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The COMPETENCY CULTURE Valerie Ridgway Cathy Grant Pickering Public Library The COMPETENCY CULTURE Valerie Ridgway Cathy Grant Pickering Public Library

Background Good news about competencies: q most of us are already using competencies – Background Good news about competencies: q most of us are already using competencies – human terms q require skills library staff have: observers of behaviour; evaluate behaviour all the time q simple to establish (but not easy!) Pickering Public Library

Background Flourished in 1990 s based on key article by Hamel & Prahalad in Background Flourished in 1990 s based on key article by Hamel & Prahalad in HBR q Partly a reaction to expansionist 80’s q “Core competencies” and “competencies” used interchangeably q Pickering Public Library

Some examples Fedex Service: Delivery Core competency: Logistics Eastman Kodak Service: Photography products Core Some examples Fedex Service: Delivery Core competency: Logistics Eastman Kodak Service: Photography products Core competency: Chemical imaging Pickering Public Library

Organizational competencies Core competencies originally applied to organizations as a whole: q q q Organizational competencies Core competencies originally applied to organizations as a whole: q q q Confer competitive advantage Valuable Rare Difficult to imitate Pervasive in the organization Pickering Public Library

Individual competencies Applied to individuals in an organization: q Relate to performance of major Individual competencies Applied to individuals in an organization: q Relate to performance of major part of job q Underlying, deep & enduring q Identify and predict successful job performance q Behaviourally-expressed and evaluated q Can be improved by further training q (Sometimes refer to technical skills) Pickering Public Library

Behaviours determine competencies Example: “Flexible” vs. : Accepts new roles and responsibilities q Anticipates Behaviours determine competencies Example: “Flexible” vs. : Accepts new roles and responsibilities q Anticipates and adjusts for changing circumstances in achievement of objectives q Demonstrates a positive attitude during times of change q Handles multiple tasks and responsibilities successfully q Pickering Public Library

Competencies in a System Model Strategic Foundation Mission, Vision, Core Values excellence; personal; communicate; Competencies in a System Model Strategic Foundation Mission, Vision, Core Values excellence; personal; communicate; enhance Organization Individual Job Core Competencies • confer competitive advantage • value for user • qualities rare/unique • hard to imitate • pervasive people/clients; services; Competencies • leadership • innovation • continuous improvement • problem-solving • etc. Pickering Public Library

3 approaches to competencies Homogenized – same set for all q Individualized – unique 3 approaches to competencies Homogenized – same set for all q Individualized – unique set for each q Stratified – sets vary by class of job q Pickering Public Library

Who has adopted competencies? Other libraries of all types q Professional organizations q Private Who has adopted competencies? Other libraries of all types q Professional organizations q Private sector q See thousands of lists on the internet q Pickering Public Library

Advantages of competencies q q q Behaviour easier to talk about than labels Reduces Advantages of competencies q q q Behaviour easier to talk about than labels Reduces bias Distinguishes top-tier staff from average Gives staff a common language which permeates & aligns the organization Provides focus for training Provides consistency Pickering Public Library

Disadvantages of competencies q q q Some behaviours “personal” Extensive documentation and control needed Disadvantages of competencies q q q Some behaviours “personal” Extensive documentation and control needed Not all behaviours can be captured Competencies can overlap/become vague or repetitive Change in format generates its own problems Pickering Public Library

Implementation I q q q Aim for fewer than 12 competencies Decide on approach Implementation I q q q Aim for fewer than 12 competencies Decide on approach – individual, specialized or homogenized Focus on how, not what work is done (tasks change) Learn from others Include a definition for each competency as well as a handful of behaviours Prepare a 1 st draft for staff and management input and expect many revisions Pickering Public Library

Implementation II After competencies have been defined: q q q q Create job specifications Implementation II After competencies have been defined: q q q q Create job specifications Recruit using job specs Interview using behaviourally-based competency questions Orient new employees to competency expectations Introduce competencies to existing employees and offer training Coach staff performance based on competencies Evaluate all employees using competency-based evaluation forms Pickering Public Library

Building a competency culture at PPL q Why was this needed at PPL? q Building a competency culture at PPL q Why was this needed at PPL? q No clear understanding of what was expected from employees in an environment of change q PPL needed a comprehensive system to define, communicate and manage employee performance. Pickering Public Library

Defining the desired competencies I January 2004 q Developed a consensus on concepts and Defining the desired competencies I January 2004 q Developed a consensus on concepts and their relevance q Reviewed the competencies of other organizations – other libraries, professional lists, etc q Took what was appropriate for our organization q Core competency was difficult to define so we left it Pickering Public Library

Defining the desired competencies II Preferred the stratified structure and defined a hierarchy of Defining the desired competencies II Preferred the stratified structure and defined a hierarchy of competencies q Also, a common group of competencies were found in all positions. q Behaviours were the last to be defined q Pickering Public Library

Communicating with staff Spring 2004 q Staff were introduced to the concept of competencies Communicating with staff Spring 2004 q Staff were introduced to the concept of competencies at staff meetings and through various memos and discussions. Summer 2004 q Staff were introduced to the new competency-based evaluation forms during the annual evaluation process Pickering Public Library

Competency-based performance evaluation I Pickering Public Library Competency-based performance evaluation I Pickering Public Library

Competency-based performance evaluation II 360 degree feedback forms, based on competencies were added to Competency-based performance evaluation II 360 degree feedback forms, based on competencies were added to managers reviews’ in 2005 and to staff reviews in 2006 q Managers invited feedback from a random selection of colleagues q Pickering Public Library

Competency-based training I Training is a major part of implementing a competencybased HR system Competency-based training I Training is a major part of implementing a competencybased HR system q Some training was system-wide q • Customer service training was first • Coaching Skills for Supervisors • Communications Training Pickering Public Library

Competency-based training II Some training was individual and based on the training plan associated Competency-based training II Some training was individual and based on the training plan associated with evaluations q Individualized training was accomplished through in-house methods as well as external sources. q Pickering Public Library

Competency-based recruitment Fall 2004 q New postings included competencies q Interviews included competencybased questions Competency-based recruitment Fall 2004 q New postings included competencies q Interviews included competencybased questions Continuous Learning Think back to when you received a new position or responsibility within the workplace. What have you done to learn the new skills that were required? Pickering Public Library

Hurdles q q q Time-intensive for managers Ratings for behavioural frequency are misperceived in Hurdles q q q Time-intensive for managers Ratings for behavioural frequency are misperceived in many ways Performance can be a very emotional issue for some staff Using competency measures for 360 feedback is difficult for staff Competency-based recruitment may be difficult if there are not enough suitable recruits Pickering Public Library

Successes Managers and staff now have a language for handling performance issues q Managers Successes Managers and staff now have a language for handling performance issues q Managers find it easier to deal with performance problems and have had much success with underperforming staff q The recruitment process has been clarified q The training process is more focused, less ad hoc q Pickering Public Library

Continuous improvements Streamlining and simplifying performance reviews forms and process q Managers are making Continuous improvements Streamlining and simplifying performance reviews forms and process q Managers are making more time for performance management. q PPL is committed to this practice and will continue to make improvements over time. q Pickering Public Library

Our core competency (nearly)! Friendly and convenient service to fit every client’s needs. Pickering Our core competency (nearly)! Friendly and convenient service to fit every client’s needs. Pickering Public Library

Thank you Valerie Ridgway, valerier@picnet. org Cathy Grant cathyg@picnet. org Pickering Public Library Thank you Valerie Ridgway, [email protected] org Cathy Grant [email protected] org Pickering Public Library