get lost in your deadlines if you do not structure your day.

Learn which skills and behaviors you and your team needs to excel.

Freelance success also requires financial responsibility. You can bring in a large amount of money one week, then nothing the next. Budgeting your income is key; no matter how successful you may be, your cash flow will often be erratic. Financial management is important also because you will be responsible for tax withholding as self-employed.

Creating a Life-Work Balance

While freelancing offers flexibility that many desire, some can find that a too-relaxed atmosphere can lessen their productivity. On the other hand, some remote freelance workers can find that they get fused to their work and never have a break. A sustainable career sweet spot lies somewhere in the middle. One way to maintain a healthy balance between working from home and living a normal life is by setting up a well-organized home office.

Ideally, your home office should be a separate room or area from your house. You’ll need a sanctuary of sorts to handle all of your work. Keep the room or area well-lit and stocked with all the things you need to get your job done.

Once you have a good office setup, it’s a good idea to set office or working hours for yourself. Otherwise, you will find yourself either neglecting work or spending too much time working, risking burnout. If possible, try working outside of your home office once a week or so. This will help fight isolation and can help with business networking.

The gig economy presents several opportunities to make money on your own terms. With some planning and consideration of a home office and organization of your day, you can easily set yourself up for freelancing success.


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How to Measure Core Competencies in Employees

Integrating a competency framework into an organization is one way to improve productivity and create a model with which to measure not just what employees are doing, but how they are doing it. However, before competency frameworks can become valuable, you must have the tools and internal organization to monitor and measure core competencies in employees. This will allow you to determine how employees match up to expectations, rather than simply telling them and checking during end-of-year review.

Top Down Competency Monitoring

Each individual manager must be responsible for monitoring and measuring the competencies of those who work beneath her. Organizing a top-down structure of competency management allows you to put monitoring in the hands of those who work closely with each person on a daily basis.

Managers already do this to some extent, by paying attention to what individuals are producing. Adding competency management simply creates a new level, switching focus from “what” to “What and How”.

Communicating this, as well as what they are looking for in each role, and how to record it, is important for ensuring core competency measurement across the organization.

Measuring Core Competencies

The basis of recording competency data is that managers, their managers, and their managers, must record total behavior and performance during significant incidents, average day-to-day behavior and performance, and total behavior including both positive and negative reactions. Creating role-based competency frameworks then allows managers to map individual behavior to ideal targets.

Identifying Core Competencies

Without a competency framework in place, managers cannot measure employee effectiveness. They must have a framework at an organizational and a role-based level, identifying knowledge, skills, and behaviors that contribute positively to the organization.

Observing

Employees must be observed objectively and without bias, so that only their specific actions and behaviors are recorded. Most competency measurement begins by recording average behavior, and then settles on recording behavior during crucial moments such as during large projects, moments of stress, etc., and then any marked changes from standard behavior. Providing managers with a template or program to record this data into is essential.

Measuring Significance

It is important to measure the significance of incidents and behavior changes. For example, if an employee is performing poorly, but have recently been involved in an accident or lost a loved one, the change could be marked up to trauma and not to a change in personality. The significance of changes in behavior can also be mapped according to the impact that behavior has on output, on other parts of the organization, and on customers.

Benchmarking

By identifying the normal behavior for individual employees over time, you can benchmark their data to create standards based on behavior. This will then allow you to identify over and under achievers inside the same role, to identify personal improvement in individual employees, and to mentor and improve others to reach the same standards.

Measuring core competencies allows you to better assess and develop individual performance by defining how successful work is completed. This in turn allows you to recognize, develop, and reward that behavior.


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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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Benefits of Using Competency Frameworks

Competency frameworks allow you to establish behavior and skills needed to perform well in your organization and in specific roles. This enables you to define what good work looks like at every level of the organization, highlighting both how the company works and how good work is performed by individuals. More importantly, a good competency framework defines both what an employee can do and how they do it, so that you create a solid process to define work.

However, the process of creating and integrating competency frameworks can be intimidating, long, and costly. If you’re considering competency-based hiring or performance management, you need to know that it will have a payoff. While the actual value of competency frameworks depends on their quality and how they are integrated, there are numerous benefits for organizations. From recruiting to assessment to performance management to succession planning, competency frameworks play a big role in the businesses that use them.

3 big competency framework benefits

Defining Success

Competency frameworks allow you to define success in a role and in your organization. If you can highlight the behaviors that are necessary to succeed in your company, you can streamline hiring. And, if you’ve defined what success looks like in each role and function of your organization, you can improve hiring and performance management. In short, you give your company a map for job expectations, career paths, and performance measurement by which you can measure, reward, and promote workers.

Improving Processes

When you know what you are looking for, when you know what target capabilities and skills to look for, and when you have identified behaviors that perform well in your role, you can improve hiring as well as internal processes and even succession planning. Any employee-based program is automatically based on the existing framework, helping you to set targets, define goals, and better define candidates. This also speeds up processes, because rather than redefining what is needed from a candidate each time and getting leaders to agree on targets, they’re already there.

