Include high performers in the competency modeling process
To get people to buy into the competency model approach, you have to include people in that role (that others want to be like) in competency model creation. In this way, it is their model – by them, for their peers.
We actually had this situation recently, where the leaders of a role where a competency model was going to be developed were really pushing back on our process for competency model development. They felt like they already had a great job description, detailed procedures for performing tasks, and a rich qualification program that everyone grasped and bought into.
Watch participants body language
After a little influencing, high performers were selected for inclusion in the Rapid Job Analysis Workshop (the first step in our competency model development process). And while you could see from some of the participants’ body language that initially there was some resistance, in less than an hour, the resistance was gone. Participants understood why this process was needed. This continued through their engagement in refining the required behavioral examples of each task and skill.
Embrace the new competency model nuances
The client partner who was leading this process summed it up best – while the technical and functional requirements of the job were known to an extent, they had never been documented to a sufficient level of granularity. The new competency model focus was on what could be performed with the knowledge acquired, rather than the knowledge itself. What’s more, while the roles were quite sophisticated technically, what separated good from great were the soft skills.
In summary, by including high performers in competency model development, and communicating how it was created during the process of making it actionable, you can ensure that those who are in the role will buy in. You don’t build the model – they do.