Identifying your organizations workforce and leadership core competencies is a critical step to achieve the outcomes you are responsible for as a leader.

Core competencies are specific skills, abilities, knowledge, and experience, you believe are required to achieve critical organizational and department level outcomes defined by your leadership team.

Unfortunately, most leaders make the mistake not first identifying the key outcomes they are accountable for, and then determine the core competencies they believe are necessary to achieve each outcome.

Instead, leader will often create a list of core competencies first and never consider if they align to or will contribute to the achievement of critical organizational and department level outcomes. This miss alignment of core competencies to the outcomes you are responsible for can often lead to you struggling to be successful.

Four Steps To Identify Your Core Competencies

After helping hundreds of leaders successfully identifying a balanced set of core competencies that enabled them to dramatically improve performance and achieve the outcomes, they are accountable for, I have come up with a simple four step process you can use to quickly identify yours.

Step 1 – Identify Your Strategic Goals and Objectives

The first step in identifying your workforce and leadership competencies is to identify the key outcomes you are responsible for.

This can be easily accomplished through the development of a strategy scorecard, that includes a balanced set of strategic goals and strategic objectives, and performance measures and target levels aligned to each. To learn more about each of these performance excellence tools, click the title of each.

Step 2 – Identify Core Competencies By Strategic Goal

Using your strategy scorecard as a guide, begin brainstorming potential core competencies for each of your strategic goals to ensure you have a balanced set of core competencies.

For example, let’s say you have four strategic goals: Exceptional Customer Service, Operational Excellence, Engaged Workforce, and Fiscal Sustainability – you will want to identify core competencies for each that you believe are required to achieve the performance measure target levels aligned to each.

As you brainstorm require core competencies, you will also want to differentiate core competencies by position type. For example, when identifying core competencies for a strategic goal of fiscal sustainability, be sure to select the competencies for frontline employees, managers, and senior leaders.

Step 3 – Document Core Competencies

After you have identified the competencies for each of our strategic goals and objectives and by position type, next you will need to document them within employee job descriptions.

Documenting them will assist you communicating to potential new hires or candidates for leadership positions, the required core competencies they are expected to possess before being selected for that position.

Step 4 – Develop and Align Training to Core Competencies.

One of the most common mistakes leaders make after they identified the required core competencies by strategic goal, is not developing and making training resources available for employees and leaders to assist in their development to ensure they can master the required competencies.

You will want to invest in training and development resources not only so your team members can be successful, but to also help you as the leader achieve the results you are accountable for.

Identifying Future Core Competencies

With your current core competencies selected, next is to consider identifying short- and longer-term workforce and leadership core competencies you believe will be required in the future to achieve the results your accountable for based upon changing environmental factors.

With your leadership team, brainstorm potential changes within each of the following five areas to assist you in identifying short- and longer-term required core competencies.

  1. Accreditation requirements
  2. Industry standards
  3. Contract requirements
  4. Consumer expectation
  5. Technology advancements

Based upon the anticipated core competencies required in the future, you have three options to consider to acquiring then.

  • First is the develop your current workforce and leaders
  • Second, to hire new staff who already poses the required competencies.
  • And third and rarely consider option, is to hire a contractor who is an expert

Links To Additional Resources

I encourage you to take advantage of these additional resources to assist you and your team in the development and successful execution of your strategy.