Setting Clear Expectations

Using a competency framework allows you to define what is expected from employees, which will in turn, improve communication and performance. By defining competencies, you can:

  • Ensure that training and professional development is target based and productive
  • Offers employees a way to measure and improve their competencies while improving mobility
  • Track employee growth and competency improvement
  • Improve communication between management and the workforce by clarifying job standards and creating channels for constructive feedback
  • Set clear expectations for employees while creating a mechanism for recognizing high performers

Competency frameworks can allow you to recruit the right people and manage and ensure that the right people stay in roles where they are needed, while growing and measuring the success of workers. Competency frameworks can tie into every aspect of recruitment and performance management, as well as succession and pipeline planning – because you have the tools to measure, reward, and improve on the successes of your best employees.


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How Competency Frameworks Tie Into Employee Monitoring and Quality Assurance

Competency frameworks are increasingly integrated into organizational performance management to measure not only what employees do but also how they do it. This same data can be integral in creating a culture of management and quality assurance, by better defining what success looks like – so that managers have the tools to shift focus away from procedure and tradition and towards efficiency and meeting quality standards.

While this requires a certain level of competency from leaders, it also allows you to take steps to measure and verify the quality of work being completed using information already at your disposal.

Using Competency Frameworks for Monitoring

An organization’s competency framework is developed around both the skills and knowledge needed to complete tasks for a role and the behavior and attitudes required to perform well in the role. Actual monitoring is typically achieved using a 3-part process of watching and observing, benchmarking and actively using data, and offering feedback.

  • Assign managers to consistently monitor worker behavior over time
  • Benchmark data to establish performance norms, both for individuals and for roles (you can use this to identify high performers, when performance goes up/down, and to target those who are struggling inside the organization)
  • Make monitoring about both noting behaviors shown in key situations, such as when decision-making, learning, or meeting deadlines and offering real-time feedback and goal-oriented motivation.

Good Behavior Means Quality Work

The core of any competency framework is to either improve productivity or improve the quality of productivity. While some organizations lose sight of tying competencies to direct output such as organizational goals, production, or performance, your definition of good behavior should be those traits and behaviors which directly contribute to organizational goals, including quality.

  • Ensure that competencies are tied to performance (if you don’t have competencies tying into performance and direct organizational benefit, they will not help the company).
  • Establish competencies which directly tie into quality control (Asking for help, focuses on creating quality work, technically skilled, seeks out feedback and constructive criticism, flexibility, establishes clear work processes, etc.)
  • Monitor performance output with competencies to verify that the competencies in place line up with actual quality of work produced

Focusing Learning and Development on Competencies

While competency frameworks are valuable in assessing and identifying good work and behavior, they are also valuable for identifying competency gaps. Many organizations using competency models also offer competency training to help bridge gaps to allow employees to work to improve problem areas so that they can contribute more to the organization.

While competency frameworks are valuable at performance review, a well-integrated model offers those same benefits throughout the year, tying into ongoing employee monitoring and quality assurance


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Promoting Corporate Entrepreneurship with Competency Frameworks

The world is increasingly dynamic and flexible. Technology changes at a rapid pace. Organizations must increasingly be just as flexible and fast-paced to keep up. This is evident in the success of edgy entrepreneurial corporations like Uber and Bonobos, who went from nothing, to major corporations poised to take on the biggest traditional company. Corporate entrepreneurship is the process of promoting internal entrepreneurship, so that employees have the freedom and confidence to create efficiencies and new working methods for themselves – therefore improving the organization as a whole.

Competency frameworks can allow you to recognize and promote the behavior and freedoms contributing to this behavior.

Identifying and Encouraging Entrepreneurial Competencies

Competency frameworks work to identify specific behavior which contributes to entrepreneurial thinking. For example, you can highlight where behaviors like risk taking, trying new things, adaptability, and creative problem-solving come together to create new solutions and ideas.

By highlighting what contributes to a corporate culture of entrepreneurism, you can encourage it, reward it, and ensure that individuals have the operational freedom to make changes to how they work. This also requires self-motivation, a willingness to learn, and the ability to adjust and take small steps.

Failing Forward

Failing Forward is the concept that you have to fail before you can succeed. By allowing employees to fail, you can create a culture of constant small failures leading to big successes. For example, by allowing teams to try and do new things, even when they don’t necessarily succeed – you give everyone the opportunity to take small steps and test them at every step of the way to reduce risk – while having the ability to fail.

This risk-taking behavior can be extremely beneficial in a controlled environment, because developing new work methods, new tools, and new processes is increasingly important for organizations to even keep up with the competition. This requires an increased level of risk-acceptance behavior on an individual level, so that employees can try new things without risk of reprisal if they fail (providing they get approval first) and can look forward to a reward if they succeed.

Measuring Success

While many HR tactics have been used to build corporate entrepreneurship, many of those methods lack a solid way to measure success. When you allow failure, what does success look like? Competency frameworks allow you to define the behavior, attitudes, and product that lead to success. How? A person who is taking risks and trying new things isn’t necessarily doing so with the benefit of the entire company in mind. By identifying the total factors that play into success, such as keeping the total impact on the entire organization in mind, focusing on day-to-day work as well as long-term goals (a person spending all their time optimizing a process isn’t performing their job), and self-improvement which includes the ability to accept and give constructive criticism, you can identify what actually makes this behavior work.

Risk acceptance and encouraging individual contribution are the two primary factors playing into successfully increasing corporate entrepreneurship, and competency frameworks give you the tools to encourage, measure, and quantify risk-taking behavior, motivation, self-improvement and development, and the behaviors which add to total employee contributions to the organization.


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