Finding and retaining high performing employees is a challenge all business organizations face. Employees search for jobs where they can be successful, appreciated, and have the opportunity to grow and advance. Effective employers develop career plans that are easy to follow, sustainable, customizable, and provide rewards and recognition when appropriate to entice and retain high performing employees. Using competency models management and human resources can define attributes of top performers that are important to the company for short term and long term success. There are numerous variations of competency models and several methodologies to build the appropriate competency model for an organization. Input from executive management, human resources, top performing employees, and external sources will assure the ideal skills, abilities, knowledge, and personal attributes are defined for the competency model. Successful career paths follow a structure of competencies outlining the needs of each level. Through the teamwork of human resources, management, and each employee the career path will be reviewed, evaluated, and updated for the employee’s needs in line with the company’s values and goals using the defined competencies.
Developing a competency model, or multiple competency models for specific positions within a company, is a complex process. Assigning a project manager (PM) as the main contact to perform the necessary discovery process, drive the project, and ensure all goals are met will help reduce confusion. Companies also have the option, at a significant expense, to hire an outside consultant who specializes in competency modeling (Spencer, 2009). The chosen project leader can now work with human resources and executive management to devise the plan.
There are several methodologies to build the competency model. Marrelli, Tondora, and Hoge (2005) believe the seven steps in the process are defining the objectives, obtain support of a sponsor, develop and implement a communication and education plan, plan the methodology, identify the competencies and create the competency model, apply the competency model, and evaluate and update the competency model. These steps can be simplified based on the complexity or size of an organization. If, for example, an executive manager is the driving force behind the competency model for the purpose of understanding and managing career paths, then steps one and two are complete.
The initial stakeholders, whether they are human resources, executive management, and or mid level management, will have to evaluate the talent pool available, information available regarding requirements of each position to receive a competency model, the available resources of the company, and company goals and values to determine which steps will work best for their process. LaRocca (n.d.) states that there are six stages to develop a competency model: performance criteria, criterion sample, data collection, data...