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How do you get stakeholders to agree to use competency models?

(Question posted by participants in recent webinars)

To get stakeholders to agree to use competency models, you need them to tell the story of skill gaps and engagement.  Today, it would be hard for a leader not to recognize that both are challenges they face.  Competency models can fix both. 

In order to know what gaps exist and to be able to measure improvement, you need a baseline.  A competency model will give that to you.

You’ll need to provide them with data.  In a recent ATD webinar (Why employees taking charge of their learning is good for you), we provided a lot of data points that can drive the point home.  There is a new social contract between employees and employers that competency models support, and which drive development and career planning – the key to acquisition and retention.  We also have 3 white papers that point to competency models being a logical solution to a problem they know they have.  (Overcoming Learning Disengagement, Why Employees Taking Charge Is Good For You, and A Competency Model Is The Roadmap To Greatness).

We recommend starting with a business unit or a department that is culturally accepting of this approach, and then leverage that success.  Compare the data points (from the above sources) with your own attrition rates, exit interview results, and engagement surveys.  The most commonly heard conclusion from that aggregated data is, “if we don’t start focusing more on development, people are going to leave.”  When you compare the cost of replacing people, the impact on creativity and innovation, and what turnover does to competitive advantage, you can’t afford not to try something different.


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