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4 Reasons to Focus On Your Employees' Skills

Explore the benefits of a skill-based approach and how to get started.


Félix-Antoine Desruisseaux

Assessment Consultant

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


More than ever, organizations are adopting a customer-centric philosophy to business; focusing their priorities on offering the highest quality of product, services, and customer satisfaction. What we want to do is roll out the red carpet so they feel good, they feel heard, and their needs are met.

If you're rolling out the red carpet for your customers, why not do the same for your employees?

Just like taking care of your customers, it's important to take care of your employees. That means taking care of their needs, their development, and most importantly, taking their skills into consideration. You could opt for a perspective that puts the individual at the heart of the organization by focusing on their individual competencies and highlighting the ones that will help you achieve your mission. This small change in focus will render your business more agile and efficient.

This is what the competency-based approach proposes. We promote skills that are essential for the organization.

Taking a competency-based approach with your employees will render your business more agile and efficient.

As for the development of our employees, we take an interest in their competency profile that we have established based on the specific competencies for their position. In short, we give them a place of choice in the organization by promoting them based on their skills. 

Now, you must ask yourself: what are the other benefits I can get from a competency-based approach?

1. Make your employees shine

A competency-based approach allows you to identify the competencies your employees need to be successful in their jobs. Competency represents:  

  1. Your employees' knowledge;   
  2. Their expertise for a position;  
  3. Their interpersonal skills or their attitudes to perform well.   

This approach puts the individual at the heart of the organization. Let me explain. For example, rather than looking for someone to fill a vacant position in your organization, a competency-based approach will lead you to look for individuals with competencies that match those of your organization. These individuals, therefore, are resources that you should seek to develop so as to provide them the opportunity for career growth and help them shine in their line work.   

2. Fostering the strategic orientation of your organization  

This approach allows you to select the must-have competencies to align them with your organization's vision and mission. It is also possible to use the competencies to anticipate and act on future human resources needs and skills to be acquired.

Based on the competencies of your employees, the approach allows you to be proactive in the face of the changing environment in which we find ourselves.

It is interesting to understand that in order to measure this type of competency, it is necessary to identify the work behaviors that may be associated with it. In this way, if each employee acts according to these behaviors, all will actively contribute to the organization's strategy.  

3. Promote employee retention  

Remember that the interest of a competency-based approach is to put the employee at the heart of your organization. By listening to your employees, you will be better able to see their natural talents and their opportunities for improvement.

It's not magic. By focusing on your employees' talents, they will feel more competent. By focusing on their development, they may feel listened to and supported. So it's a win-win solution:   

  • Employees feel valued in the organization which encourages their retention.   
  • The organization develops employees to improve its performance.   

4. Align your HR functions

Since each competency is based on behaviors that can be observed in the work context, it is easier to make the position concrete across the various HR functions. Putting forward a competency-based approach, if it is developed in a rigorous manner, makes it possible to clarify the link between selection, development, performance management, promotions, and even succession planning.

The competency-based approach allows for a common language throughout the organization. 

The competencies chosen to characterize a position become a common vocabulary across different functions and throughout the organization.

With the current labor shortage, taking care of your employees is of the utmost importance. A competency-based approach is a powerful way to help you make your employees the core of your company.

Are you ready to explore a competency-based approach at your company? Check out these tools that could help.    


Inspired by:

Campion et al. (2011), Stevens (2013), Sliter (2015), Vincent (s.d) 

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